Re: virus: Why religious?
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 17:47:22 -0600 (CST)

On Thu, 7 Nov 1996 wrote:


> > Another way of thinking about Old and New Testaments is Old and New
> > *Covenants*. While the New Testament imports many definitions from the
> > Old Testament, it cannot be presumed that the actual rules are copied
> > verbatim.
> >
> > [Flopping into Emotionally Fry UltraConservative Christian Mode]
> > For instance, Mark 7:15 explicitly contradicts all of the rules about
> > clean/unclean foods. [Whether such things exist is fairly basic!] This
> > is augmented somewhere in Acts, and Galatians.
> >
> > Another major kicker: Barring details about punctuation and 1980+
> > translations that don't follow the known Greek, it is demonstratable from
> > the attributed-to-Paul NT [I Cor 6:12, 10:23; Romans 14:somewhere after 14]
> > that no physical object has the primitive trait 'sinful'. This
> > contradicts oh-how-many OT references?
> One problem about this is that the Bible has been translated and
> re-translated, and modernised, and fuck-knows what else that it's
> original meaning may well have been lost. I know this sounds like I'm
> shooting my own arguments in the foot, but it's a fact that cannot
> be denied.

I'll try to put the best spin on this I can:
1) The actual [reconstructed] text available is more stable than the best
reconstructed text for ANY of Shakespeare's works, in terms of absolute
ambiguity of words. The OT appears to have been subject to
photocopy-like accuracy through the sampling time we have for it, and the
NT is so vastly distributed that the techniques used to ID language
families are applicable; there is a reasonable standard text for the NT
at time AD 130. This standard doesn't hold for the books the Nicean
Council rejected.

2) When I refer to post 1980+ translations...., I mean that someone who
actually knows the original languages, and can compare the translation to
them, can trivially verify gross mistranslation that CANNOT be
accidental. Punctuation doesn't count for the NT, and verb tense doesn't
count for the OT. [common Greek circa 1st century AD doesn't use
punctuation, and Hebrew has NO support for past/present/future. "I
drove to work" and "I will drive to work" have EXACTLY the same
translation into Hebrew, while "I drove to work" and "I had driven to
work" have different translations, at least with the vowel markings
introduced by the Masoretes in the 4th or 5th centuries BC.]

3) I know of at least one word in the OT that the NASB doesn't translate
consistently: it is translated "witchcraft" in Deut. 18:14ff. The
original meaning of that word IS lost. We know what the letters are, but
the meaning is another story. Another stretchy translation is the word
translated as "divination"; clearly, that does not cover the
Urim/Thummim, which is covered by the English word.

> > In general, it is pointless to claim that Christianity directly imports
> > every single civil and/or religious law documented in the Pentateuch.
> > The continual attempts to do so is censured by the major branches of the
> > Church, and is one of the main reasons for the existence of Galatians.
> >
> >
> > I *do* understand Drakir's point about freedom, at least on short-term
> > scales. He isn't going far enough!
> >
> How far do I have to go?

If I hold myself to a standard/moral code that is point-blank inhuman
[the NT one I explicated previously], is it any surprise that my
short-term freedom is extremely restricted? If I avoid required actions
because the motive is currently corrupt, is that going to cause
superficial trouble quickly?

> > In general, the moral code specified in the OT is not meant to be
> > possible to keep.
> Then if we're all going to Hell, why not all make pacts with the Devil. At
> least then we might get a lighter sentence :)

Damage control is always a good idea, pending a total replacement of
one's methods of thought. Said pact would be damage aggravation.

As far as I know [in the serious mythos, not Hollywood/American froth],
the Devil makes a point of staying as far away from Hell as possible.
[Something like: escaped convicts don't really like walking into prison!]
His NT title is "Prince of the Powers of the Air", NOT "Prince of the Powers
of Hell".

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd