Re: BIBLE/ORIGINS: seeking feedback

From: Jan de Koning (
Date: Tue May 13 2003 - 11:04:45 EDT

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    At 11:08 AM 27/01/2003 -0500, Denyse O'Leary wrote:
    >Hi, I am Denyse O'Leary, a Christian who is science writer, new to this
    >discussion. Just wanted to comment that Jan is surely right in pointing out
    >that the concept of "truth," as it was understood three millennia ago, is
    >simply not the same as the concept of "inerrancy" today. People were not
    >asking the same questions then. What we call the Bible today was not often
    >written down, and most of it did not exist yet.
    >Consider: Accuracy WAS important in those days. Accurate oral recitation
    >were very important, because few people had access to manuscripts. (At one
    >point, even the copy of the Torah got lost in the Temple, and nobody had read
    >it for some time. See 2 Kings 22:8.)

    Please, don't forget that the same word is often translated differently
    because translators were influenced by their own world-view. I mentioned
    the word "nephesh" before: sometimes translated living being (Gen.1)
    sometimes "soul" (Gen.2), etc.. "Ruach": sometimes wind, at other times
    breath, or even spirit. To go by translations is not enough, especially
    words translated into "mind", "spirit", "ghost", "soul" etc.

    I do not want to blame the translators, since they translated while having
    a particular world-view and understanding the world, man, philosophy etc.
    as it was generally understood in their time. That understanding can
    generally (or in most cases) be traced back to pagan Greek philosophy with
    its dichotomy: body and soul. Even when one realizes that new studies have
    to be taken into account.

    Another weakness is our education system, causing natural scientists to
    know comparatively little about the sciences studying literature,
    theology, history etc., and the other way around, causing many discussions
    to go past each other without understanding each other. This bad result of
    our education systems will be continue, I am afraid, because both sides
    simply do not understand each other.

    Jan de Koning

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