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Thread: The mutable bible

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    The mutable bible

    Not really sure where I expect this discussion to go, but, I found an interesting post on an atheist blog regarding the.. directedly useful translation of the bible, particularly the bit of 'law' in Exodus about the punishment of a person for the death of a fetus resulting from an accident during a fight between men.

    [...]for anti-abortion American evangelicals, Exodus 21:12-27 was unacceptable. It suggested that striking and killing an unborn fetus was in a separate category from striking and killing a “person.” Strike and kill a free person, you get the death penalty. Strike and kill an unborn fetus, you get a fine.

    And so in 1995, like those earlier translators who invented and inserted “Junias,” the translators of the NASB reshaped this passage. “She has a miscarriage, yet there is not further injury” would, in consideration of the changes in American politics since 1977, henceforth be transformed into “she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury.”
    The post collects a large number of translations of the particular phrasing, and there is a striking change around 1978. Earlier translations either make the death of the fetus explicit, the Wycliff of 1382 going so far as to use then-available phrase "dead-born", or in the vein of the King James Bible, make it an unclear "loss of her fruit". Then there is a sea change to the translation of the form "so that she gives birth prematurely". This would have been pushed because, frankly, it's what the translators wanted it to say.

    So now we have a book that we are told should be looked to as an authoritativly divine ethical source - whose ethics are being shaped by the ethics of those translating it... ethics which they claim come from the book they are translating, but then why are they altering the definition of crimes? From what authority came these new ethics - and how do we know it's genuine, given that a divine source could have been expected to get it right in the first place?
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    Re: The mutable bible

    For something that's supposed to be the 'immutable word of God', it sure varies in meaning, depending on which copy you reference.
    See http://www.biblegateway.com/ for 100+ translations.

    The books making up what we know as the Christian Bible was assembled in the 13th century from documents written from the 3rd century on. Many competing books were omitted, and in fact different branches added or removed the odd section as they saw fit.

    I honestly don't think the word of God is found in a book, since it's too easy for man to skew those words to his agenda. Now if we had an original copy of any of the sections we might be able to backtrack, but we don't. The closest we have are the Jewish texts, which tradition demands be passed on unchanged, yet even then scholars are finding drift.

    So I think knowing the originals is at this point, highly unlikely.
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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by cdunn View Post
    Not really sure where I expect this discussion to go, but, I found an interesting post on an atheist blog regarding the.. directedly useful translation of the bible, particularly the bit of 'law' in Exodus about the punishment of a person for the death of a fetus resulting from an accident during a fight between men.



    The post collects a large number of translations of the particular phrasing, and there is a striking change around 1978. Earlier translations either make the death of the fetus explicit, the Wycliff of 1382 going so far as to use then-available phrase "dead-born", or in the vein of the King James Bible, make it an unclear "loss of her fruit". Then there is a sea change to the translation of the form "so that she gives birth prematurely". This would have been pushed because, frankly, it's what the translators wanted it to say.

    So now we have a book that we are told should be looked to as an authoritativly divine ethical source - whose ethics are being shaped by the ethics of those translating it... ethics which they claim come from the book they are translating, but then why are they altering the definition of crimes? From what authority came these new ethics - and how do we know it's genuine, given that a divine source could have been expected to get it right in the first place?
    This is an article about translation / mistranslation / discrepancies and variants in translation, yes? I do not know if there is a point therein regarding the immutability of the original holy text (whatever that might be)? Or is this a comment on the failed and/or biased translations of the men who phrased it as they saw fit at the time?



    ..air cooled


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    Re: The mutable bible

    And the atheist blog would be wrong. The relevant text is Exodus 21:22-25
    22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her
    fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the
    woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for
    life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot
    for foot, 25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe
    for stripe
    Sorry for the arcane translation, but the text available online is the 1917 transalation.

    22 states that if a man strkes a woman so that the fetus emerges, if alive then it's a fine. 23 then furthers that if the child emerges hurt, then the punishment according to the level of injury.
    [/B]
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    Re: The mutable bible

    Short history of the Bible in English: Wycliffe was a priest who believed the Bible should be translated into the common tongue. He translated the Bible into English, but only had the Latin Vulgate. The Latin Vulgate was a translation from the Alexandrian Greek, by people who didn't always agree with the diety of Christ. It was was a rule of the Catholic Church that Bibles only be written and read in the Church's Mother tongue; Latin. Wycliffe was dug up later, by a mob led by a priest, his bones burned, and the ashes dumped into a river.

