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    Registered User Rorshach69's Avatar
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    Interesting

    So today in Ap German, jakobmuller and i were debating religion once more with our prof. And it didn't hit me until the end of the class why we could never see eye to eye on hot topic issues. Especially in reference to the bible. It's because i realised he accepted the bible as Historical Fact, whereas i saw it as Historical Fiction. So my question is why should i believe that a book thats been translated into many different languages, and altered numerous times, should be accepted as Historical Fact, not Fiction. And don't say faith, because that's lame
    "Just like you are innocent until proven guilty, god is nonexistent until his existence is proven"

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    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
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    Why do you think that it has been altered many times?
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

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    Registered User Rorshach69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    Why do you think that it has been altered many times?
    Because ancient leaders always altered religion to fit their agenda. Take that English King, his name slips me, who wanted a son but kept getting girls, he would get an annulment, until the pope was like "No more." So what did the king do? He started his own religion. How do you craft a new religion with the same sacred text? You alter it ever so slightly. This is purely theoretical that he changed it though. And as much as the church changes its views on stuff, it's a pretty solid guess its been altered a few times.
    "Just like you are innocent until proven guilty, god is nonexistent until his existence is proven"

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    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
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    Just because some has done it does not logically prove that all have done it. What do English kings have to do with the supposed alterations of the Bible anyway? The Bible manuscripts (over 5,000 manuscripts) were written down long before there were any kings in England. You are basing your beliefs on guesses.
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

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    Registered User Rorshach69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    Just because some has done it does not logically prove that all have done it. What do English kings have to do with the supposed alterations of the Bible anyway? The Bible manuscripts (over 5,000 manuscripts) were written down long before there were any kings in England. You are basing your beliefs on guesses.
    Well i say english kings because you know, I live in America, and It was the English who conquered said America. So yes your right i made a guess, but i have just as much evidence for my guess as christians do theirs. Their guess being the whole afterlife, bible thing
    "Just like you are innocent until proven guilty, god is nonexistent until his existence is proven"

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    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
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    Have you studied Christian Evidences? Please enlighten me...
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rorshach69 View Post
    So today in Ap German, jakobmuller and i were debating religion once more with our prof. And it didn't hit me until the end of the class why we could never see eye to eye on hot topic issues. Especially in reference to the bible. It's because i realised he accepted the bible as Historical Fact, whereas i saw it as Historical Fiction. So my question is why should i believe that a book thats been translated into many different languages, and altered numerous times, should be accepted as Historical Fact, not Fiction. And don't say faith, because that's lame
    Crikey, it's not as though we haven't had this discussion a time or two!

    First off, you're quite right, and the key isn't as much the translations as the interpretations.

    The problems started with the editing of texts into what we now see as the christian bible - some texts were included, some were deemed apocryphal, and maybe some destroyed; who would ever know?

    From there, we look at the bible today and there are several different major interpretation differences, the prime one being whether it is a literal document or not. About 20% of christians believe it is literally true, while the other 80% interpret it as part allegory and part divine truth. Within the 80%, there are hundreds of different interpretations as to what any given bit of the bible might mean. And with that, we've discounted the views of the 2/3 of the world's population who aren't christians.

    Whether you do or don't believe it is a personal choice, but claims that it's literally true are laughable.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    Have you studied Christian Evidences? Please enlighten me...
    Have you studied ancient Hebrew manuscripts?

    There are textual differences between ancient versions dug up. The solidified Old Testament wasn't really established for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. the Book of J for instance, is very different than other proto-Old Testaments, but the line of influence connected between the two show an oral tradition emerging onto the written page. There have been many versions, as oral texts are subject to change with cultural trends. What is preserved over time is what is relevant to time, and in those cases, as society shifted, so did the Bible.


    Even the most religious of scholars, if they are real scholars, will not deny that the texts were assembled from earlier versions by editors, rather than handed directly in complete form from one source. That Moses, for all his worth, could write Hebrew, in the Biblical form, which by my reckoning wasn't even a written language at that point, is highly doubtful. Perhaps, if the story is true, and he was raised as Egyptian royalty, he would be able to assemble writings in hieroglyphics, but if you have ever studied or looked at the way hieroglyphics work, you would realize the written tradition in that case is not literary, and nothing like the Bible.


