God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll (archmage) wrote,
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll

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Losing Something In Translation

Now, I'm not here just trying to bash Christianity. FRankly, if you read me enough, you should know this, but i do still get the occasional comment from some uptight, close-minded bastards who are so caught up in their own beliefs that they forget they can't prove anything, sand thus should remain at least a little open to other ideas. But enough of that.

An interesting article I wanted to post for you guys to read: 'What A Difference A Word Makes'.

The basics of it are as follows:
Author of this text: A. J. Mattill, Jr.; Original: www.therationalist.org/kk.php/s,2623
Textual criticism is the branch of biblical studies which compares the ancient biblical manuscripts with each other to determine, if possible, what were the words of the original manuscripts. Unfortunately, we no longer have any autographs or originals but only copies or copies of copies. Here we focus on one verse, John 7:8, trying to determine exactly what Jesus said. Then we shall show the theological consequences of the correct reading. We may be astonished at the difference one word makes.

At John 7:8 did Jesus say to his brothers, "I am not (ouk, in Greek) going up to the feast" of Booths in Jerusalem (Codex Sinaiticus, fourth century, and many other manuscripts)? Or did he say, "I am not yet (oupo, in Greek) going up to the feast" (Papyrus manuscript 75, third century, and many others). If the former reading (ouk) is correct, then Jesus lied, for he did go up (John 7:10).

The witness of the manuscripts is divided. Some read "not" and others equally good read "not yet." Thus the English translations are also divided. Some, like the Contemporary English Version, read "not," whereas some, like the King James Version, read "not yet." Still others, like the American Standard Version, read "not," but print "not yet" in the margin as an alternative reading.

So, as the article goes on to point out, if this is all followed to the author's logical conclusion, The Big J.C. is shown to be a liar, and therefore not only unable to be the Saviour of Man, but unable to be holy. The Bible is now lying about Jesus, and thus Christianity is a sham.

I will point out a couple things, that should be pretty obvious. First is that the author bases all this on the idea that the original text was 'not' and that later scribes changed it to 'not yet'...if this is untrue, then his argument is false. Also, he takes a rather overzealous tone in hadling this, especially with his "ten mighty blows" that supposedly disprove all of Christianity, all based on his initial assumption. While I may be a rationalist and a non-Christian, this is not a good way to go about trying to gain sympathy for "our side" (I hate saying it like that, but you follow), as the author comes across as just as much of a fanatic as the very group he's speaking against. So much for logic and science...thanks a bunch, bro'. Still, it does make the decent point that we do not have any original copies of the manuscripts in question, but only copies or copies of copies...which makes it pretty hard to interpret in any conclusive way.

Remember that it's faith, kids, not fact, regardless of your particular religious leanings...and it's no more valid than anyone else's. Don't take it too seriously. You can bve a good person without needing a scapegoat.

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