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Author Topic:   Which Version of the Bible is the Word of God?
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1330 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 8 of 174 (495814)
01-24-2009 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by NosyNed
01-24-2009 10:24 AM


Re: What is a "literal translation"?
NosyNed writes:

Can you explain in much more detail what you mean by a "literal translation"?

I can tell you that using the common usage of the words "literal translation" among at least some (and I think most) translators they will tell you that a "literal translation" is impossible and only produces unreadable and partially incomprehensible output.

I agree that it is near impossible to attain a literal interpretation of the Bible. This is due to the differences in syntax and grammar between different languages especially languages separated by both time and by distance. In addition there is always a loss or corruption of meaning when translating between languages. The further languages are away from each other linguistically both temporally (by time), spatially and culturally the higher the rate of corruption in meaning is going to occur when translating from one language to another.

Here is an example (from this online Hebrew interlinear Bible. In this example I will put the original Hebrew on the top, the phonetic translation of Hebrew letters into English letters, and its direct word for word translation into English-equivalent words (spaced for readability purposes only). Genesis 1:1-2 states in Hebrew (I transposed the Hebrew words in the left to right order versus its normal right to left order to help in translation [it is closer linguistically to Chinese than it is to English]) :

. הָאָרֶץ וְאֵת , הַשָּׁמַיִם אֵת , אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא , בְּרֵאשִׁית

b•rashith bra aleim ath e•shmim u•ath e•artz

in-beginning he-created Elohim the-heavens and the earth

; תְהוֹם עַל-פְּנֵי , וְחֹשֶׁך , וָבֹהו תֹהו הָיְתָה , וְהָאָרֶץ

u•e•artz eithe theu u•beu u•chshk ol -phni theum

and•the•earth she-became chaos and•vacancy and•darkness over surfaces-of abyss

ו. הַמָּיִם עַל- פְּנֵי מְרַחֶפֶת , אֱלֹהִים וְרוּחַ

u•ruch aleim mrchphth ol -phni e•mim

and•spirit-of Elohim vibrating over surfaces-of the•waters

Repeated in literal order Genesis 1:1-2:

Literal translation of Genesis 1:1-2 writes:

In beginning, he created Elohim the heavens and the earth.
and the Earth, she became chaos and vacancy, and darkness over the surface of abyss;
and spirit of Elohim vibrating over surfaces of the waters.

Compare this to the following "literal translation":

King James Version writes:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

New American Standard Bible writes:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters

There is evidedently some loss of meaning here, would you not agree?

BTW, anyone else see the similarity between aleim (elohim) and alah?? Anyone, anyone!?! They both come from the same Semitic root words "al" meaning "the" and " ilah" meaning "God", the root "im" in aleim (elohim) denotes plurality when this "im" ending is dropped the two names of God are pretty much synonymous.

The New Encyclopaiedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. III, 15th Edition, p. 863 writes:

Elohim, the plural of the Hebrew word eloha, "god," a lengthened form of the Canaanite word el (Aramaic alaha; Arabic ilah), is most frequently used for the God of Israel in the Old Testament. … The Israelites probably borrowed the Canaanite plural noun elohim and made it singular in meaning in their cultic practices and theological reflections


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by NosyNed, posted 01-24-2009 10:24 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1330 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 14 of 174 (495970)
01-25-2009 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by BobAliceEve
01-25-2009 12:02 PM


Re: Why worry about versions when one can...
...go to the Source? We are instructed to pray for wisdom (James 1:5 and others). If Wisdom comes to us from the Source then we need not worry.

An "outsider" will complain that this is not helpful because s/he can not tell who is telling the truth. However, it does not matter because this is a personal journey. The person who knows the Truth also knows how he Knows. The person who does not know knows he does not.

I never simply believe what a "preacher" says. I ponder what s/he says and pray about it. When I get an answer then I know the Truth.

And just about every religious fundamentalist claims they have the truth from this "source" and everyone else is wrong. One of the many reasons we have thousands of different denominations and sects of just one religion, Christianity.

Again how do YOU know you are right and all these other people studying the same Bible and praying to the same source of inspiration are wrong?


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by BobAliceEve, posted 01-25-2009 12:02 PM BobAliceEve has not yet responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1330 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 100 of 174 (498732)
02-13-2009 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Nighttrain
02-13-2009 3:59 AM


Re: Dragons and Sea-Dogs, Oh My!
Nighttrain writes:

Peg, take Josephus with a deal of caution. Apart from a chequered career, he describes mythical creatures as real (can`t recall the critters offhand, PaulK may know), and, while the defending general of Galilee, he failed to note the thousands and thousands of people healed by Jesus a generation or so earlier. Makes the TF and the James reference small potatoes compared to THAT oversight.

