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Bishop John Shelby Spong: his views


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#61    Paranoid Android

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 05:50 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 13 July 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

*is puzzled* How does that work then? Why don't these 'modern academic sources' translate straight from the originals and cut out the latin translations? Why do you trust modern academics to be more accurate at translating when, if nothing else, early translators would have a better understanding of how people at the time thought?
The oldest complete English translation is the KJV, translated in 1611 (402 years ago now).  Since that time historians have made giant leaps in discoveries about the origins of ancient documents, and it has been almost universally proven that the texts used by the translators of the KJV aren't actually the best available.  Modern textual criticism has found better and therefore more accurate versions to use.

It's not quite the case that they "translate straight from the originals and cut out the latin translations".  They do indeed use these texts to inform their translations (the Septuagint, for example, being the Greek version of the Old Testament is also a common source for both KJV and other modern translations), but in terms of understanding the words involved, the original Greek and Hebrew words aren't necessarily identical.  For example, consider that Mark 9:49 in the Textus Receptus (less accuarte): reads - "Everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be salted with salt".  In the Novum Testamentum Graece, used by most modern translators, it simply reads:  "Everyone shall be salted with fire"!  The other half of this passage is not in the more accurate version.

So what can we deduce from this?  First, the second half of the passage likely is not part of the original.  However, because of its early influence we can use it to study how early Christians may have viewed this concept.  I use this specific example because several years ago I was required to write an essay on this very verse.  I was attending the local mid-week Bible study of the church I attended, and we were studying Mark 9.  We came to verse 49 and it almost went unnoticed, but I asked what it meant.  The rules of our study group were that if we couldn't answer the question during the study the person who asked the question was required to do the research during the week and come back the next study with an answer.  In short, none of us could actually answer what it was about.

At the time I was a university student so I had plenty of spare time, and came back the next week with a 2,500 word essay.  In recent times, I haven't had access to that essay because it is on my PC's hard drive (which is suffering from a simple Power Supply issue), but while packing to leave for my new home I found an old version of the essay and have since typed it onto my laptop.  Unfortunately the essay was an older version and I had to do extensive revisions often based on memory, cutting out large chunks of erroneous data here, adding new chunks of data there, that kind of thing.  But if you have fifteen minutes to spare I recommend you read it to get an idea of how early Christian thought on a topic can help us understand it better, even if the original text did not actually deal with that issue.

As always, if you have any constructive feedback I'd sincerely love to hear it.

Attached File  Being Salted with Fire - UM copy.doc   42K   8 downloads

Edited by Paranoid Android, 13 July 2013 - 06:14 PM.

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#62    ouija ouija

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:50 PM

@ Paranoid Android: I couldn't open the file because it was 'not a supported file type or the file has been damaged'. :(

But I have some thoughts on your post. In the first paragraph: as the modern translators were not around when the original texts were being written how could they possibly say which was 'the best available', which was 'better' and which was 'more accurate'?  How can these judgements be made?

In your second paragraph: 'The other half of this passage is not in the more accurate version' ..... how can you assert that? How can leaving something out equate to it being more accurate?

In your third paragraph: why on earth would you deduce that as opposed to any other explanation?

This is the problem I have with the Bible, because we weren't there at the time(s) of writing, we have no idea what charlatans, mad men or simply poor observers were recording actual events or the alleged Word of God. Thousands of years and many translators later, why do we put any value on what is in the Bible? To me, it only makes sense if we take note of the 'advice' in it that rings true for us ...... the bits that help us to live good lives in these times, and will therefore most likely be found in other sources as well, including our own hearts. Translators over the years will have had their own limitations and their own agendas.

p.s. What were you studying at university that meant you had plenty of spare time?!! Most students have a lot of work in term time and then have to get a job in the holidays.

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#63    Paranoid Android

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:18 PM

I'm sorry, Oujia Ouija, I've just clicked the Download button and it came through on my end perfectly.  I don't know why it's a "corrupted file" for you.  It's in a format that should be compatible with Windows 1997-2003.

For the rest, the dating is based on textual criticism.  To use an extreme example, if a text from the year 1989 AD included a line that was not available in the exact same text from 389 AD, then that is one compelling piece of evidence that the earlier version is more accurate.  Add to this that modern textual criticism also suggests that the writing style of the text from 1989 AD is also not consistent with the text from 389 AD, and the evidence against the extra text grows.  Textual criticism can therefore suggest what was likely part of the original and what was not part of the original.

As noted, the example I provided is extreme (1989 vs 389 AD) but it gets the point across.  Whether 1600 years, or whether only 200 years, the criticism is the same.  Textual criticism exists so that we can reconstruct the original documents with a fair degree of accuracy.

I'm not sure why you are unable to download the link.  As noted, on my end I've just downloaded it and it came up fine.  It's Microsoft Word, so maybe you're not compatible if you're an Apple user???? I don't know, I've never been tech savvy in that regard.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 16 July 2013 - 03:19 PM.

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#64    ouija ouija

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 16 July 2013 - 03:18 PM, said:

I'm sorry, Oujia Ouija, I've just clicked the Download button and it came through on my end perfectly.  I don't know why it's a "corrupted file" for you.  It's in a format that should be compatible with Windows 1997-2003.

I'm not sure why you are unable to download the link.  As noted, on my end I've just downloaded it and it came up fine.  It's Microsoft Word, so maybe you're not compatible if you're an Apple user???? I don't know, I've never been tech savvy in that regard.