    Martin Luther, another priest, broke with the Catholic Church when he found the Textus Receptus and learned of salvation by grace, not works. He wrote a translation from the Textus Receptus in his native tongue, German. The Textus Receptus (Received Text) was from the Antiochan stream of Greek, in other words, from Antioch - where they were first called Christians. It was prepared by Erasmus, and printed in a Latin/Greek parallel Bible, making corrections to the Latin as indicated by the Textus Receptus.

    About the same time, William Tyndale began translating the Bible into English, again, using the Textus Receptus of Erasmus, and conferring with Luther. He completed his translation of the New Testament, and began work on the Old Testament (the Pentateuch) before his death. He and collegues sent many translation to England, smuggling them by many means, often in bolts of cloth or in grain bags. He was eventually martyred for his efforts.

    Coverdale was a collegue of Tyndale and completed the translation of the Old Testament and published the first complete translation of the Bible in English in 1535.

    Next, John Rogers (Matthews) printed another translation, leaning heavily on Tyndale and Coverdale, but including some of his own translation.

    Queen "Bloody" Mary tried very hard to destroy any English translation or translator, and return England to the Roman Catholic Church. She martyred many people during her reign. Many people fled England, and of those, many ended up in Geneva, Switzerland. A Bible was produced there which came to be called the Geneva Bible, the New Testament being published in 1557, and the Old Testament being completed in 1560. It was the first to use chapter and verse markings, and the first to be translated by a committee. The translation for the coverings given to Adam and Eve was "breeches." The Geneva Bible is sometimes called the Breeches Bible because of that.

    In 1582, the Roman Catholic Church realized they were losing the battle against an English translation, and decided they needed to publish an English translation that agreed with their doctrines. The New Testament was published in 1582 in the city of Rheims, and the Old Testament translation was published in 1609 using the Douay Old Testament (hence the Douay/Rheims translation). The translators used the Latin Vulgate (not to be confused with the Itala or (plain) vulgate). The Douay/Rheims had the apocrypha embedded within the translation. The extra books were interspersed within the Old Testament, and considered canonical, that is inspired word.

    In 1568, another Bible translation was printed, called the Bishop's Bible. It was directed by Queen Elizabeth I but was never popular due to the people having grown a little suspicious of official Bibles.

    King James I finally agreed to having a translation published. He established a commitee of 54 scholars in Greek and Hebrew. For the New Testament, the Textus Receptus was used. They had the Alexandrian translation, the Latin Vulgate, and other sources such as the Geneva, and Rogers, but relied on the Textus Recptus. Each person translated a part of the Bible given to their commitee. Every other person had to agree with the translation or reconcile it with the rest of the commitee. When all agreed, their finished translation was sent to the other commitees, where they were again checked and any disagreements had to be reconciled with all on that committee, and the original translating commitee. They completed they work and the King James Authorized Version (commonly referred to as the KJV or the Authorized version). It was published in 1611. There has been only one "change" to the KJV. The changes consisted mostly of corrrections of spelling error or rendering spelling from the old to more modern spellings for some words. It is worth noting that the KJV originally had the apocrypha. It was placed between the Old and New Testaments, and was not considered canonical, but for historical purposes, or background, but not inspired word.

    In the mid-1800s, two men, Wescott and Hort, began working together. Wescott was creating his own Greek version using Alexandrian Greek. They became fast friends. They did not believe much of Christian teaching, and did believe in Darwinian evolution. Hort later became a Catholic. Both joined a commitee to provide a new translation of the Bible. Wescott placed himself in the position of being the only good scholar whose translations were correct. That translation, the English Revised Version, spawned most all of the modern English translations, such as the American Revised Version, The New American Standard, the New International Version, and others.

    Those who believe the KJV to be the inspired word of God, that is, each and every word as translated, was inspired by God, reject all other Bibles in English. Those who follow the various Alexandrian based translations, say the KJV is too difficult to understand, and modern translations are just that, and OK. That includes the New King James, The New International Version (which seeks to be gender neutral), and many others. Some translations seek to remove the diety of Christ, or imply works not grace will get one to heaven.

    To know where I am in the debate, I believe in the KJV. There is indeed much controversy over the other translations. Each person should educate themselves, and compare the different translations to see where they differ, then decide for themselves.

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    Re: The mutable bible

    Enjoy.


