1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Holy books and semantic changes

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

  1. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    4,492
    Ratings:
    +1,957
    Religion:
    Christian
    This brings up the whole cultural impact of oral versus literate culture...stories that make up the Bible often had oral origins. When it is claimed that the commandments were written by God that is an interesting shift right there from an oral attitude where truth is more of an internal feeling to a literate attitude which is that truth is in the wording of what is said.

    I think it unlikely that Jesus would have a problem with oral tradition because it strayed from a written source unless the author of Matthew didn't realize the significance of truth in an oral culture or the origins of much of what that scripture was.
     
  2. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    44,043
    Ratings:
    +17,741
    Religion:
    Love
    I have zero idea where your utterly wrong opinion of my motives came from.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2019
    Messages:
    35
    Ratings:
    +29
    I agree, do you think that those semantic changes can be detected and "fixed" ? ( The question may be out of the scope as it looks like it's a linguistic matter )

    Not necessarily in translation but also in interpretations
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    4,492
    Ratings:
    +1,957
    Religion:
    Christian
    Language is flexible...otherwise there would be no room for poetry, mysticism or literature...therefore, in a profound way, holy scripture is often intentionally ambivalent in its semantics. Those who dont realize this are lost and dont even know it.
     
  5. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    46,687
    Ratings:
    +15,091
    Religion:
    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    Not always, but that does not necessarily matter; caring for the relevance and applicability of one's doctrine is a permanent duty of the proper religious person regardless.

    That may just as easily mean rewriting, substituting or simply discarding parts of previously valued scripture as it may mean restoring previous meanings.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,817
    Ratings:
    +328
    Religion:
    Disciple of Jesus
    I don’t think there is anything to support that.
     
  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,138
    Ratings:
    +5,917
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    I have been studying the Bible now for over 40 years and it strikes me time and again, that when I do research on a word or phrase, the meaning of which someone has altered to accommodate an adopted belief, I am always satisfied that there is no alteration to the message. Words are words, and in each language phrasing and even some concepts are difficult to convey, often making translation difficult. But if God is guiding the translation, which I believe he does, then humans may attempt to alter the words, but they will never alter the meaning of the Bible's overall message. For Christians, what began in Genesis is restored in Revelation. Everything in between is a history of God's dealings with humankind, establishing his requirements for life and what merits a forfeiting of it. That leaves us all with just two choices as he offered Israel....

    Deuteronomy 30:19-20...
    "I take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice, and by sticking to him, for he is your life and by him you will endure a long time in the land that Jehovah swore to give to your forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

    These are still the only choices to my understanding.....anything apart from this is based on false beliefs IMV.
    God does not change.

    I trust the one whose power created the Universe and everything in it. Mere humans will never be permitted to interfere with his purpose for this earth and what he established here.

    What do you see as God's purpose for humankind? What does the present state of the world mean to you?
     
  8. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,138
    Ratings:
    +5,917
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    What were the traditions that Jesus so roundly condemned? Weren't they the ones that excused Israel's disobedience? They seemed to find many excuses for not adhering to scripture as if every nit had to be picked in order for the letter of the law to be fulfilled...yet Jesus said that this approach had lost the spirit of the law and turned it into a heavy burden on the people...any wonder the sheep became "lost"! Jesus, as the Fine Shepherd, was sent to find them and bring them into fresh pasture ground.

    To the Pharisees, grasping a few heads of grain whilst Jesus and his apostles were walking through a field was considered a breach of the Law by 'harvesting' on the Sabbath. Jesus did not think so....so who was showing regard for the spirit of the Law? Were they "working"? Were they "harvesting"? Or were they just breaching a man-made tradition?

    Was killing a flea on the Sabbath technically "hunting" ? This is how ridiculous the traditions had become.

    Jesus highlighted corban as an example....
    "In reply he said to them: “Why do you overstep the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Let the one who speaks abusively of his father or mother be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever I have that could benefit you is a gift dedicated to God,” (corban) 6 he need not honor his father at all.’ So you have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition."

    They used the Law to excuse their failure to honor their needy parents with their material goods.

    Another example was the use of God's name. One of the Ten Commandments was the 'taking of God's name in vain'....some people do not even know what that means, but it certainly does not mean failing to say God's name out loud.
    Many of the Jews were making false oaths in Jehovah's name and not fulfilling them. Apparently the Jews countered this problem by dropping all mention of the divine name so as not to break that Law.....heaven forbid they should have been made accountable for making their false oaths. o_O

    Traditions are insidious in that they creep into the people's thinking by stealth over time.....adopted very gradually so that those in successive generations think that the traditions they have grown up with are soundly based in scripture when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Look at Christendom, who fell into that same pattern. Their traditions have the people practicing all manner of things adopted from false worship, as if it were commanded in scripture. Unless you do your research, you will never know what false ideas you have been fed. Nowhere is this more discernible than in Roman Catholicism. (which in my view, demonstrates the biggest departure from Christ's original teachings.)

