The Bible -vs- the Koran or the Vedas

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    The Bible, in contrast to the sacred writings of various other religions, has always been subject to some element of scholarly criticism and correction.

    All but just a few of the Old and New Testament books have been credited to a particular human author. "It has therefore been considered legitimate for other human beings to evaluate them."

    Again, in contrast to the Koran and the Vedas, the Bible has never been regarded simply as a "literature transmitted directly from heaven or as so remote from the contemporary human condition as to render them immune to critical study."

    The Muslims would not even consider revising the Koran. Neither would the Hindus the the Rig-Veda, the Sama-Veda, the Yajur-Veda, or the Atharva-Veda.

    Have we brought the Word of God down to such a level that we can feel free and comfortable to revise and change it in places where feel it is necessary?


    "Biblical Scholarship," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
     
  2. Scott J

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    Says who? Versions, translations, and collated texts have been subject to these things precisely because the Bible is held in such high regard. The desire is to use the available evidence to reconstruct the original writings as closely as possible.

    Again, says who? The higher textual critics? Liberals?

    Yes it has... by most of the folks who debate on all sides of this issue here.

    Christians don't "revise" the Bible. They revise texts. They revise versions. However our revisions are efforts to reconstitute and preserve the originals, not change them.

    I would instinctively answer no... however there have been several instances where KJVO's on this board have misapplied scripture to the point of effectively revising it. ie. "Psalms 12:6-7 means that the KJV is the only correct version today." or "The reformation is the Philadelphian church of Revelation therefore the KJV must be favored over modern "Laodecian" versions."
     
  3. Pete Richert

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    An unfair comparison. First off, you do mean "revise and change it" as translate into an English people can understand, right?

    For the Koran, they would never translate it from even the original language. So now a great deal of Muslims can't really read it, espeically converts to Islam. But that doesn't concern them because reading the Koran isn't exactly a huge part of their religion. Since I actually believe it is a good thing for EVERY Christian to read their Bible, I am pro translation and revision and revision so every generation from now until whenever Christ comes back will fully understand God's word.

    BTW, the Koran is translated by splitter groups of Islam who think not translating it is ridiculous, namely those who actually want to Koran read by many
     
  4. BrianT

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    Microsoft understands software development. It is not exactly an authority on the transmission of Scripture.
     
  5. Forever settled in heaven

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    gt question, Bob! wld this be an example of the kind of revision n changes u're so concerned about:

    Psalm 23--
    verse 2 "greene paftures"
    CHANGED FROM: (Heb. paftures of tender graffe)

    verse 2 "ftill waters"
    CHANGED FROM: (Heb. waters of quietneffe)

    verse 5 "anointeft"
    CHANGED FROM: (Heb. makeft fat)

    verse 6 "foreuer"
    CHANGED FROM: (Heb. to length of dayes)
     
  6. Pastor_Bob

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    Scott J says:
    This question/observation is not intended to be a KJVO/MV issue. The point is that the Bible is placed under the microscope and other "sacred" writings are not; at least not in equal measure. My question is "why?"

    Pete Richert says:
    No, that is not what I mean. I mean that by the textual criticism that is placed on the Bible, men have tended to insert their own opinions and interpretaions and some translations contain pure conjecture. This may apply to the KJV translators or any other group of critics. The other mentioned writings have not had this happen, at least not to my knowledge.

    BrianT says:
    From the way my computer acts at times I would question whether or not they understand software development. The source of my quotes was not microsoft, they merely were instrumental in bringing the information into my office.

    Forever settled in heaven says:
    I'm not overly concerned about the specific changes. I am curious why the Bible, more than any other sacred writing has undergone the scrutiny that it has over the past 2000 years. Is it because we do not really believe that it came to us directly from God? Is it because we feel we have to accurately preserve it for God? Is it because we do not believe that we can know for certain what God gave us?
     
  7. Singleman

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    I don't know about the Vedas, but more liberal Muslims (usually in the West) have offered translations and interpretations that differ from the standard takes on the Koran. In Taoism, the works of Lao-Tze are now often attributed to multiple authors. I would imagine the same thing occurs within Hinduism, especially since that religion prides itself on variety. So, Christianity is not alone in critically examining its sacred texts.
     
  8. Wisdom Seeker

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    Well, honestly the rewrites in the Bible started so early, that it takes a tremendous leap of faith to believe that it originally said the things it says now. That's what I've found out anyway. And I must say...it didn't exactly sit well with me.
     
  9. Scott J

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    You are kidding right?

    The "rewrites"? Copyist made errors. Even in our digital age, data entry clerks make errors. But if thousands of typists typed the Bible over say 30 generations leaving us with 5500 copies (some of which were only a few generations from the original), the original could be substantially rebuilt.

    Josh McDowell makes an interesting claim in "The Evidence that Demands a Verdict". He said that the whole NT could be re-constructed out of nothing but the citations of the early church fathers.

    A few words may be in doubt here and there but we know what the originals said.
     
  10. DHK

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    The Muslims allow the Koran to be translated into any language as long as there is the Arabic alongside it. That way, they claim, they always have the original, whereas we don't. We only have a translation--and, according to them it is corrupt.