    Exodus 21:22-25


    New International Version (NIV)


    22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.
    23
    But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,
    24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    25
    burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise..


    American Standard Version (ASV)

    22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
    23 But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
    24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.




    Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)


    22If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child, and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman's husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award. 23But if her death ensue thereupon, he shall render life for life.
    24Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    25Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.




    New Life Version (NLV)

    22 “If men fight with each other and hit a woman who is going to have a child so that she loses her baby but no other hurt comes to her, he must pay whatever the woman’s husband says he must, as agreed upon by the judges.
    23
    But if there is other hurt also, then it is life for life,
    24
    eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    25
    burn for burn, cut for cut, sore for sore.


    GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

    22“This is what you must do whenever men fight and injure a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely. If there are no other injuries, the offender must pay whatever fine the court allows the woman’s husband to demand.
    23
    If anyone is injured, the offender must pay a life for a life,
    24an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,
    25
    a burn for a burn, a bruise for a bruise, a wound for a wound.


    21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
    22"If men strive and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no misfortune follow, he shall be surely punished according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
    23And if any misfortune follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
    24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    25burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.



    New Living Translation (NLT)

    22 “Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely.[c] If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve.
    23
    But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life,
    24
    an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,
    25
    a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
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    Re: The mutable bible

    Not sure what your argument really is. If it's that biblical scholars as time goes by and have more and more texts to compare and as we learn more about ancient word usage that there are revisions, yep it happens.

    If you are going to talk about the King James Version and it's politicalness and KNOWN changing to fit what the king wanted, then "yep" old news. Some "translations" aren't really translations and were just rewording of the KJV in more modern language, so again you have to know what you are quoting from.

    As to the verse at hand. Some basic understanding of OT law would help as well.

    1) This verse resides in the laws concerning assaults and not murders
    2) The word for "serious injury" is "ason" in Hebrew and is the word used, it is not in reference to someone dying.
    3) The word for "premature birth" in Hebrew is "yeled yatsa" or literally, "her child came out". The OT uses a different word altogether to describe a miscarriage or still birth, and that word is "sakal". Sakal in NOT the word that is used in this verse.
    "For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMA View Post
    And the atheist blog would be wrong. The relevant text is Exodus 21:22-25
    Sorry for the arcane translation, but the text available online is the 1917 transalation.

    22 states that if a man strkes a woman so that the fetus emerges, if alive then it's a fine. 23 then furthers that if the child emerges hurt, then the punishment according to the level of injury.
    [/B]
    I agree that the atheist blog is wrong.

    They first state that Junias was invented by "... patriarchal Bible translators" without saying who, or putting that in any context. A reading of the whole of Chapter 16 of Romans, shows other women that Paul wanted thanked. The blog seems to say that this Junia was an apostle. Apostles were the original twelve minus Judas, and adding Mathias, and Paul (out of order). They were the ones chosen by Christ, and who saw Christ. Other followers were disciples of Christ. So junia was esteemed by the apostles, but not one of them.

    The blog then goes on to talk about Old Testament law. They state in one paragraph:

    "The New American Standard Bible is a popular English translation, a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901. It was completed in 1971 and then revised and updated in 1995. I want to highlight one major change in one passage of the NASB — a case in which the 1995 update alters — and is intended to reverse – the text of the 1971 NASB."

    I mentioned above that there are many translations spawned by Wescott and Hort. Most don't agree with each other. Some have revised their revisions, and their revisions don't all agree. Therefore, what they say about modern translations is true. There are many books that explain differences in the different translations, as compared to the KJV, or compared to themselves. Worse than changing words, some translations leave out verses. The KJV has not changed, and the newer translations are not taken from the KJV (nor from the Antiochan Greek), but from the Alexandrian Greek.

    Since they try to ascribe all discrepancies to politics, I am in disagreement with their apparent belief that ALL Bibles are translated based on politics of the time. In fact, I am not sure politics is a correct reason to say there are differences in translations. Certainly trying to stay up with changes in societal mores. I mentioned above that the NIV makes some attempts to be gender neutral, and as I recall, it purports to simply be more readable English, not necessarily an actual translation. However, it is presented as if it were.

