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Featured Holy books and semantic changes

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by CriticalThinking, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

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    Interesting, i never saw this interpretation before, but from what i understood from reading the verse in Arabic it has nothing to do with what's called today state of Israel :

    وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اسْكُنُوا الْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ الْآخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا ﴿ا ﴾
    Its simply saying that the "Children of Israel" will be gathered together and brought for the day of judgment...
     
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  2. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Why would one have a "favorite problem translation" unless one's focus is scripture-bashing. Certainly you're better than that/
     
  3. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I got into a debate once with a Muslim about his contention that the Quran was perfect. I searched around and found 17:104 to illustrate that whatever else might be true, English translations were provably imperfect and that Muslim contentions that the Quran must be read in the original language was supportable by the variation of translation. It was my "favorite" because it illustrated the point so perfectly.

    This was also at a time when I was interested in translations of poetry and how often the translation reflected the translator and not the poet ignoring how certain evocative words just did not translate and only one meaning sometimes came through the translation rather than the full range of possible meanings.

    Into this mix was thinking about how Idres Shah used the "abjad" numerical system to illustrate how Quranic passages could have multiple meanings. https://www.tahirshah.com/tag/abjad/ has three examples.
     
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  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    And because of this you decided to use this thread to mock the Qur'an? How is that working for you?
     
  5. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Well, brick and mortar religious establishments are good. So are TV evangelists, and proselytizers. Religious books no doubt help. In fact, it was a "religious" book that saved me from religious ruination.


    [​IMG]

    .
     
  6. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Yes, I believe that he did that too. And I believe that the clear evidence is in the actions and attitudes of his worshippers. When you read the Bible, which I consider the only holy book authored by God, it says that we would identify his worshippers in several ways...

    1) That his people would all believe the same things...they would be united as one global body....

    1 Corinthians 1:10...
    "Now I urge you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you should all speak in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you may be completely united in the same mind and in the same line of thought."

    This does not allow for sectarianism or more than one truth. So unity of belief is one of the things that I believe sets God's true worshippers apart from any others who claim to serve him.

    2) That they would manifest 'love among themselves'.

    John 13:34-35...
    "I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples—if you have love among yourselves."

    It is rare to see love on that level displayed in any of the Abrahamic religions who are all guilty of going to war with their "brothers".....Muslims, Jews and Christians are all brothers....yet their record of slaughtering one another is appalling.:( (1 John 4:20-21)

    3) True servants of God are "peacemakers"...that is, they are at peace with everyone, even when others are not at peace with them. Agape is the love that transcends hatred.

    Romans 12: 17-21....
    "Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” 20 But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” 21 Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good."

    This is a very hard command for those who are tied up with their nation's politics, more than they are concerned with obedience to God. Nationalism is an emotional response to the love of one's homeland, which is fine, except when that love supplants the love of God and the teachings of his prophet, Jesus.

    Jesus taught us...at Matthew 5:43-48...
    "You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

    If politics is married to religion, it is a recipe for corruption. Jesus' command was that his disciples be "no part of the world"....why? Because "the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one" (John 17:14-17; 1 John 5:19)

    So the true servants of God are distinguished by these traits......find the people who practice these things and you will have found the true God and the promotion of the only worship he accepts.

    That is how I see it.....what about you?
     
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  7. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Unfortunately, that is just about right. If anything, it is generous.
     
  8. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    In scripture-oriented doctrines?

    At their best, by developing some form of moral doctrine and seeking support for it in some interpretation of some subset of their scriptures.

    There are those who disapprove of that, but I find it only fair. Scripture is a tool, not a guiding light, and should be treated accordingly.
     
  9. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Maybe.

    It depends on whether or not Tradition is something that is valued. Doesn't it? If a culture strongly values maintaining their traditions, I think it's possible to retain the accuracy of language, semantics, and grammar. But maybe I'm being overly optimistic.
     
  10. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    How do you think God feels about such traditions?