    I have studied the Bible with many Catholic people over the years and most have been shocked at the amount of false religious ideas that had been taught to them from infancy.....things like the trinity...immortality of the soul...hellfire....infant baptism....confession....purgatory....a celibate priesthood....false religious festivals, like Christmas and Easter.....the Pope and the hierarchy of the Vatican. None of these things were part of first century Christianity.

    When the Reformation took place, Protestantism unfortunately took a lot of those false ideas with them. And now we see the ridiculous situation where literally thousands of "Christian" churches exist today.....all with different teachings and ideas. That is not what Jesus started. (1 Corinthians 1:10)

    Yet this apostasy was foretold by Jesus and his apostles. (2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 1 John 2:18-19; Acts 20:30) But Christendom pretends that it never happened. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,323
    Ratings:
    +441
    Religion:
    Follower (and Writer) of the Mune Shinri
    This is a veiled accusation that the Torah/Bible might not be the true version. This is a common accusation of "Quranists" and why they justify the Quran having a contradictory message to the Bible. But let me turn this on its head. How do you know that the Quran itself hasn't been horribly edited beyond all usefulness? For you see...

    From CARM
    On the other hand, the message of the Gospel, that Jesus died for the sins of all, is intact through two millennia. God did not change his mind, or get a "new revelation." He really meant that Jesus died for the sins of all. Likewise, the message of God having a relationship with us (the Jewish message) is intact even longer. Muhammad's message, on the other hand, couldn't remain intact while he was writing it!
     
  10. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2019
    Messages:
    35
    Ratings:
    +29
    Logically if a word is affected by a semantic change it will affect the whole sentence, but its true that the context will make it harder for that to happen

    I guess you depend on “trust” more than on a scientific evidence ? Because some words getting their meaning changed over time is something very probable.

    IMO God's purpose for humankind is to let them compete to get close to his greatness through doing good things, of course god greatness is unlimited so it is a competition for just getting close a bit !

    IMO the world current state is still very far from being what god wants us to be but sure there is a progress and it is continuing.

    Sorry for not being clear enough, I meant all holy books that peoples may believe in, including Quran as it is a holy book for the people who believe in it
    I believe that the Quran is from god but I also believe that it got affected by semantic changes that caused the misunderstandings happening today from different parties (The ones who say that they are following it and the ones who criticize it) but I also believe that god kept a way for people to discover this changes and get the original meanings and what Quranists are trying to do is to find that path
     
    #50 CriticalThinking, Nov 28, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  11. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,138
    Ratings:
    +5,917
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    Do you really trust God? (That is what faith is, after all.) Or do you only trust him as far as what humans can ‘assume’ about him, by their own flawed estimations?

    “Science” has become a substitute for religion in the minds of many people today....they will believe that men of science, (who cannot really prove or disprove anything with regard to the Creator) are the best judges of who or what God is, or isn’t....that we just evolved by natural means, so they have convinced themselves that humans have no need of a Creator. They think that they have successfully explained him away....I believe that they are in for a shock.

    God tells us that he will hold all humanity to an accounting because he has given us his laws in the hope that they will be obeyed....but he also gave us free will because he wants us to do so willingly. Those who love God never find his commands hard to obey.
    So, who can offer him an excuse for failing to do that? Why do some find his laws too hard to keep?

    The penalty for disobedience now is the same as it was in Eden.....death. Who is going to tell God that he can’t do whatever he pleases with his own property?

    Bad tenants will be evicted.

    Do you believe that this life is the one God planned for humankind?
    Is the earth some kind of training ground for heaven? If so, can you show me scripture that confirms that belief? Or if you have a different belief, what do you base it on?
    How close is humankind today to God’s greatness?

    In Genesis it says that God’s original purpose was to have humans living forever in paradise conditions on earth. There was no suggestion of death from any ‘natural’ cause. God provided the means for humans to live forever, right here, with no reason or need to go anywhere else.....the earth was intended to be our permanent home, with all that was needed for humans to keep living in peace and security under his care.

    Since humans chose independence from God, he expelled them from the garden and allowed them to live the life they chose, without his generous provisions and protection. They, along with their children, were forced to see for themselves what happens when you defect from God and make your decisions without him....and here we are. Look what humans have done to the world and each other...! God knew what the outcome would be....we had to find out for ourselves. :( I am often ashamed to belong to the human race.

    Do you believe that there are any people or nations on earth where God is fully obeyed? If so, who are they and where do they reside? Where is this continuing progress you speak of?

    Christian scripture states that God delivered world rulership over to the devil and that is why we see evil abound, morals have disappeared, and our natural affection for our neighbors has all but vanished as well. In today’s world the kind of love that God promotes has virtually disappeared.