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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    This is an article about translation / mistranslation / discrepancies and variants in translation, yes? I do not know if there is a point therein regarding the immutability of the original holy text (whatever that might be)? Or is this a comment on the failed and/or biased translations of the men who phrased it as they saw fit at the time?
    The article is about manipulation of the holy text - by believers - to reinforce a specific belief, in this specific case, abortion. The very existance of an original text is pretty much meaningless, given that the average person has no ability to understand the language(s) that it is written in, let alone place the vocabulary in the proper context. These translations are what they are going to go to, often to one recommeded by the belief community that they live in - largely in order to reinforce that communities beliefs.

    The big point here for me is that these books cannot, therefore, be authoritative as a source of morals. They are not reflecting something from outside the community that has chosen them.
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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by cdunn View Post
    The article is about manipulation of the holy text - by believers - to reinforce a specific belief, in this specific case, abortion. The very existance of an original text is pretty much meaningless, given that the average person has no ability to understand the language(s) that it is written in, let alone place the vocabulary in the proper context. These translations are what they are going to go to, often to one recommeded by the belief community that they live in - largely in order to reinforce that communities beliefs.

    The big point here for me is that these books cannot, therefore, be authoritative as a source of morals. They are not reflecting something from outside the community that has chosen them.
    I think it is difficult to engage in conversation like this where everyone is automatically annoyed with every variant of differing opinion to their own, so therefore I appreciate your courtesy. Thank you.

    The problem I think with the original text in whatever form it is, is that various religious orthodoxies have taken what suits them and discarded the rest, whether this be in the form of omitted "heretical" books and texts or simply warping a translation to suit the social context. Context and desired effect are everything within any translation field in any endeavour. I think though, that is insufficient to prove that the original text is mutable.

    If I could liken it to your martial art, I am guessing the martial art you practice is not identical to that which was practiced at its inception in the place and time wherein it was designed to best fit? Still, the essential core is there, yes? Your martial art of history would be recognisable to you. As yours would be recognisable to the forefathers of your art. It is adapted by your masters that you have trained with and it has been rethought and reworked to fit right here and right now. That is why it has survived. If it were a set of doctrines, its practice may seem anachronistic and irrelevant to your needs. That is has been evolved through translation, is it still the same art? I guess it depends on the translation. You are correct, if some bogus master translates your art into a method whereby every technique renders your opponent paralysed, you may not feel it is a sound translation. Still, the original version remains intact and immutable. It is the core of your art. It is for you and your masters before you to translate. Yes, translators have a duty of care, and but translation is tempered by context.

    I agree with you entirely insofar as believing religion has a role of indoctrination into the way of that religion. By fulfilling this role, the original translation (read, core tenets) are frequently removed or purposely mistranslated. The original text, like a die for a cast, remains intact despite the castings and miscasts from it.



    ..air cooled


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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I think it is difficult to engage in conversation like this where everyone is automatically annoyed with every variant of differing opinion to their own, so therefore I appreciate your courtesy. Thank you.

    The problem I think with the original text in whatever form it is, is that various religious orthodoxies have taken what suits them and discarded the rest, whether this be in the form of omitted "heretical" books and texts or simply warping a translation to suit the social context. Context and desired effect are everything within any translation field in any endeavour. I think though, that is insufficient to prove that the original text is mutable.

    If I could liken it to your martial art, I am guessing the martial art you practice is not identical to that which was practiced at its inception in the place and time wherein it was designed to best fit? Still, the essential core is there, yes? Your martial art of history would be recognisable to you. As yours would be recognisable to the forefathers of your art. It is adapted by your masters that you have trained with and it has been rethought and reworked to fit right here and right now. That is why it has survived. If it were a set of doctrines, its practice may seem anachronistic and irrelevant to your needs. That is has been evolved through translation, is it still the same art? I guess it depends on the translation. You are correct, if some bogus master translates your art into a method whereby every technique renders your opponent paralysed, you may not feel it is a sound translation. Still, the original version remains intact and immutable. It is the core of your art. It is for you and your masters before you to translate. Yes, translators have a duty of care, and but translation is tempered by context.

    I agree with you entirely insofar as believing religion has a role of indoctrination into the way of that religion. By fulfilling this role, the original translation (read, core tenets) are frequently removed or purposely mistranslated. The original text, like a die for a cast, remains intact despite the castings and miscasts from it.
    But, there is a particular and powerful difference here, between what my martial arts instructor teaches me, and what a holy book is proported to teach. That difference is the source of authority. While his pedagogy is, perforce, very different from that of his teacher's teachers sixty years ago, I can see quite well the ability of his senior students to ruin someone's day with their hands. At its core, that is where his 'authority' comes from; his proven ability to reach a given goal.