    When Jesus walked the earth, he slammed the Pharisees for following the oral traditions more than adhering the word of God.

    At Matthew 15:3 Jesus asked them.... "Why do you overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? "

    After giving them an example of that, he said to them...."You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you when he said: 8 ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, for they teach commands of men as doctrines.’”

    Apparently God did not want a fence around the Torah.....The Law he gave Moses was sufficient for his will to be carried out correctly. The legalistic nit-picking just made the Law a colossal burden, enslaving the Jewish people to strict rituals that God never gave them because God's commands were never meant to be burdensome. (Matthew 23:4; 1 John 5:3)

    The Bible account clearly shows that Moses was never commanded to transmit an oral law. Exodus 24:3-4 says.....
    "So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances, and all the people answered in unison and said, "All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do."
    4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and he arose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and twelve monuments for the twelve tribes of Israel.”


    And, at Exodus 34:27, it says.....“The Lord said to Moses: "Inscribe these words for yourself, for according to these words I have formed a covenant with you and with Israel."

    An unwritten oral law had no place in the covenant that God made with Israel. So are those traditions of men agreeable with God?

    Neither Jesus nor his disciples ever quoted oral Jewish tradition to support their teachings but, rather, appealed to the written Word of God. (Matthew 4:4-10; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17)

    Christendom too has adopted many traditions that have no place in the lives of Christians....they too fell into the trap of thinking that God's word was not enough.
     
    #30 Deeje, Nov 27, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  11. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    If you dismissed all the mischaracterizations of the Tanakh, you'd have to throw out the entire New Testament, especially the gospels.
     
  12. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Well, there are always different schools of thought in interpreting things like this - just look at interpretations of literature. I think each of us will follow the school of thought that is most natural for us and there can be no sure way to arbitrate between them. For instance I was brought up Catholic, which is one body of doctrine derived from the New Testament, but who am I to claim a Protestant or a Jew has got it all "wrong"?
     
  13. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

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    Actually, i was thinking of an evidence that clearly shows the original meanings are preserved some where, i know that from a logical point of view god words would approve "good morals" but what i m asking about is something that uncovers the trace of the semantic changes something like a pattern in the language or something like that ( i mean a scientific evidence ), at least this is how i see it ?
     
  14. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

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    Then i guess their theology is also affected be the semantic changes ?

    IMO I don't think there's something that people will keep the same for thousands of years

    Maybe all of them are affected by semantic changes ?
     
  15. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Definitely. And the semantic changes themselves reflect cultural and environmental changes that also change the relevance and accuracy of theology itself.
     
  16. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    I would not presume to know. The best answer I can give is more of a dodge than anything else...
    My response is: Hypocrisy is not part of the tradition I'm talking about. I'm talking about Language, semantics, grammar. Is that what Jesus is talking about here? Not only that, but you're kind of helping me make my case. Here Jesus confirms that "Tradition" is strongly valued. Therefore I think that whomever Jesus is talking to, those people would have an advantage when passing on linguistic rules accurately through verbal transmission. They strongly value Tradition, per Jesus.
    Thank you for this, I haven't ever looked at it this way. My gut response is that I can probably find other verses that support my position as well. But honestly, on the macro scale, it's an interesting idea. I'll have to give it some thought. :)
    And that was the beginning of a new religion...
     
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Are you suggesting that there are different schools of thought on interpreting text so as to rationalize a particular tradition? Seriously? In my opinion, eisegesis is intellectually dishonest.
     
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  18. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I'd write your OP like this if I understand correctly:

    How do believers in a holy book make sure that their understanding was not a result of a semantic change due to an error in translation?
     
  19. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    Here is another related question...how do believers in a perfect holy book understand the text when the translator admits the original language is garbled or doesn't make sense?
     
  20. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    This is why I prefer the work done by people like Robert Alter and Willis Barnstone and Bart Ehrman.

    For instance Jesus actual name is Yeshua but due to translation from Hebrew to Latin to English we have a very different and less Jewish sounding name.
     
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