    As for even the complete version, which we read today, as approved by the Chief Rabbis, or the Vatican, depending which religion you follow, that too is not completely understood.

    There has been ongoing debate, especially amongst rabbinical scholars, into the meaning of words, to the point where certain words cannot accurately be translated. For instance, the fourth plague, usually translated as wild beasts, has no accurate translation, and various Rabbis have suggested that it was anything from Beatles to Lions. I think something as central to the core of the tradition, as that is a rather well known chapter of the book, that has unclear meanings proves that the text does not truly exist in an understood form, and naturally there are many versions, especially within translation, as the King James Version no doubt established the validity of English Royalty's religious dominance over the people.

    the text isn't as simple as religious people suggest, Jesus didn't say any of the things he says in the Bible, as Jesus wouldn't have said anything in Greek, being a Jewish carpenter in a part of the world where not only was the bulk of the population illiterate, but also spoke Aramaic. Thereby, the text, even if true, cannot accurately reflect the truth behind it, even if it is historically based.

    Perhaps this may interest you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism
    Last edited by JBI; 04-11-2009 at 04:38 PM.

  9. #9
    Registered User Mr_Rayber's Avatar
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    I agree with most everything you've said here, but your last statement regarding Jesus, I am not sure that I follow. Yes, Jesus did speak Aramaic, although he grew up within a short distance of a major Roman city and thus could have easily been fluent in Greek as well (I don't actually believe this but I would not discount it). Most Jesus scholars today believe in the existence of a document that circulated during the first century entitled "Q." This was a collection of saying attributed to Jesus. These saying were later incorporated into the New Testament gospel renditions. Simply because they were translated into Greek does not mean that the central ideas can not be accurately transferred. I mean, if we really took that view, we'd have to discount many English versions of stories written in other languages.


    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Have you studied ancient Hebrew manuscripts?

    There are textual differences between ancient versions dug up. The solidified Old Testament wasn't really established for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. the Book of J for instance, is very different than other proto-Old Testaments, but the line of influence connected between the two show an oral tradition emerging onto the written page. There have been many versions, as oral texts are subject to change with cultural trends. What is preserved over time is what is relevant to time, and in those cases, as society shifted, so did the Bible.


    Even the most religious of scholars, if they are real scholars, will not deny that the texts were assembled from earlier versions by editors, rather than handed directly in complete form from one source. That Moses, for all his worth, could write Hebrew, in the Biblical form, which by my reckoning wasn't even a written language at that point, is highly doubtful. Perhaps, if the story is true, and he was raised as Egyptian royalty, he would be able to assemble writings in hieroglyphics, but if you have ever studied or looked at the way hieroglyphics work, you would realize the written tradition in that case is not literary, and nothing like the Bible.


    As for even the complete version, which we read today, as approved by the Chief Rabbis, or the Vatican, depending which religion you follow, that too is not completely understood.

    There has been ongoing debate, especially amongst rabbinical scholars, into the meaning of words, to the point where certain words cannot accurately be translated. For instance, the fourth plague, usually translated as wild beasts, has no accurate translation, and various Rabbis have suggested that it was anything from Beatles to Lions. I think something as central to the core of the tradition, as that is a rather well known chapter of the book, that has unclear meanings proves that the text does not truly exist in an understood form, and naturally there are many versions, especially within translation, as the King James Version no doubt established the validity of English Royalty's religious dominance over the people.

    the text isn't as simple as religious people suggest, Jesus didn't say any of the things he says in the Bible, as Jesus wouldn't have said anything in Greek, being a Jewish carpenter in a part of the world where not only was the bulk of the population illiterate, but also spoke Aramaic. Thereby, the text, even if true, cannot accurately reflect the truth behind it, even if it is historically based.


    Perhaps this may interest you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism
    It is better to be young in your failures than old in your successes. -Flannery O'Connor

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    Even the most religious of scholars, if they are real scholars,
    This is the tactic of so many points of view. They define who is a credible expert (those who agree with their point of view) and then give the "fact" that all credible experts agree as "proof" for their point of view.