No, I'm not an Apple user. It's Adobe Reader that's rejecting it. I don't understand these things either but I wonder if it's because it's being sent via UM as opposed to straight from you?

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#65    Paranoid Android

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:39 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 16 July 2013 - 03:32 PM, said:

No, I'm not an Apple user. It's Adobe Reader that's rejecting it. I don't understand these things either but I wonder if it's because it's being sent via UM as opposed to straight from you?
I'm not sure why Adobe is even in the issue, it's a Word document.  But I'll send you a PM as soon as I've sent this, copy-pasting the entire thing into a PM for you.  I honestly don't know why Adobe is getting involved, it shouldn't be.

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#66    ouija ouija

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:42 PM

:tsu:

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#67    Paranoid Android

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:52 PM

View Postouija ouija, on 16 July 2013 - 03:42 PM, said:

:tsu:
Ok, just sent.  Maybe your download issue is attempting to use Adobe when it should be using Word?  That might explain the anomaly.  In any case, you can read it in my PM, though copy-pasting it to Word will probably make for an easier read.  It does for me :)

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#68    Ben Masada

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:36 PM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 13 July 2013 - 07:30 AM, said:

Oh, you can't beat the KJV if you ask me. St John's Gospel or Revelation really doesn't sound right in modern day language that makes God sound like a middle manager who tries to, like, be a regular guy and speak to his subordinates on the same level. Surely if God did speak, He'd say "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

See what I mean PA? The KJV translation of the Bible is the most wanted by Christians almost everywhere. Thanks Colonel.


#69    Paranoid Android

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:48 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 16 July 2013 - 08:36 PM, said:

See what I mean PA? The KJV translation of the Bible is the most wanted by Christians almost everywhere. Thanks Colonel.
So one person agrees with the KJV being good and I must "see what you mean"?  How does that compute?  So if someone else here quotes the NIV or RSV, I can quote them and say "See what I mean, Ben"?  Surely you can see the folly of that line of reasoning.  At the end of the day, the KJV is not the most accurate available translation.  It contains additions that are not in the original text, which have since been highlighted by textual study techniques not available to the people in 1611.  The Bible is not about a popularity context, from my point of view.  The Bible is about being the most accurate translation it can be.

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#70    Bluefinger

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:45 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 09 July 2013 - 08:23 PM, said:



Hey Bluefinger, thank you for that quote of Mat.19:10-12. You have just given me a good evidence that the guy who wrote that text was a Hellenist former disciple of Paul. So much so that if Paul was not the one himself who wrote it, he was the spirit behind the pen of the writer. If you compare it with I Cor.7:1,2 there is no doubt about it. Jesus could have never said that. Besides, evidences abound that Jesus was married himself.

Evidence abounds otherwise too.  

I think you are too quick to form the opinion that all of Christianity was based on Paul's writings and not the other way around.

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#71    Ben Masada

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:12 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 17 July 2013 - 01:48 AM, said:

So one person agrees with the KJV being good and I must "see what you mean"?  How does that compute?  So if someone else here quotes the NIV or RSV, I can quote them and say "See what I mean, Ben"?  Surely you can see the folly of that line of reasoning.  At the end of the day, the KJV is not the most accurate available translation.  It contains additions that are not in the original text, which have since been highlighted by textual study techniques not available to the people in 1611.  The Bible is not about a popularity context, from my point of view.  The Bible is about being the most accurate translation it can be.

Hey PA, don't take me too hard on this matter. I agree with you that the KJV  is not accurate. As far as I am concerned there is no Christian accurate translation of the Bible. I prefer the original in Hebrew. I said I like to use the KJV when I am discussing with Christians but to myself only the original in Hebrew. And in English I prefer the JPS.


#72    Ben Masada

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:17 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 18 July 2013 - 03:45 AM, said:

Evidence abounds otherwise too.  

I think you are too quick to form the opinion that all of Christianity was based on Paul's writings and not the other way around.

If by the "other way around" you mean Jesus, this never had any idea Christianity would ever rise. He probably trusted that his disciples would promote the Sect of the Nazarenes to embrace the whole world.


#73    Bluefinger

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:12 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 18 July 2013 - 09:17 PM, said:



If by the "other way around" you mean Jesus, this never had any idea Christianity would ever rise. He probably trusted that his disciples would promote the Sect of the Nazarenes to embrace the whole world.

Judging by the parables, it is unlikely Jesus had something that small scale in mind.

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#74    Paranoid Android

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 02:12 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 18 July 2013 - 09:12 PM, said:



Hey PA, don't take me too hard on this matter. I agree with you that the KJV  is not accurate. As far as I am concerned there is no Christian accurate translation of the Bible. I prefer the original in Hebrew. I said I like to use the KJV when I am discussing with Christians but to myself only the original in Hebrew. And in English I prefer the JPS.
The JPS only covers the Tanakh, though. Unless they've released a copy of the New Testament that I'm unaware of. I actually have a copy of the JPS but to be honest I don't often use it. More often I'll read the  ESV and have open the original Hebrew and a dictionary alongside it.

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#75    Ben Masada

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:38 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 19 July 2013 - 02:12 AM, said:

The JPS only covers the Tanakh, though. Unless they've released a copy of the New Testament that I'm unaware of. I actually have a copy of the JPS but to be honest I don't often use it. More often I'll read the  ESV and have open the original Hebrew and a dictionary alongside it.

The JPS is okay with a minus for the lack of the apocryphal books which I like. Hence I use the NAB (Catholic edition) with more frequency for that matter.





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