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  1. #101
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    No.

    There may have been some drift across transcriptions and translations... the Septuagint and the Masoretic texts are not absolutely identical, it's true... but to say that "...the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose" is unsupportable.

    It is true that various people have abused biblical texts in this fashion, but it is not true to say that the texts lend themselves to such abuse. In fact, to make the claim in itself might be evidence of an agenda.
    Any text has the capacity to be interpreted in ways that suit political agendas. However, the Bible has proven to be exceptionally useful because it has contradictions within itself that allow people to grasp onto particular verses and justify their thoughts and actions. You can call it "abuse" but its been the fundamental nature of the scripture since its conception. It's the same with any major religious text. Fundamental Evangelical Christianity is practically a mirror to Fundamental Islam. Both interpret their respected texts in a way that suits their political agendas. Why would that clearly visible claim be evidence of an agenda?

  2. #102
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    You should either make a case or stop conjecturing.

    The question is not whether it might at all be possible that the interpretation is different (I don't even think that's an issue we disagree on -- it's obvious that our culture brings a different framework to Biblical understanding than a culture that existed 2000+ years ago), it's whether or not it actually IS far different. And to do that demands you make a case... Oberon's actually offers up a few details in his response.

    So far you've only offered a stance, not an argument.

    And really, look at your other contribution:



    I know you're fully aware of the haphazard nature of this statement -- you're going out FAR on a limb here, without providing any hard evidence as to your reasoning -- and obviously you need to provide some foundation for such a comment if you want it to be taken seriously.

    This isn't the sort of [philosophical] discussion where you can escape digging into concrete detail.
    Look at the manifold of interpretations of scripture we have in our present day? Does this not suggest to you that one clear and most likely to be true interpretation of the Bible is far from being discovered? And do you not see how this makes it easy for us to exploit the writings for our own gain? Or the reason why we are at a point where we are.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  3. #103
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Any text has the capacity to be interpreted in ways that suit political agendas. However, the Bible has proven to be exceptionally useful because it has contradictions within itself that allow people to grasp onto particular verses and justify their thoughts and actions. You can call it "abuse" but its been the fundamental nature of the scripture since its conception. It's the same with any major religious text. Fundamental Evangelical Christianity is practically a mirror to Fundamental Islam. Both interpret their respected texts in a way that suits their political agendas. Why would that clearly visible claim be evidence of an agenda?
    Because it's not "clearly visible," though I freely admit it's part of the zeitgeist at present.

  4. #104
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Look at the manifold of interpretations of scripture we have in our present day? Does this not suggest to you that one clear and most likely to be true interpretation of the Bible is far from being discovered? And do you not see how this makes it easy for us to exploit the writings for our own gain? Or the reason why we are at a point where we are.
    Your comments seem to suggest an extremity that is non-existent. Think about bell curves a bit, and you might understand where I am going with this.

    You seem to be focusing on the tips of the curve; I'm saying, yes, there is variability, of COURSE there is... but it tends to be clustered and clumped. It's the reason why a few predominate schools of Christian theology can even be defined at all; if reality conformed to your comments, there would be no schools at all, interpretation would be completely arbitrary.

    Perhaps you simply need to add some qualifications to your opinions, which has been expressed as extremes so far. (Along with perhaps showing some detailed knowledge of Bible text transmission and its actual history.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Any text has the capacity to be interpreted in ways that suit political agendas. However, the Bible has proven to be exceptionally useful because it has contradictions within itself that allow people to grasp onto particular verses and justify their thoughts and actions. You can call it "abuse" but its been the fundamental nature of the scripture since its conception.
    Take some lessons from Kiddo, BW... He actually points out features of the text and explains why this contributes to misinterpretation. That's not opinion, that's an actual assessment of the nature of the document.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  5. #105
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Look at the manifold of interpretations of scripture we have in our present day?
    Well, let's take a look at some examples. Genesis 1:1 is as good a place to start as any:

    King James: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

    New International Version: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    American Standard Version: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Vulgate: "in principio creavit Deus caelum et terram"

    Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible: "In the beginning God created heaven, and earth."

    Geneva Bible: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

    Tanakh Online: "In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth."

    Blue, if this is typical of the vast gulfs of meaning enabled by the centuries-long game of "telephone" that is text transcription, I'm afraid I do not see your point. If you wish to pick nits over the Jewish tradition of not fully spelling out the name of G-d, or Jerome's persistent habit of favoring Latin over English in his Vulgate, well, I guess you've got me there.