    How do you know Moses couldn't write Hebrew? "Because Hebrew wasn't a written language back then." How do you know that? "Because there is nothing written in Hebrew from that time." What about the Pentateuch? "That had to be written later since Hebrew wasn't written at that time. Wonderful logic.

    How come an "oral tradition" preserved words that are difficult to translate precisely? Wouldn't that argue for a very early date for these things to be committed to writing?

    Your vaunted "higher critics" were incredible skeptical of the very existence of a Jewish king named "David" until archeological evidence proved his existence. Since its inception in the mid 1800's (that's right, this is an up and coming, cutting edge school of thought) the specifics of which parts and real or made up, which part is cut from J, E, D or P, when it was compiled and all that have been argued about and bickered over with no consensus being reached except that Scripture isn't what it claims to be--namely, a divinely inspired, unified account of God's action on behalf of humans which is accurate in all particulars (historic, scientific and spiritual). But since the 1800's the specific theories of the higher critics (post-exile gathering of OT, no Babylonia rulers by the names given, no David, no city at Jericho at the time of the Conquest of Canaan) have time and again had to be changed or discarded as extra-biblical evidence refutes these scholarly opinions made at the distance of 3,000 years. When does one call into question the underlying premise that Scripture is a hodge-podge of human opinions and start dealing with the possibility that it is what it says it is?

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    Registered User grotto's Avatar
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    Hmmm, we canít even get the real story straight out of an event that happened last year after it gets tampered with by editors with agendas and reporters with axes to grind. Letís not even get into political agendas behind the truth or the final proof in scientific matters. A lot of us seem to be very cynical about anything current but some how blindly assume stories put into print after being orally handed down for generations and continually added to for thousands of years is some how pure truth just because someone says so.

    Belief is truly an amazing thing, better than any drug ever invented.

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    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by togre View Post

    How do you know Moses couldn't write Hebrew? "Because Hebrew wasn't a written language back then." How do you know that? "Because there is nothing written in Hebrew from that time." What about the Pentateuch? "That had to be written later since Hebrew wasn't written at that time. Wonderful logic.

    How come an "oral tradition" preserved words that are difficult to translate precisely? Wouldn't that argue for a very early date for these things to be committed to writing?

    Your vaunted "higher critics" were incredible skeptical of the very existence of a Jewish king named "David" until archeological evidence proved his existence. Since its inception in the mid 1800's (that's right, this is an up and coming, cutting edge school of thought) the specifics of which parts and real or made up, which part is cut from J, E, D or P, when it was compiled and all that have been argued about and bickered over with no consensus being reached except that Scripture isn't what it claims to be--namely, a divinely inspired, unified account of God's action on behalf of humans which is accurate in all particulars (historic, scientific and spiritual). But since the 1800's the specific theories of the higher critics (post-exile gathering of OT, no Babylonia rulers by the names given, no David, no city at Jericho at the time of the Conquest of Canaan) have time and again had to be changed or discarded as extra-biblical evidence refutes these scholarly opinions made at the distance of 3,000 years. When does one call into question the underlying premise that Scripture is a hodge-podge of human opinions and start dealing with the possibility that it is what it says it is?
    Oral tradition implies just that. No writing, but certainly language. Many cultures had oral traditions prior to writing. As far as high criticism and treating the Bible Studies as an academic subject rather than a theological subject are concerned you need to have evidence for your contentions.

    The reason academic criticism does not except an earlier date for a written and complete Torah is that they haven't found evidence. Eventually the Dead Sea scrolls, which forced scholars to rethink their dates of a completed Torah and place them earlier. I know early fragments similar to the Psalms have been found dating from the 700 BC, the earliest Biblical writing. Other proto-Hebrew has been found I believe earlier than that. Basically academic study of the Bible functions much like science in a way; you don't accept something until there is evidence for it. Why is that so hard to understand?


    As for King David, as far as I know there has not been any direct evidence found for his existence rather there has been suggestive evidence. They found reference to his existence from an extra-Biblical source, referring to another King from the Bible, as being from the House of David. It is suggestive that King David might have existed and been a real person, after all, but not exactly irrefutable evidence that King David absolutely positively existed.
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    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by togre View Post
    This is the tactic of so many points of view. They define who is a credible expert (those who agree with their point of view) and then give the "fact" that all credible experts agree as "proof" for their point of view.