    What do you believe can restore what God began?
     
  12. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2019
    Messages:
    35
    Ratings:
    +29
    I trust God but I don't trust humans, so what I'm saying is that humans are not angels, the holy books are being transported generation after generation for centuries there is no way that the original meaning kept untouched, and a good religion is where science can grow and give results, I believe that science can help us to understand what God wants from us in details, we can't say if an order is from God without a clear evidence and the existence of wisdom behind it !

    Yes for me it is some kind of a training yard, this belief seems logical to me because God will judge people on the last day for the way they behaved on earth and they will be divided into winners and losers, and there is a confirmation for my belief in the Quran at least in the way that I read it, though I m not sure how accurate the translation is these are some versus from Quran that has this idea :

    22. Indeed, the righteous will be amid bliss.
    23. On thrones, looking on.
    24. You will recognize on their faces the radiance of bliss.
    25. They will be given to drink a sealed wine.
    26. Whose seal is musk—this is what competitors should compete for.
    27. Its mixture is of Tasneem.
    28. A spring from which those brought near drink.
    29. Those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed.
    30. And when they passed by them, they would wink at one another.
    31. And when they went back to their families, they would go back exulting.
    32. And if they saw them, they would say, “These people are lost.”
    33. Yet they were not sent as guardians over them.
    34. But on that Day, those who believed will laugh at the unbelievers.
    35. On luxurious furnishings, looking on.
    36. Have the unbelievers been repaid for what they used to do?

    IMO humans are still far from what can please god, despite that there exist some light spots

    IMO there is no perfect nation but the nations where morals are valued the most they are the ones who obey God the most and IMO the continuing progress is that we have more people going to schools, more collaboration between people for good deeds...
     
  13. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,138
    Ratings:
    +5,917
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    Are you still doubting God's ability to protect the integrity of his word despite human efforts to distort its message or alter its meaning?.....regardless of who translated or transported those words, the author protected its contents. If he hasn't then we are all lost. God's enemy has won!

    I agree, but where does true and provable science stop and science fiction begin....that is the question.

    True and provable science gives praise to the genius of the Creator....showing us the workings of the exquisite designs in nature. But the unprovable science takes away praise from him and gives it to impersonal forces devoid of intent. That is how I tell the difference.

    There have always been those who could serve the true God with a true heart, despite the evil influence of those around them....Noah comes to mind, as well as others like Elijah who stayed faithful when no one else did. God certainly blessed those ones and had their examples written in the scriptures for our benefit. We do well to imitate their faith.

    It seems to me that the only nations where morals are upheld by a large percentage of the population is in nations that have religion married to their politics. If what governs people's behavior is fear and not love, then we are not serving the true God. You cannot love someone you fear IMO.

    Any religion that sheds blood is the wrong religion....it is directly contravening the teachings of Jesus.
    We can't pick and choose which laws and commandments to obey by convenience. We must obey even when it is most inconvenient.....that is the example set by God's greatest prophet. That is the one we must follow.

    Education should be beneficial, but if what is taught in schools denies God's existence, (as is the case in most western nations) then what are schools turning out....more atheists....more people only interested in themselves.

    And its true that good deeds are being performed by many in the world.....but for it to have any impact, it must be the majority who are doing it......it clearly isn't. :(
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    5,859
    Ratings:
    +3,526
    Religion:
    Judaism
    OK. I hear you. It's unlikely solely based on the one strongly held value of Tradition. But there are other factors which would help increase accuracy. Maybe think of them as error checking mechanisms? Each one helps to maintain the accuracy of the pronunciation, the written letters, and meaning of each word including its grammatical implications.
     
  15. CriticalThinking

    CriticalThinking Quranist

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2019
    Messages:
    35
    Ratings:
    +29
    I trust God that's why I believe that God kept a way for people to discover these changes and get the original meanings, the losers are the ones who sold their brains and did what God did not order them to do, Also when you say "nations that have religion married to their politics", IMO this statement is not necessary if your definition to religion is "good morals and positive acts", and I don't know about schools turning out more atheists IMO the school is just for giving knowledge and not to force people to a specific doctrine
     
  16. Hawkins

    Hawkins Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,386
    Ratings:
    +126
    Because semantic change doesn't necessarily reflect a theological change. Theology itself is affixed by early churches, while the Bible as a whole is governed by the tons of ancient scripts which have been put to theological studies centuries after centuries. Any artificial theological change will be discerned by the Apostle's Church.
     
  17. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,737
    Ratings:
    +1,427
    Religion:
    Judaism
    The translations don't agree. Furthermore, I can guarantee you that ALL translations loose something in the process.
     
  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,138
    Ratings:
    +5,917
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    What translations don't agree?