    Compare translations on specific verses and you will find that the above is much more the rule than the exception. Yes, there are specific cases where versions differ; but taken as a whole, the integrity of the text is strong... far stronger than that our texts of, say, Aristotle.

    EDIT: Please note that, in the above translations, I have deliberately selected sources both old and new, and across creeds and traditions. I have represented contemporary Protestants and Catholics, Reformation-era Protestants and Medieval Catholics, and Jews.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Jericho.

    What do you make of Jericho?
    I heard that game sucked.

    Anyway:

    Why are the dogmatic fundamentalist Christians considered to be "Old Testament"-minded? Remember the Book of Revelation? I'd say that's pretty sadistic and dogmatic.

  7. #107
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    No.

    There may have been some drift across transcriptions and translations... the Septuagint and the Masoretic texts are not absolutely identical, it's true... but to say that "...the text has become hardly more than an empty vessel for anyone to fill in with whatever spiritual and political notions serve their purpose" is unsupportable.

    It is true that various people have abused biblical texts in this fashion, but it is not true to say that the texts lend themselves to such abuse. In fact, to make the claim in itself might be evidence of an agenda.
    Er... you misunderstand both my and BlueWing's point. The error is not necessarily in the script, or the translation of the writing, but in the conceptual fabric that most individuals spin (or don't) whether we're reading from the original document in its original, immaculate conception, or from the carbon copy, english piece of garbage we have today.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    We may have similar words written down on the piece of paper in comparison to what we had 2000 years ago, though, I'd bet they are now interpreted radically differently from what they were intended to be by their initial authors.
    Which is what I was approaching with my masquerade.

    I also threw in a dig on how people use non-synonymous words interchangeably. They confuse them, and often understanding is distorted because of bad linguistic agility.

    The same phenomenon is currently taking place with bad understanding and subsequently [false] belief in things like Nostradamus' predictions as well as astrology.
    we fukin won boys

  8. #108
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post

    EDIT: Please note that, in the above translations, I have deliberately selected sources both old and new, and across creeds and traditions. I have represented contemporary Protestants and Catholics, Reformation-era Protestants and Medieval Catholics, and Jews.

    These sects tend to have much in common with each other. However, if we look at the Gnostics for example, or some other school of religious thought that does not accept the divinity of Jesus, yet still proclaims to be Christian we will see how different the two schools of thought may be whilst recognizing Jesus as their primary teacher.

    As for the sects you've highlighted, we likely will notice this or that Catholic church for instance interpret the scripture in one particular way and this will be enforced in all congregations belonging to the enterprise. Other sects you've highlighted who also read the same Bible as the Catholic church will vary only slightly in interpretation of the piece of scripture we have in mind. However, if we go to each congregation individually, and ask them how they read that particular line in the scripture, they will give us similar, if not identical answers. Yet if we observe their practices which were supposed to be inspired by their reading of that scripture we will notice that they have little in common with each other. They pay lip service to the orthodox interpretation of hermeneutic yet practice it in a way most fitting to their tastes and prejudices.
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  9. #109
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nocapszy View Post
    Er... you misunderstand both my and BlueWing's point. The error is not necessarily in the script, or the translation of the writing, but in the conceptual fabric that most individuals spin (or don't) whether we're reading from the original document in its original, immaculate conception, or from the carbon copy, english piece of garbage we have today.
    In my judgment, the text is clear enough to provide honest answers to honest inquiry. If you start from the position that you want to twist a passage to serve your own ends, you're screwed from the beginning... but this is not a fault that can be attributed to the text, translated or not.

    If your comment was to address the proliferation of denominations and sects in Christianity based on varying interpretations of scripture, again that is a fault that cannot truly be blamed on the text. The text is what it is.

    If you consider the attempt to derive some kind of cogent belief system out of such a diverse group of books as those that make up the Christian bible to be futile, well...

    Like I said: Good luck with that.

  10. #110
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    These sects tend to have much in common with each other. However, if we look at the Gnostics for example, or some other school of religious thought that does not accept the divinity of Jesus, yet still proclaims to be Christian we will see how different the two schools of thought may be whilst recognizing Jesus as their primary teacher.
    So you favor including more diverse groups in your inquiry, in the interest of proving a greater disparity of "christian" doctrine?

    Well, certainly. If you'll include animists in the mix things get even more loopy.

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