    How do you know Moses couldn't write Hebrew? "Because Hebrew wasn't a written language back then." How do you know that? "Because there is nothing written in Hebrew from that time." What about the Pentateuch? "That had to be written later since Hebrew wasn't written at that time. Wonderful logic.

    How come an "oral tradition" preserved words that are difficult to translate precisely? Wouldn't that argue for a very early date for these things to be committed to writing?

    Your vaunted "higher critics" were incredible skeptical of the very existence of a Jewish king named "David" until archeological evidence proved his existence. Since its inception in the mid 1800's (that's right, this is an up and coming, cutting edge school of thought) the specifics of which parts and real or made up, which part is cut from J, E, D or P, when it was compiled and all that have been argued about and bickered over with no consensus being reached except that Scripture isn't what it claims to be--namely, a divinely inspired, unified account of God's action on behalf of humans which is accurate in all particulars (historic, scientific and spiritual). But since the 1800's the specific theories of the higher critics (post-exile gathering of OT, no Babylonia rulers by the names given, no David, no city at Jericho at the time of the Conquest of Canaan) have time and again had to be changed or discarded as extra-biblical evidence refutes these scholarly opinions made at the distance of 3,000 years. When does one call into question the underlying premise that Scripture is a hodge-podge of human opinions and start dealing with the possibility that it is what it says it is?
    Because, quite simply, we know that Moses didn't make phone calls, because there is no evidence of a phone having existed. How do you know the world was round back then? Maybe it was flat? Seriously, you undercut my remark that you quoted, yet are its best evidence.

    You cannot assume, as a scholar, something, and then prove it. You assume something is false, from a historical point of view, until you can prove it. Historically, there has been no uncovered evidence to support the text as being a written one. In truth, earlier conflicting versions contradict this. There has been archeological evidence to disprove a sense of Divine written composition, even if a God did give the stories orally. If there is no evidence of a written form, how can you suppose proof of a polished written text.

    I'm not going to argue. I'd rather not be banned than debate with someone who wishes to debate without debating.

    Compare the Samaritan text with the Jewish text, and then maybe you will see how oral traditions formulate into text. The textual discrepancies show how the forms molded based over time, before solidifying into written form. The actual composition though, it can be suggested, took place over a long period of time, and was compiled over a long period of time. The various books suggest that, and the numerous authors prescribe that. The only text which I know to actually be attributed by religious people to God is The Pentateuch, but even so, the book itself doesn't even suggest that.


    Compare this to Homer. Did Homer exist? Scholars today are thinking so, at least a fair number of them. Did he write anything? Well, if he was Blind he could not possibly have. Does that mean we read the identical Homer? Well, from what I know of manuscript Homer, there was a big debate in Hellenistic Egypt that solidified the text in the original we have today from various versions, so it would suggest we are not reading the "exact" Homer, whatever that means, but a variant.

    Even Shakespeare has had a similar manuscript history, though he is, of course, more textual than these earlier writers. But the authority of the text is always brought forward afterward.

    Did the events take place? that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm merely suggesting that technologically, the earlier books, based on the evidence we have now, have no proof in authoritative versions being handed down since Moses, for writing in that time had not solidified within Hebrew, and there wasn't even an alphabet, archeology and philology suggests, until around the 10th century BC. If there was no alphabet, and no written language, then language was free to evolve, as it did in the vernacular after the fall of Rome, to the point where even dialects of Italian are mutually unintelligible. In that sense, the story may remain, but the text itself was subject to morphology and variance.
    Last edited by JBI; 04-14-2009 at 04:43 PM.

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    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    Why do you think that it has been altered many times?
    It is a fact that that is so. It can be proven from independent translations of the same text/passage. The one that was stuck in an Eastern library (in the Eastern Roman Empire) for 100s of years puts more emphasis on the man and the one that has come down in the Western Roman Empire or Western Europe as we know it now puts more emphasis on the divine nature of Jesus. But both fragments of vourse have the same contents. Funny that.

    It is a phenomenon studied by Theologians and it has occured because the copiists were too much concerned with 'truth'. So they added things that made the story more 'true' as they saw that anyway.
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  15. #15
    Anyone got their King James' on hand? We still use it to this day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Bible

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