Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lifeway's Bible Readers Survey

The results of Lifeway's Bible readers survey seems to be another instance of people asking for something they probably don't really want. The results include 61% preferring a "word-for-word" translation and 75% preferring a translation with "total accuracy." Assuming these individuals have actually read a bible cover to cover it would be a shock to me if they paid attention to even a fraction of what they actually read. There isn't a single book of any translation of any version of the Bible that can be read literally. The whole thing is a mass of confusing contradictions and outright refutations of reality. Most "events" and even the supposed moral lessons have two or more versions that not only don't match but in some instances nullify each other. Most of them have to be read selectively in order to get anything resembling a positive moral message. People think it promotes moral behavior but it can just as easily be read to justify any number of heinous crimes and atrocities.

As for "total accuracy", that is not even remotely possible. These readers are also very ignorant of the history of the Bible. There is no single version or translation and never has been. The multiple versions currently available are constructed from roughly 3,000 fragments. We do not have a single book of either the old or new testament that is complete. All of them have been reconstituted from a wide variety of sources. Even if they really wanted a word for word translation, setting aside the horrors contained therein, it can not be done.

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