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Interpretation of scripture
#1
Interpretation of scripture
Any interpretation is mere conjecture at best.

After all, have we not all done our share of interpreting the works of writers throughout out educational experience?

If there is conjecture and hot debate regarding the interpretation of a fictional writer, then how can there not be the same in relation to the bible?

Oh, right, denominational differences.

As a writer, it is rather clear to me what has happened.

Also as a writer, if anything of mine is published when I am no longer around to explain what I wrote, others will misinterpret what I wrote because they are stupid.

Get the picture yet?

If you are a theist reading this, probably not. Sad for you.
[Image: mtfbwyf.jpg]
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#2
RE: Interpretation of scripture
I've used this before as an example of what happens when poorly preserved artifacts are enlisted for modern political battles.  The Khirbet Qeiyafa ostracon is five lines of text written in a proto-Phoenician script (according to noted epigrapher, Christopher Rollston). 

Here are two translations of the text.  Compare them line by line and enjoy.


Quote:A. Translation on John Hobbins’ website:

1 Do not do [anything bad?], and serve [personal name?]

2 ruler of [geographical name?] . . . ruler . . .

3 [geographical names?] . . .

4 [unclear] and wreak judgment on YSD king of Gath . . .

5 seren of G[aza? . . .] [unclear] . . .

B. Translation “provided by the University of Haifa”:

1 you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord]. 

2 Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an] 

3 [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and] 

4 the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king. 

5 Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger

Anything in brackets [ ] is not actually legible and represents a guess by the translator.

Quite possibly what we are seeing here is an attempt to read the words in a language chosen by the translator.
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#3
RE: Interpretation of scripture
The translation is what the translator would have written if he had written the original document.
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#4
RE: Interpretation of scripture
I totally agree. Since there is absolutely no way to test which is the "correct" interpretation, they are all arbitrary. There are no original copies in existence either, so we're dealing with unknown levels of inaccuracy. Simply stating that "this part isn't meant to be taken literally" is bogus since there is no guide at the start of the bible telling you when to do this, or notes by the author. This is not a fact based book. It's not even written in anything like the style of a fact based book. It's a series of anecdotes, mostly not told by anyone actually present in the story, even when the characters may represent someone real.

I said this before in another thread:

If I need anyone to help me interpret what the bible says, god has failed to communicate with me effectively.
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#5
RE: Interpretation of scripture
Apparently none of you are following Drich's exegesis of Romans. He has it locked down tight. ;-)
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#6
RE: Interpretation of scripture
Ridiculous charge, and false dichotomy. That a particular interpretation can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt doesn't mean that all interpretations are equally valid.  Rolleyes
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#7
RE: Interpretation of scripture
(November 12, 2015 at 6:42 am)robvalue Wrote: I totally agree. Since there is absolutely no way to test which is the "correct" interpretation, they are all arbitrary. There are no original copies in existence either, so we're dealing with unknown levels of inaccuracy. Simply stating that "this part isn't meant to be taken literally" is bogus since there is no guide at the start of the bible telling you when to do this, or notes by the author. This is not a fact based book. It's not even written in anything like the style of a fact based book. It's a series of anecdotes, mostly not told by anyone actually present in the story, even when the characters may represent someone real.

I said this before in another thread:

If I need anyone to help me interpret what the bible says, god has failed to communicate with me effectively.

Absolutely, robvalue.  I love that last sentence - gotta remember it and steal it from you.   Rolleyes

We have at least three different languages, with no existing originals.  We have thousands of translators.  We have stories of cultures separated by millennia.  And we have preachers using these stories for their own ends.  

For example, I enjoyed a preacher's recent interpretation of Matthew 19:24: "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.", describing a gate into Jerusalem that was called "the eye of the needle" because it was so low and narrow that they had to unload the camel to get it through.
      However, it takes only a few google searches and comparative commentaries to learn that this gate never existed.  Other commentaries say it's a translation error, the word should have been "cable" instead of "camel" - not even closely related words, that makes no sense either.  And these confusions exist on every page. (Getting a large animal, sometimes an elephant, through the eye of a needle was a metaphor for IMPOSSIBLE in the Mediterranean 2000 years ago.) 

And there are people who look at these facts and still declare that the book is god's word.    Bla
"The family that prays together...is brainwashing their children."- Albert Einstein
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#8
RE: Interpretation of scripture
[Image: 56e8a589f928173af823ef2053a15e55.jpg]
"The family that prays together...is brainwashing their children."- Albert Einstein
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#9
RE: Interpretation of scripture
Agreed, alpha. The OP sounds like a radical post-modernism. What matters is consistency of the interpretation of the text with the text itself and the circumstances of its authorship. For example, a post-structuralist feminist critical theory reading of 'Lord of the Flies' has less support than a more traditional one. Correspondences with a real Piggy and actual conches have little bearing on whether some interpretation of its message and symbolism is better than another. This is not to say that biblical interpretation nearly so simple. The Scriptures are a compilation of 66 books written in different styles during different periods. Parsing out a generally consistent narrative is not too difficult. It is on the finer points that people disagree.
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#10
RE: Interpretation of scripture
Hehe, thanks fuzzy Smile Steal away! My patent hasn't come through yet Wink
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