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masonlandry

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About masonlandry

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 07/19/1995

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    Kentucky
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    Philosophy, Science, Religion, History

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  1. Really good answer, thank you for going into detail. That makes a lot of sense.
  2. Here is an excerp from the section on interpreting Biblical narratives. 4 Regarding #6 "We are not always told at the end of a narrative whether what happened was good or bad. We are expected to be able to judge that on the basis of what God has taught us directly and categorically already in Scripture." Obviously, there are some cases where it outright says something like "this is for your instruction" or include a shall or shalt not, but there are presumably other times when this isn't said outright and people still come to conclusions about it being instructive for behavior. Is there a reliable way to make that distinction besides just going off of what is explicitly stated as behavioral instruction? I realize it said directly, but perhaps what is direct isn't always explicit. I suppose the question is, are there implicit teachings which are still direct teachings? Or must you use what is explicit to determine what is implicit?
  3. masonlandry

    How Language Shapes Understanding

    Noted. I don't think that's a rational assumption to start with, but perhaps you find faith to be of higher value than human reason.
  4. masonlandry

    How Language Shapes Understanding

    You and I simply don't see eye to eye, and I'm still convinced you're misrepresenting my position out of ignorance, whether accidentally or willfull, so I'll just leave it at this. Metqphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. "“I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression,” said Mark, who was fond of theatrical metaphors" synonyms: figure of speech, image, trope, analogy, comparison, symbol, word painting/picture
  5. masonlandry

    How Language Shapes Understanding

    "The car is red" ---> "The car is cherry red." Both statements are accurate, the former is less accurate than the latter. Less accurate is not the same as innacurate. You can know some things that are correct without being wrong, and you can learn more things that are correct and be more correct than you were before. That's a good thing to do in any case I can imagine. While I do think there are some contradictions in the Bible, that's not what I said nor something I care to talk about. I meant contradictions between differing English versions of the Bible, e.g. KJV vs. ESV or whatever version pleases you to insert there. Again, you seem unable to differentiate between literally true and metaphorically representative of something literally true. A metaphorical representation of something literally true is substantial. You continually attack a strawman of an argument I'm not making because you don't understand my position. I don't determine what is true based on what is more pleasing or makes me feel good. There are plenty of things I think are true which I think completely suck and think they are horrible. I would much rather they weren't true, but wishful thinking doesn't convince me otherwise. I'm not adverse to the Bible being literally true, I just don't think it is because all the evidence I have available points to it not being literally true. If the evidence pointed to it being true, I would have no choice to believe it whether I wanted to or not. Metaphors are not as limited as you seem to think they are. You can use a metaphor without pointing out that it is a metaphor. Call it symbolism if you'd prefer. But if something stands for something else in a story, it is a metaphor in the sense that "X is as Y". If I actually thought you were interested in how a story can reveal substantial truth through metaphor and symbolism, I would be happy to go into however much detail you'd like to hear, but I don't think you are, seeing as you think its dangerous misinformation. So I'd really be wasting my time and yours. If you do want to know, I'll wait for you to say so explicitly. You say you are protecting people from false claims in dangerous misinformation. How is me expressing my interest in a particular translation of the Bible spreading misinformation? I didn't mention anywhere in the post that I don't think the Bible is literal, and when I have shared what I believe the Bible means, I haven't tried to convince anyone that it can't be anything but what I think it means, save when I corrected people in what the theory of evolution actually claims in the threads about evolution, which I suppose you could consider trying to convince people that it's true. Although it is more than reasonable to accurately represent a position even if you don't believe it's true. What happened in this post was simply that I shared a translation that I am interested in, other people also showed interest. And you jumped in demanding to know why I even care to read a Bible because I don't believe it in the way you do. The sheer fact that I don't believe that the Bible is literally true is not a debate or an argument that other people should believe what I do, but you act as if that's what it is. You aren't shielding anyone from arguments, you're shielding people from knowing I think differently. Nobody would know what my reasons were if they hadn't explicitly asked.
  6. masonlandry

    How Language Shapes Understanding

    I know some of what we have now is innacurate because some of what we have contradicts other things we have in ways that are mutually exclusive, but that's not really the point. Something new can be more accurate without rendering the old innacurate, just less accurate. Even if accuracy isn't the metric you care about, it is different in ways that I find meaningful. If the transparent translation isn't the same as the common English translation, there is something to learn from what's different about it. If you have no interest in that, you can just not read it. You seem so hung up on literal belief that you are unable to understand how anyone would find anything of value in anything else. I'm sorry you have that problem, but I don't. I believe the Bible is metaphorical, and understanding the metaphor is inportant to me for several reasons. It's shows what humans have known subconsciously for thousands of years even if they didn't understand it on a conscious level. It reveals information through history and anthropology that I find interesting and can learn from. And it *may* reveal something that we didn't know or were wrong about due to a language barrier. I would like to know if that is the case. I'm not sure what your purpose is in the posts you make in response to me. As in I don't know what you think will come of it. Are you trying to convince me to never read the Bible because I don't believe in it literally and that's the only point? Not only would I not do that but I wouldn't think that would serve the Christian purpose very well. Are you trying to convince me that the Bible is literally true by argueing that it has to be in order for me to be interested? Because that argument makes no sense. Pointing out that a different translation wouldn't convince me that the Bible is literally seems pointless because being convinced that the Bible is literally isn't my concern. That's why it seems defensive, because the only rational reason to respond the way you did was that you think I'm somehow insinuating that your beliefs are wrong because I'm interested in a translation that might say something different than what you believe it does. That's what it sounds like. Which you shouldn't be worried about, because if you aren't going to read it you would never know anyway.
  7. masonlandry

