Biblical inspiration

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by flaja, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    Many modern translation advocates, such as James R. White, claim that no translation of the Bible can be inspired, infallible and inerrant. They also claim that not one single copy of any original Biblical manuscript is without an addition, a deletion, a change or some other copyist error. Modern Bible advocates limit inspiration to the Bible’s original languages and many further limit inspiration to the original autographs.

    But, consider what Paul said in II Timothy 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    Since Timothy lived a good 2,000 years after the first Biblical autograph was prepared, he could not have had access to it. The same likely goes for all Old Testament autographs and he probably did not have access to every NT autograph either because they were not all written by or addressed to him. Timothy had to use copies of most of the Bible’s original autographs.

    Since Timothy had a Jewish mother and a Greek father, he certainly spoke Greek, and since he was born in a Hellenic city and traveled with Paul through the Hellenized world, it is possible that he did not use Hebrew as his daily language (if he used it at all). This means that Timothy likely used the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament.

    We can reasonably conclude that when Paul told Timothy that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”, he was speaking of the Scripture that Timothy had access to and used.

    This means that Paul declared that it is imperative that copies of Scripture and translations of Scripture be “given by inspiration of God”. This is not saying that all copies and all translations of the original Biblical documents are inspired (because they are not all identical). Neither does it guarantee that what someone accepts as Scripture is inspired (the Koran for example). But, it does say that you must be willing to concede that whatever you accept as Scripture can be and must be inspired.

    So why can the Authorized King James translation of the Bible be just as inspired, inerrant and infallible as the Bible’s original autographs in the Bible’s original languages?
     
  2. Kagom
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    Kagom Senior Member

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    Sorry to be off-topic (or maybe it is on-topic, you decide), but I remember a former co-worker telling me that in the original manuscripts of the Torah/Pentateuch that there's a sort of side note at the beginning of Genesis that says to the effect that we cannot comprehend or understand anything leading up to the time that the story takes place.

    But my God, there's soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many (mis)translations of the Bible. You have the KJV, the NIV, the Jehovah's Witness version (I forget its official name), etc. It really depends on the language you want to use, how close you follow the Bible, and your denomination.
     
  3. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    Look guys.... it's called faith for a reason. We accept the Bible as God's word, you don't. It's like arguing over which cola is better, Coke or Pepsi, and just as futile.

    God may not exist, the Bible may be a total invention. If so, our mistake, we've lead lives according to a fairy tale. If so, we've been misled into leading a lives based on charity, love for our fellow man, and belief in absolute right from wrong. In the process of being hoodwinked, we may have led better lives than we would have otherwise. Oh well, our mistake, but just the same, we left the world a better place... so what's the harm? The Bible does not teach hatred for our fellow man, it teaches us to love the sinner but hate the sin. Granted, some, using the pretense of following God's word, have committed atrocities in God's name, but that is not the case of the majority of Christians over the course of history.

    But then, God may exist, the Bible may be God's inspired word. Is so, your mistake, eternal damnation in Hell for you. Now, what does a belief in no God get you? Nihilism. We're nothing special, so why bother with good works, let the good times roll instead! Atheists have persecuted others for following one religion or another and still do today. I can point to the People's Republic of China and their treatment of the Falun Gong sect. I can also point to the same government's treatment of the Tibetan people and the forced exile of the Dalai Lama for the past fifty years. Those atheists, however, are not contradicting their professed doctrine, they are obeying Marx's admonition against religion to a tee.

    And Kagom, don't forget, that while some Christians may be intolerant of gays, most are not. Many of us may not agree with your lifestyle, but we're willing to look the other way and treat you and other gays decently. On the other hand, Stalin and his fellow atheist commies persecuted gays with just as much vigor as the most hate stoked Bible Beater, if not more so. Homosexuality was a crime in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. A crime, by the way, that required the Soviet style of justice. Meaning prison, prison camps in Siberia, torture and possibly death. So, don't be too hard on Christians and other religions, the atheists have nothing to offer you.
     
