Re: Bible and YEC and Faith

From: Jan de Koning <>
Date: Sat Apr 30 2005 - 09:59:16 EDT

At 10:25 PM 4/29/2005, wallyshoes wrote:
> > Jan de Koning
>I still see a big problem, Jan. Many place a lot of faith in the Bible but so
>many people like Vernon use it to arrive at borderline crazy notions. I can
>have faith in Jesus Christ, but how can I have faith in a book that misleads
>people so badly -- as in the case of YEC? Is not more logical (and better!) to
>simply dismiss the notion the OT is infallible on all matters?

As in anything including reading and interpreting WE are fallible, and
should listen to each other. Regardless of that, we should realize that
God did not speak in 21st scientific language to people living 6000 years
ago. God did not teach science but is and was teaching us fallible people
in a language we understand. So to our children we usually don't start
teaching geography when they are two years of age. His purpose was to teach
men obedience. That meant that to people who did not know that they could
travel around the world, but saw only an apparently flat piece of ground,
God did not talk about an earth travelling around the sun. We do not even
teach our own children at a very early age beyond what they see.

The basic purpose of the Bible is to teach us the way to salvation. There
we can trust our translations completely. Add to that all human work is
fallible, it means that, yes there are errors in copying, very few mind
you, but they do exist. Though we do act as if we have THE Bible, we only
have a translation. Translators may know a lot but they are fallible. Add
to that that many were having a "world-view" before they started
translating, and we get a further source of errors. I think especially of
the fact that the translators were usually already having a "world view"
before they started translating, and we have enough places in the English
translation where we can place question marks. Here, I think about the
places where the words which are translated as "soul", or "life",
etc. They are often very much influenced by Greek philosophy.

Part of that we can understand when we read the story of the tower of
Babel. The Bible was written down in languages that were only spoken in a
small part of the globe. As language incorporates very much the way of
thinking of a group of people, it is often difficult to translate. Now, we
have a document written piece by piece over millennia. There are copying
errors., there are errors of understanding, the original language is not
understood. I do think, that because of that there are errors based on the
way Greek philosophers thought, but that is an entirely different subject.

Along comes a group of people who only know one language. They do not
realize, that in languages some of the way of thinking of people is
automatically incorporated. They have no idea of the difficulties in
translating, and we have the source of a lot of trouble.

But, one thing we all can agree about: Jesus Christ died for our sins, and
we should study God's Word.
Because I was fortunate enough to learn several languages, I know how
difficult it is to translate from one language into another. The way of
life of the people speaking the different languages affects the way of
thinking, and consequently, a translation is hardly ever exactly telling
the whole story.

Most importantly, we trust that God made sure that the most important
things are known to us all:
1. God is in charge.
2. All of us are sinners.
3. Jesus Christ died for our sins.
4. We are adopted children of God.

For the rest we help each other reading, studying and supporting each
other. Part if that is listening to each other.

Jan de Koning

P.S. answering and talking to people about the difficulties you mention
takes more than a life-time.

Received on Sat Apr 30 10:02:38 2005

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