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Ask an atheist

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Askthepizzaguy, May 7, 2011.

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  1. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Retired Moderator

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    Vestigial declension markers! So quaint ;)
     
  2. Whiskey_Lord

    Whiskey_Lord Deity

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    The Bible desperately needeth anything which can redeemeth it.
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Well, I don't know about redeemething, but I quite like the more weighty tone of the KJV over some of the modern 'accessible' ones. It's got the voice of God himself in it! It's not supposed to read like a Harry Potter book!
     
  4. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Oh, the bible is cool, unless you start bashing people on the head with it.
     
  5. Whiskey_Lord

    Whiskey_Lord Deity

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    I'd say that the language of the KJV and its historical significance are the only reasons to read the Bible. Stuff like "The Message" is so horrible that it often ends up as a mistranslation of the original texts. They also sound bland and uninspired.
     
  6. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    It is best to read the OT and keep track of how many silly things you find in it, like Leviticus detailing what type of legs an insect can have for you to eat it.
     
  7. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    For the record, the KJV has almost no literary value. All that was plagiarized from the Tyndale Bible.
     
  8. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    Naah. The problem is, "thou shalt have no other Gods before me" was written by a person. Human beings WILL find a way to screw it up, divinely inspired or not.
     
  9. Leoreth

    Leoreth Friend Next Door Moderator

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    How do you know how God's voice is supposed to sound? And that's even neglecting the fact that the KJV bible sounded completely different to a contemporary reader than to someone today.
     
  10. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    God speaks in ye olde English, of course.
     
  11. Whiskey_Lord

    Whiskey_Lord Deity

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    I guess this means Anglicanism is the true religion?
     
  12. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Oh, I know that the 'thee's and 'thou's were supposed to make it contemporary, but there's some gravitas to 'yea, though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil' that just isn't there in other versions. I wasn't talking about how God's supposed to sound, but expressing the view that a book written on such serious issues should have a bit of weight to the language, rather than trying to be perfectly accessible.

    Actually, old boy, I'm fairly certain that He sounds like David Niven, since as everyone knows he's a regimental Commanding Officer but ranks only slightly below a Field Marshal.
     
  13. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I agree with FP. If I am going to read the Bible as literature, I would go for KJV. If I am reading it for theology, I would go for the Oxford version.
     
  14. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    One thing though, I really don't understand believing in God and not learning Hebrew to read the as closest to original as possible version of the Word of God. If I believed in God it really would seem a small effort judging the importance of it.

    Really baffles me and really makes me wonder how many really do believe in God instead of simply having the comfort of subscribing to a big group with only having to put in the effort of doing a couple of quirky traditional exorcises.
     
  15. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    I think that the original is diluted enough that one more translation won't make any difference, especially when you consider that your reading of a foreign language isn't going to be spot-on anyway.
     
  16. GamezRule

    GamezRule Inconceivable!

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    I rather like Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault's story of creationism.
     
  17. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    It will make a difference, and it's a step closer to the original. Just saying "it won't make a difference" sounds like an excuse to me because there are more important things to worry about. And I'd agree. But I'm an atheist. If I wasn't, I'd be reading the bible in Hebrew and devote my entire life to understanding it properly

    Not with that attitude ;)

    English is a foreign language for me. I can read you just fine :)

    edit: Just realised, this of course only applies to the parts of the Bible one chooses to take literally.
     
  18. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Depends how important you think the Bible is. I think that the only important part is the message, and that's the same across all translations. I don't intend to follow what it says to the letter, or to ever start lawyering out of it, and I think that God's actual intentions as made clear to me and everyone else directly are far more important.

    That's true, but it's probably fair to say that you don't pick up all the nuances that you would in your own language. I can put French into English almost perfectly, I think, but I wouldn't understand all the unspoken things or implications of words that I would do in English.

    Which is very little. But even then, 'Love your neighbour as yourself' conveys the same sentiment no matter how badly translated.
     
  19. peter grimes

    peter grimes ... Retired Moderator

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    That's what scholarship is for. Like Ziggy, if I honestly thought that the Scriptures were the revealed message and history of God, I wouldn't be able to really spend much time doing anything but biblical scholarship. To do anything less seems, well, a cop out of convenience.

    No, different versions of the same passage taken from various documents shed tremendous light on all the shades of meaning and nuance you were just decrying. If we found that the aramaic word for neighbor meant something closer to 'tribesman' or 'property owner' those are two quite distinct interpretations.

    When I was in college we got a taste of this sort of depth that true scholarship can bring to a text in one of my Latin classes. We were translating, I think, a poem. Probably Catullus, but my memory is really foggy... whatever it was, there was a particular word that varied in the different texts that had come down through generations of copying. Deciding which word to treat as 'original' led to vastly different meanings.

    Also, didn't the hebrew / aramaic employ a lot of numbering stuff? I'd think that would also be an area I'd be massively interested in if I honestly believed this was the revealed word of the creator of the entire universe.

    When I hear people claim to be interested in the bible but don't express an interest in learning to read the original I question the sincerity of the rest of their beliefs.
     
  20. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    Well there is lots of information about the original languages of the Bible to mean we don't need to understand the ancient words to fully get the meaning, since so many people have spent their lives doing that. Why re-invent the wheel when some one else has done that? The information is out there. I mean, right beside me I have a Dictionary of the words used in the Bible, so that means I can look it up, and plus there is a whole stack on info out there on the wide web to get and understanding of the words.
     
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