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  4. Kagom
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    Kagom Senior Member

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    Just out of curiosity, why'd you bring up my being gay (I'm not complaining or anything, mind you)? I only said that there's a ton of different translations. Yes, I put "(mis)translations," but that is because we don't completely and accurately translate the manuscripts.
     
  5. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    I saw the thread you started on why you had a problem with religion, then this. Then I remembered Elton John's remark on banning religion altogether. I thought the timing of the two might have been related.

    If that's what it is, the blame is quite misplaced. It isn't religion that causes people to do mean and nasty things, it's human nature.

    For the same reason, I believe diversity is futile. People will find ways to exclude others. They will still form cliques, play politics, back bite and so forth. Since the start of diversity initiatives, I don't get invited to lunch any more often, I don't get to hang out with the "in" crowd, I don't get to go out drinkin' with the boss...

    I'm sure you know a lot of gays that are guilty of those things, a lot of straights are, too.

    No matter what you do ... people are going to be people.

    To paraphrase the Bard... "The fault lies not in our beliefs, but in ourselves!"

    OK... this thread hijacker is signing off and getting some breakfast! :)
     
  6. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    I make a distinction between religion (as in 99.999% of all established churches and preachers) and bona fide faith.

    I get pretty much the same treatment on internet message boards. I get blasted equally by the far left and far right. But, I don't use message boards to be popular. I'd rather be right.

    I've never said otherwise.
     
  7. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    It is easy to see the fault in others, Flaja, but difficult to see the fault in ourselves.

    People remember, and notice, evil but readily forget and ignore good. True, a lot of evil has been committed in the name of religion, but much more good. On the other hand, organized atheism has done some good in the world, but much more evil. The Taliban notwithstanding, organized religion does not persecute atheists, but state sponsored atheism persecutes people of faith (not only Christians, but Buddhists and others as well).

    Organized religion is responsible for a great deal of good in this world. The Church feeds the hungry, cures the sick, and takes in the orphan. It is estimated that the Catholic Church alone takes care of 25% of all the world's AIDS patients (I wish Elton John had known that before smearing religion as he did and I wonder if he found out if he'd have the decency to apologize?). It isn't 0.0001% of professing Christians that do all that good, it's many, many more.

    Unless you've done something remarkably spiritual, e.g., leave your family given up all your possessions to pursue your professed beliefs, don't pass judgment on those who have, and still do. Many others profess their faith in quieter and more mundane ways, e.g. counselling others who grieve, giving a part of their income to charity, donating their time and energy to help those in need. They do so without a trumpet sounding nor a film crew recording it all.

    You, nor I, are in any position to judge them. They've done something that neither you or I have done, they've professed their faith through their actions.
     
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  8. Kagom
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    Kagom Senior Member

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    I will admit that I dislike religion, but I will say that they are necessary to have. They give people hope and conviction and they have guided us in terms of morals and ethics, more or less. I've also said that I wouldn't ban religion if I could. Religion in and of itself does nothing, it's the people within.

    But thanks for expanding on things. I do agree with you. It's human nature to exclude people and I wish there was something we could do to change that, but alas, we cannot.
     
  9. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Interesting point. I would respond by saying, first of all, that when Paul says that "All scripture is inspired by God" (2 Tim 3:16, NASB), the inspiration is on the author. So the original autographs are certainly God-inspired. To say, however, that copies and/or translations are equally inspired is a bridge too far. For example, I do not believe that the translators of the KJV (or any other English Bible translation) were divinely inspired by God to translate according to His dictation. I believe translations are done in "good faith" by the translators, according to their philosophy of translation, which is probably a whole different thread. But, to answer your question, I don't believe that the KJV is an inspired translation.
     
  10. flaja
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    flaja Member

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    No it’s not.

    If Timothy had access to only copies of Scripture and translations of Scripture and only the originals could be inspired, then Timothy had no Scripture he could trust 100%. So what’s the point? Why did Paul bother to explain inspiration to Timothy, when Timothy had no chance of every having inspired Scripture? Why waste time explaining something that couldn’t possibly matter?
     

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