    How Language Shapes Understanding

    It's just always good to get new, more accurate information. It isn't an attack on your beliefs. It might add understanding, it might change something, it might not. Why are you so defensive about it?
  8. masonlandry

    How Language Shapes Understanding

    There was a lot of that when patrons of particular doctrinal beliefs (like King James) paid people to translate the Bible. I think it happens less now with so much archeologic and historical information, and with more manuscripts available. A lot of Biblical scholars are concerned with preserving the original text and making the culture of the tine known, because it did influence they way the texts were written. Kinda makes you feel sorry for those who only had access to doctored translations several centuries ago though, doesn't it?
  9. One of the things I am very interested in regarding Biblical study is how the various translations can affect the understanding of the message. Most of the time, it probably makes little difference, especially with all the work that has gone into producing a reliably accurate translation, as we see that most English versions preserve meaning even when comparing their differences. Other times, though, there could be a significant difference in understanding, or more often, just the loss of an important element like an idiom that would have had meaning to the speakers of the original language, or parallel wording that implies a link that is lost when translated into English. There are also considerations like grammatical structure, which is very different across languages, especially ancient ones. This became quickly clear to me when I started learning Dutch, as it is the closest language to English that I know if and still, I have endless trouble arranging the words in the correct order. For the original texts of the Bible, the main differences I know of are not so much word order, but punctuation and line breaks. I know that the oldest (along with most of the more recently written fragments of the original Torah) use special line breaks, the major break of a new paragraph like we use in English, and also the minor break, which consists of 15 white spaces, blocking off (perhaps to emphasize?) Certain portions of the text. Our English translations don't preserve these minor breaks since we don't really have an equivalent literary structure. There is a translation in the works, as part of the Original Bible Project, called the Transparent English Bible. Its aim is to allow those who study the Bible and who have no training in the ancient languages in which they were written, to see through English what the structure of the original is like. The important considerations they are taking for the project is to keep it free of any theologically motivated changes in word order, structure, etc (like phrasing something in a way that may promote a particular theological interpretation, e.g. using "pain" to describe the punishment of Eve and "toil" for Adams punishment, wherein the original Hebrew the exact same word "hardship" is used) so that readers can see the original and decide for themselves if the English distinctions are necessary for understanding of whether they add to the original meaning something that was never there. It also uses the two oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible as the base text, then notes any significant variants like the newly discovered copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint. Some of the literary beauty revealed through a transparent translation includes the poetic consonance used in the original language, the links between concepts through the preservation of the root-words, and the rhythm and cadence that is usually lost through translation (like when a song rhymes in English but no longer rhymes if you translate it to Spanish, or has too many or too few syllables to maintain the same rhythm). Here are some examples of how the translation sounds different than the typical English translation. NIV: “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” vs. TEB: “Let the waters swarm a swarm of living life-breathers and let the flyer fly upon the land, upon the face of the expanse of the skies.” (Genesis 1:20) This shows the poetic consonance between the nouns and verbs that we lose in the NIV. Flying fliers and living life-breathers, rather than just living creatures and birds. Aside from just being good information to have about the most important text, it lets you hear it the way the ancient Hebrews heard it. Another example: "The Biblical texts at times can be extremely repetitious, both in narrative style and vocabulary. Often translators are tempted to “smooth things out” a bit, forcing the original languages to conform more closely to modern English usage. Genesis 2:23 reads: (TEB) “This one, this time—bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh! This one will be called woman, because from a man this one was taken.” In Hebrew, the feminine demonstrative pronoun (“this one”) is repeated three times in a single sentence. Genesis 11:6 (TEB) says: “This they begin to do, and now nothing is restrained from them of all that they have planned to do.” Both the NIV and the NRSV put “nothing will be impossible for them,” which is surely the meaning, and even much conventional English, but it removes the “flavor and flow” of the Hebrew text." I'm personally really excited for this translation to become publicly available, as it will allow us to hear with the ears of those living in the time when these things were first told and written. Also: the source where I found this information: http://www.centuryone.org/obpindex.html
  10. masonlandry

    Creation

    The odds of me being alive now are exactly the same as the odds of me being alive at any other possible time. Just like the odds of being dealt a hand of 4 aces is exactly the same as being dealt a hand of any random set of 4 cards. It only seems sp ciql because the outcome has significance to us. Personally. You would ask the same question no matter when you were alive.
  11. masonlandry

    Creation

    Why does it matter to me? Because I'm experiencing it. The only other option is to commit suicide, and I have no wish to do that. Perhaps it is selfish, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. Usually, it's in my self-interest to bear other people in mind when I consider the consequences of my actions. It matters to me that the people I love care about me and are impacted what I do. I have no idea what my thoughts will be on my deathbed since I can't predict the future, but I'm not afraid of death or whatever comes after it, if anything.
  12. masonlandry

    Creation

    I definitely hold doubt about all ancient history.
  13. masonlandry

    Creation

    Did you read those? Specifically the second one. The first one says pretty much what you said it did, but the second one was decidedly on the side of it not being supported at all. From the link: "The reality is that there is no evidence whatsoever that the Jews were ever enslaved in Egypt. Yes, there's the story contained within the bible itself, but that's not a remotely historically admissible source. I'm talking about real proof; archeological evidence, state records and primary sources. Of these, nothing exists."
  14. masonlandry

    Creation

    I've never heard that evidence before. If that's legit I think that's exactly the kind of evidence I'd be looking for. Do you have any sources I can look at?
  15. masonlandry

    Creation

    Yeah, they all die. What difference does that make? Does something have to last forever to matter to you? I've never felt that way. I'll gladly eat ice cream even though I know it will be finished pretty quickly. Doesn't mean I thought it was pointless to eat it. My life may be meaningless to the universe as a whole, but it sure matters a lot to me now.
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