    But this is not what is claimed about the holy books. A holy book's authority on morality (and the authority of its interpreters) derives from the fact that it is claimed to come from the highest of all authorities... but we find when we look beneath the surface that it winds its way back around to confirming what a given group of people already believes.
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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by cdunn View Post
    But, there is a particular and powerful difference here, between what my martial arts instructor teaches me, and what a holy book is proported to teach. That difference is the source of authority. While his pedagogy is, perforce, very different from that of his teacher's teachers sixty years ago, I can see quite well the ability of his senior students to ruin someone's day with their hands. At its core, that is where his 'authority' comes from; his proven ability to reach a given goal.

    But this is not what is claimed about the holy books. A holy book's authority on morality (and the authority of its interpreters) derives from the fact that it is claimed to come from the highest of all authorities... but we find when we look beneath the surface that it winds its way back around to confirming what a given group of people already believes.
    You choose to follow your teacher. You trust his or her pedagogy. It is not the original as you are not training with the original designer of your art. Still, it is a representation of the provenance of your art and you choose to trust the pedagogy of your tutor. He or she may have their own feelings about a particular technique or central philosophy as practiced sixty years ago. They may not feel it is congruent with the needs of students of 2012. They may alter that to suit the modern practice.

    On whose authority do they do this? Their own perhaps. Or perhaps this alteration has been sanctioned at a higher level by a controlling authority or standards-upholding body. Still, their authority, to you as an ordinary (I do not mean that pejoratively ) practitioner is absolute. You may agree, you may not, you may become heretic and they throw you out. Whatever your reaction, I think, what is immutable is that your original art is intact. Somewhere. It may be practiced by nobody and but its core values still to some extent must permeate all practices of your art. Otherwise it is a different art altogether.

    Is this comparison not valid do you think?



    ..air cooled


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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by cdunn View Post
    But, there is a particular and powerful difference here, between what my martial arts instructor teaches me, and what a holy book is proported to teach. That difference is the source of authority. While his pedagogy is, perforce, very different from that of his teacher's teachers sixty years ago, I can see quite well the ability of his senior students to ruin someone's day with their hands. At its core, that is where his 'authority' comes from; his proven ability to reach a given goal.

    But this is not what is claimed about the holy books. A holy book's authority on morality (and the authority of its interpreters) derives from the fact that it is claimed to come from the highest of all authorities... but we find when we look beneath the surface that it winds its way back around to confirming what a given group of people already believes.
    I agree that martial arts is not a good comparison for the reason you state. Martial Arts are of men, good though they may be. The Bible is from God. Your last sentence is correct if you agree with what I wrote above about the modern translations coming from a corrupt source. Except for one. Don't your think there must be at least one correct translation?

    Quote Originally Posted by cdunn View Post
    The article is about manipulation of the holy text - by believers - to reinforce a specific belief, in this specific case, abortion. The very existance of an original text is pretty much meaningless, given that the average person has no ability to understand the language(s) that it is written in, let alone place the vocabulary in the proper context. These translations are what they are going to go to, often to one recommeded by the belief community that they live in - largely in order to reinforce that communities beliefs.

    The big point here for me is that these books cannot, therefore, be authoritative as a source of morals. They are not reflecting something from outside the community that has chosen them.
    The problem is that there are many translations. If they all agreed with each other, that would be one thing. In fact, they do not. When they do not agree, they can not all be correct. Then one must ask the question if any one can be correct. That is, do you believe in a God powerful enough to pass along his word to us? Do you believe in a God powerful enough to guide good translators to translate from one language into another, and say exactly what God wanted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I think it is difficult to engage in conversation like this where everyone is automatically annoyed with every variant of differing opinion to their own, so therefore I appreciate your courtesy. Thank you.

    The problem I think with the original text in whatever form it is, is that various religious orthodoxies have taken what suits them and discarded the rest, whether this be in the form of omitted "heretical" books and texts or simply warping a translation to suit the social context. Context and desired effect are everything within any translation field in any endeavour. I think though, that is insufficient to prove that the original text is mutable.

