Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blame the Translation

Over many years the average Christian has gradually moved away from the idea that the Bible is literally true. For the most part Christians view the text in a more symbolic way. They still can't quite admit to themselves that the "Good Book" is really not good at all. There are, of course, those who cling to the ignorant delusional notion that it is the literal word of God. As pathetic as that is there will probably always be a fraction of believers who cling to this blatant falsehood.

There does seem to be a new way to reconcile the overwhelming despicable passages of the Bible with the idealized version people tend to prefer. You simply blame the translations. A piece on the Huffington Post a few weeks ago is a good example of this relatively new attempt at apologetics. Hoffman's "Five Ways Your Bible Translation Distorts the Original Meaning of the Text" has quite a few problems, to say the least. He fails to note that the difference in content from one translation to another is rather tiny. He also does not get into exactly how we are suppose to find the "original meaning." Considering we do not have a complete text from centuries during which the Bible emerged it is virtually impossible to find any such meaning. Then  there's the problem of what would constitute a "good" translation. I get the distinct impression that what Hoffman really wants is a translation that suits his own preferences.

The only possible way to make the Bible palatable to anyone who actually pays attention to what they read is to completely rewrite it. Of course, it would cease to be the Bible at that point. Throw in the towel already! The Bible is a work of fiction and not a particularly good one.

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