    I guess that depends on who is doing the translating and what bias they bring into the equation. It is why we should view a number of translations along with a concordance. We have the means to check whether scripture is translated correctly.

    Can you provide examples of these supposed losses? If God is the author and preserver of his own word, then what can be missing? The words might be altered but the message is still there, loud and clear to those who don't have their ears pasted shut.

    Jesus said concerning the Pharisees of his day....
    "To you it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the Kingdom of the heavens, but to them it is not granted. 12 For whoever has, more will be given him, and he will be made to abound; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 That is why I speak to them by the use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it. 14 And the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled in their case. It says: ‘You will indeed hear but by no means get the sense of it, and you will indeed look but by no means see. 15 For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.’" (Matthew 13:10-15)

    Israel had to give God a reason to heal them.....but they never did. (Matthew 23:37-39) Only a 'remnant' responded to Jesus as God's Messiah. (Romans 9:27-29; Isaiah 10:22)
     
  19. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,737
    Ratings:
    +1,427
    Religion:
    Judaism
    For example, some Bibles translate Isaiah 7:14 as young woman, others translate it as virgin. It depends on whether they are translating it from the Hebrew or from the Greek, because the Greek translates very badly from the Hebrew. The Hebrew actually uses the word for young woman, not the word for virgin, but whoever translated it into Greek used the Greek word for virgin -- a bad mistake that has had an great impact over the millennia. Not only that, but in the Hebrew, the young woman IS with child, meaning she is already pregnant, but the Greek badly translates this as "will conceive" future tense. Christian translations such as the Good News translation which translate from the Hebrew preserve the present tense, while others such as the NIV which translate from the inferior Greek translation use the future tense. It isn't rocket science to know that making a copy of a copy makes an inferior copy. You need to come from the original.

    God preserves his word, as in preserves the original text through the work of men. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, a scroll of Isaiah was among them. The world was floored how amazingly faithful the scribes had stayed true to the original. There were a few small typos, and places where the earlier version used the sacred name of God rather than Lord. That's about it. That's awesome.

    That's not what we find in the translation from the Hebrew to the Greek. Or the translations into English.
     
    #59 IndigoChild5559, Dec 12, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  20. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,138
    Ratings:
    +5,917
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    OK, so Isaiah foretells that a "maiden" (almah) will conceive a child. Since "maidens" were often unmarried or newly married young women, and the account in Matthew states that Joseph and Mary were betrothed but not yet married, he did not have intercourse with his wife until after she gave birth to Jesus. (Matthew 1:25) That makes Mary a virgin when she gave birth. The conception is said to have taken place by means of God's holy spirit. Are you suggesting that God could not produce a virgin birth? Humans can do it now, so why not God? Jesus fulfilled literally hundreds of prophesies concerning the Messiah....most of which he had no control over......such as the tribe he was born into, and the circumstances of his birth.

    As to the tense of the statement, it is foretelling a future event, unless you believe that Messiah made his appearance in the days of Isaiah, when Israel was experiencing major difficulties?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the same word הָרֶה is used in Judges 13:5...concerning the birth of Samson.

    "Because you shall conceive, and bear a son; and a razor shall not come upon his head, for a Nazirite to God shall the lad be from the womb; and he will begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines." הכִּי֩ הִנָּ֨ךְ הָרָ֜ה וְיֹלַ֣דְתְּ בֵּ֗ן וּמוֹרָה֙ לֹא־יַעֲלֶ֣ה עַל־רֹאשׁ֔וֹ כִּֽי־נְזִ֧יר אֱלֹהִ֛ים יִהְיֶ֥ה הַנַּ֖עַר מִן־הַבָּ֑טֶן וְה֗וּא יָחֵ֛ל לְהוֹשִׁ֥יעַ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִיַּ֥ד פְּלִשְׁתִּֽים:" (Tanakh)
    That is future tense.....

    There are better translations and worse ones, so selection is guided by reputation mainly.....The Good News Bible was panned a poor paraphrased version, open to the ideas and biases of the translators. All Bibles have their redeeming features and some have glaring inconsistencies. A good translation does not take liberties with the text, but accurately and faithfully translates the meaning of the original language words. Genuine Bible students know the difference because they have put in the research.
    It was one of the reasons why JW's released the NWT.

    As for the Septuagint, it was the earliest translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, produced for the benefit of Greek-speaking Jews. According to tradition, about 70 Jewish scholars embarked on the project. What makes it inferior?

    Translation was begun in Egypt in the third century B.C.E. and was completed in the following century. It was used by many Jewish Christians in Bible times, no doubt when instructing Greek converts to Christianity. It was the common language of the day, and is viewed as an important tool for studying and understanding the text of the Hebrew Scriptures, and also because it sheds light on the meaning of certain obscure Hebrew and Aramaic terms.
     
Loading...