    If I could liken it to your martial art, I am guessing the martial art you practice is not identical to that which was practiced at its inception in the place and time wherein it was designed to best fit? Still, the essential core is there, yes? Your martial art of history would be recognisable to you. As yours would be recognisable to the forefathers of your art. It is adapted by your masters that you have trained with and it has been rethought and reworked to fit right here and right now. That is why it has survived. If it were a set of doctrines, its practice may seem anachronistic and irrelevant to your needs. That is has been evolved through translation, is it still the same art? I guess it depends on the translation. You are correct, if some bogus master translates your art into a method whereby every technique renders your opponent paralysed, you may not feel it is a sound translation. Still, the original version remains intact and immutable. It is the core of your art. It is for you and your masters before you to translate. Yes, translators have a duty of care, and but translation is tempered by context.

    I agree with you entirely insofar as believing religion has a role of indoctrination into the way of that religion. By fulfilling this role, the original translation (read, core tenets) are frequently removed or purposely mistranslated. The original text, like a die for a cast, remains intact despite the castings and miscasts from it.
    However, in the case of the Bible, we do not have the original texts. Do you think that mean we can never know what they said?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    You choose to follow your teacher. You trust his or her pedagogy. It is not the original as you are not training with the original designer of your art. Still, it is a representation of the provenance of your art and you choose to trust the pedagogy of your tutor. He or she may have their own feelings about a particular technique or central philosophy as practiced sixty years ago. They may not feel it is congruent with the needs of students of 2012. They may alter that to suit the modern practice.

    On whose authority do they do this? Their own perhaps. Or perhaps this alteration has been sanctioned at a higher level by a controlling authority or standards-upholding body. Still, their authority, to you as an ordinary (I do not mean that pejoratively ) practitioner is absolute. You may agree, you may not, you may become heretic and they throw you out. Whatever your reaction, I think, what is immutable is that your original art is intact. Somewhere. It may be practiced by nobody and but its core values still to some extent must permeate all practices of your art. Otherwise it is a different art altogether.

    Is this comparison not valid do you think?
    If we have God's word for us, it cannot be changed. That which is transmitted to us must be for all times. Otherwise, wouldn't you think God must continually send us new words for our new times?

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    Re: The mutable bible

    oftheherd1,

    I use the JPS translation. It is free of the Xtian political battles and slant. It is an accurate translation, because anything else would be destroyed simply by the fact that a lot of the people using it are also fluent Hebrew speakers. And we alsways refer to the Hebrew text to confirm translation.
    The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
    The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
    The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

    A.A. Milne

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    Re: The mutable bible

    Quote Originally Posted by oftheherd1 View Post
    However, in the case of the Bible, we do not have the original texts. Do you think that mean we can never know what they said?
    I can only give you a personal answer that is not to represent my denomination, only me personally. I am afraid my reply would diverge from the OP and possibly even from your own question and but I would say that I feel the premise of this thread, while interesting, is moot (to me personally). I do not need an original text to know the Word of God. For if I have no PERSONAL relationship with God then what is any translation of my holy text to me really? Without a direct relationship with God through prayer, an holy text is nothing on its own but a work of history. And I am not much interested in being an religious historical scholar. I have said before that I do not believe religion is God. It is a vehicle, often for direction of worship and but in many historical instances as a vehicle of control. I would ask you back, if you had no Bible at all, would you still be capable of living a life that is right with God?


    Quote Originally Posted by oftheherd1 View Post
    If we have God's word for us, it cannot be changed. That which is transmitted to us must be for all times. Otherwise, wouldn't you think God must continually send us new words for our new times?
    I think the very nature of the Bible is such that it is necessarily subjective. Even if you were to have in your possession an original transcript on parchment or skin from 1700BCE, still you yourself would have to translate that Word to make it fit into your daily life. You do not lead the life of the people of the time of the original writings. You do not live their existence. Those words are context dependent as are those of all holy texts. An inability to appreciate this results in the myriad fanatical and fundamental acts we read of carried out across the globe today in the name of what is written in holy texts - and that has been the case through history where doctrinal translations are utilised as leverage for self-service. However, that the words may change with translation of the doctrine does not alter the fact that the Word of God itself is immutable. Why? Because the Word of God is NOT what is written and but it is rather what is received by a person of faith through having that relationship with God. The Bible (and other holy texts) give structure to that Word yet they must necessarily be apt to change as our circumstances and our environments are continually altering.

    I would only say that God is love. I think beyond that, specifics within doctrines (as the OP is discussing) are what are argued about by men seeking to justify actions which they, in their hearts, know are not justified.

    I wish you well.



    ..air cooled


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