    Interestingly enough, after the death of Mohammed a great war broke out and many of the devout followers of Mohammed were killed. These were men that had the entire Koran memorized by heart. There was a fear that the Koran may be lost. Then a report came that different versions of the Koran were being used in different areas. Upon hearing this, Uthman, the third Caliph, ordered all copies of the Koran to be collected to be gathered together. He then made one "official" copy of the Koran doing some editing along the way. What we have today is the Koran of Uthman. Uthman burned all preceding copies of the Koran. The copy of the Koran that exists today cannot then be considered original, just as our Greek New Testament cannot be considered original. It is only a copy.
    DHK
     
  11. Johnv

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    Interestingly, DHK, Muslims consider only the Koran in Arabic to be inrpired and authoritative. An English translation, for example, is not.

    We Christians, otoh, have varying debates over what is to be considered inspired and what is not, to the point where there are come Christians that consider a specific translation to be the only authoritative inspired Bible, even above the translations from which it came.
     
  12. DHK

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    This is true enough, however one must be objective in their assessment.
    No translation is inspired. The Muslims are intelligent enough to recognize this fact. Sometimes an Islamic apologist will appeal to this just as some Christians do: "But that is a bad translation." Haven't you heard that one before? And thus the appeal to the Arabic (or Greek).
    The point is that just as we do not have the original autographs but just copies thereof, so do the Muslims have only copies and not the originals in spite of what they may claim. They will never admit to this. Just as some on this board will never admit that the KJV is "just" a translation.
    DHK
     
  13. timothy 1769

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    All but just a few of the Old and New Testament books have been credited to a particular human author. "It has therefore been considered legitimate for other human beings to evaluate them."


    orthodox jews consider the first 5 books of the bible to have beem dictated to moses word for word, letter for letter. this extends even the way some letters are written and the alternative spellings of the some words.
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    I'm not sure I can agree with this thought totally. You may make an argument that no modern translation is inspired, but the following verses may even be used to refute that.

    It seems a bit inconsistent to say that only the originals were inspired when you admit that you have never seen them. How do you know they were inspired? You accept it by faith.

    On the other hand, you seem to lack the faith to believe that God could do what He said He would do with His words. He told us that heaven and earth would pass away but His words would not pass away.

    I believe the Bible is our final rule of faith and practice. Does it teach us that a translation can be inspired? Consider the following:

    In Genesis 42-45, Joseph is reunited with his brothers after having been sold into slavery. We know that Joseph spoke to his brothers in Eygptian instead of Hebrew.
    Gen 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. (KJV)

    Jospeh spoke in Eygptian yet his words were translated and recorded as inspired Scripture in Hebrew.

    Exodus 4-14 has Moses speaking to Pharoah face-to-face. Pharoah does not speak Hebrew so Moses uses the Eygptian language to communicate with him. The whole series of conversation is recorded in another inspired translation.

    In Acts 22 we see another example of how a translation can be the inspired words of God.
    Acts 21:40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying , (KJV)

    Then there follows a several verses of a sermon preached by Paul in the Hebrew tongue. This sermon is not recorded in Hebrew but rather translated into inspired Greek.

    How do you account for the Old Testament quotes that were spoken originally in Hebrew but then translated into Greek. The answer is simple; the Holy Spirit took these verses that were originally inspired in Hebrew and translated them into another inspired language.

    If God could do it then, why can't He do it now if He chose to?
     
  15. TomVols

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    The fact that there are different translations of Scripture doesn't invalidate the doctrine of preservation nor does it mean the Koran is somehow better because (allegedly) it is not studied or evaluated as Scripture is. The orthodox, conservative position on Bibliology is that no translation carries the inspiration of that of the originals. Modern scholarship from the KJVO side, along with theological liberalism, has introduced this sophistry into the mix. It is not inconsistent at all to believe in something not seen. If we only believe in that which we've seen, then you could not believe in Christ, the Holy Spirit, ad infinitim. The scriptures given to supposedly support translational inerrancy are not soundly and rightly divided.
    The questions we ask are legitimate ones. But like an anvil, beat away boys...the anvil of God's Word shall stand!
     
  16. DHK

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    Inspiration simply guarantees that that which is written, is written accurately, just as God intended it to be. It has nothing to do with translation. There are lies in the Bible, but they are accurately recorded lies. People spoke in tongues; many different languages are used. But God has promised to inspire (God-breathe), that is give life to the words that were spoken by the prophets and the Apostles as they were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the words that God wanted them to write. "Holy men of God spoke," not "KJV translators spoke." Those holy men of God included the prophets that wrote the Old Testament, and by extension the Apostles that wrote the New.
    When God commanded Moses to write down the pentateuch, the words of the Pentateuch were all inspired by God, whether or not they had been previously spoken in Egyptian or any other language. God used Moses to inspire His Word that was written in the Hebrew language. Anything written in any language before that is of no consequence. The inspired word is in Hebrew. The inspired word in the New Testament is in Greek. That is what God ordained.

    Every translation, no matter how accurate, loses some meaning in the translation. Nothing can be translated 100% accurately. There are idioms to contend with, untranslatable words, etc. When I go on the mission field, I must use a translator, and I find myself often correcting the translator. When going from one language to another language one is bound to lose meaning.
    That is the reason we have helps and study aids such as Greek lexicons, and other books.
    DHK
     

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