Yes like the flying serpants (small dragons?) that Moses staved off with his staff and baskets of birds (Egyptian Ibes or Ibis) as described here in Josephus' work "Antiquity of the Jews" Book 2, Chapter 10 "How Moses made war with the Ethiopians":

Josephus writes:

But Moses prevented the enemies, and took and led his army before those enemies were apprized of his attacking them; for he did not march by the river, but by land, where he gave a wonderful demonstration of his sagacity; for when the ground was difficult to be passed over, because of the multitude of serpents, (which it produces in vast numbers, and, indeed, is singular in some of those productions, which other countries do not breed, and yet such as are worse than others in power and mischief, and an unusual fierceness of sight, some of which ascend out of the ground unseen, and also fly in the air, and so come upon men at unawares, and do them a mischief,) Moses invented a wonderful stratagem to preserve the army safe, and without hurt; for he made baskets, like unto arks, of sedge, and filled them with ibes, and carried them along with them; which animal is the greatest enemy to serpents imaginable, for they fly from them when they come near them; and as they fly they are caught and devoured by them, as if it were done by the harts; but the ibes are tame creatures, and only enemies to the serpentine kind: but about these ibes I say no more at present, since the Greeks themselves are not unacquainted with this sort of bird. As soon, therefore, as Moses was come to the land which was the breeder of these serpents, he let loose the ibes, and by their means repelled the serpentine kind, and used them for his assistants before the army came upon that ground.

This story is also somewhat paralled by some scripture in the Bible:

Deuteronomy 8:15 writes:

Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint

Numbers 21:6-8 writes:

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Pliny supports this concept of flying serpents in his Natural History:

Pliny writes:

The Egyptians also invoke their ibis against the incursions of serpents

BTW, Josephus also tells stories about a dog-fish and several other strange mythological creatures many of which are likely borrowed from Greek and Egyptian mythology.

Hmm, do I sense some mytholigical origin for many of the Biblical stories here? Though I must admit that it is possible that many of these mythological creatures/animals may have a small kernal of truth in that many may be highly embelished stories of real animals i.e. dog-fish=shark?, leviathon=whale shark or whale?, flying serpents=who knows what? which the ancients were not familiar with.

It is amazing what you find when you actually do some research.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Nighttrain, posted 02-13-2009 3:59 AM Nighttrain has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Peg, posted 02-15-2009 3:39 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1330 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 110 of 174 (498915)
02-15-2009 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Peg
02-15-2009 3:39 AM


Re: Dragons and Sea-Dogs, Oh My!
Peg writes:

serpents are snakes
there is nothing mythical about encountering snakes in a wilderness region

perhaps his description of 'flying serpents' isnt far from the truth

http://www.flyingsnake.org/

So Peg, is this a miracle or not? Are you trying to rationalize God's miracles away naturalistically? I am just trying to understand how you relate the two: miracles vs natural phenomena. I am curious how Christians, such as yourself, equate the two. Can all the "miracles" in the Bible just be embellished stories of natural phenomena?

Furthermore, if these are just stories of naturally occuring phenomena, where does God fit into these stories? Why would God have to cause an already occurring natural phenomena i.e. snakes jumping out of trees?


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Peg, posted 02-15-2009 3:39 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Peg, posted 02-16-2009 2:07 AM DevilsAdvocate has not yet responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1330 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 111 of 174 (498921)
02-15-2009 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Peg
02-15-2009 3:39 AM


Re: Dragons and Sea-Dogs, Oh My!
serpents are snakes
there is nothing mythical about encountering snakes in a wilderness region

perhaps his description of 'flying serpents' isnt far from the truth

http://www.flyingsnake.org/

I had a feeling you would bring up the flying snake thing.

BTW, these "flying" or rather gliding snakes (much like flying squirrels and the like) live in Southeast Asia not southwest Asia (I think the furthest west they are found are in India) and the Sinai Peninsula in which Moses and his Biblically journeyed had very little vedgetation much less large trees from which these snakes would have jumped from.

Here is a map of the population of "flying" snakes:


Click to enlarge

According to Numbers 21:4-9 the Israelits were journeying from Mount Hor (near Petra in modern day Jordan) south towards the Gulf Aquaba and around then the "Land of Edom". This route is along the Arabah part of the Great Rift Valley south of the Dead Sea and is very arid and sparse of vedgetation.

These snakes BTW jump off limbs of trees and can only glide a maximum of about 20-40 feet (from a limb approximately 30 feet high). The snakes are mildly venomous but are not toxic to humans.

Here is a paper discussing there
A 3-D kinematic analysis of gliding in a flying snake, Chrysopelea paradisi

I am not saying this event is impossible that it happened, but I think the story is highly embillished and possibly borrowed from earlier stories of flying snakes from the east (possibly India?). Just a thought.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Peg, posted 02-15-2009 3:39 AM Peg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Peg, posted 02-18-2009 3:51 AM DevilsAdvocate has not yet responded

  
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