And God Said

Friday, September 18, 2009


When the Committee on Bible Translation released an updated version of the world’s most popular Bible in 2005, controversy ensued. Changing a beloved text can be dangerous. So the committee announced plans recently to scrap the 2005 version and start anew. Committee Chairman Doug Moo talks about altering what some believe is God's word.

Comments [5]

Chris Gray from New Haven

It is human nature to question and, so, inevitably we question even whether or not death is really the end of individual existence. Philip Snow, in his Looking for Carroll Beckwith, makes an intriguing case for the latter, dovetailing even a Biblical reference from Jesus saying he was the reincarnation of Ezekiel, though largely depending on his skills as a homicide detective.

The search for knowledge in the accumulated cultural wisdom incorporated in our world's sacred texts is not without value even if, as always, I detest any orthodoxy. I still respect those who insist on embracing them, if they offer good will. One can learn from Moby Dick, even if one believes or knows it is fiction and even if one reads it in Japanese.

Sep. 25 2009 12:05 AM
Joe from San Diego


Does anyone really give a shit about a piece of historical fiction. I mean really, in modernity, the last human beings need is useless debate about a useless piece of fictional literature that cause more human suffering and war than any device of destruction mankind can or will ever devise.

So there, live your life for today -- it's the obsession with immortality and fear of death that has human culture so addicted to religion ... so live the only life you WILL EVER HAVE WHICH IS ON THIS EARTH ... losers.

Sep. 24 2009 09:57 PM
Jackie Grubb from Boston, MA

This segment should have mentioned that there are other reputable modern translations of the Bible. Some other popular translations include the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), the Revised English Bible (REB), and the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB). Some of us continue to study the traditional “King James Version” in parallel with the modern translations

Sep. 22 2009 08:22 AM
Jim Gill from Seattle

That's a nice song. You do know that modern translations are made from the best and oldest manuscripts from Hebrew, don't you? Now getting to those transcripts is about half of the song, the other half is irrelevant to this article.

I've met Dr. Moo and was pleased to hear him on On the Media. I wonder what their solution will be to the gender neutral issue.

Sep. 21 2009 08:12 PM
Steve Worona from Rockville, MD

Your story brings to mind these lyrics from "In the Beginning..." by folk singer Nick Annis:

"In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth,
and the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon
the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters."
It's an oral history, passed down, word of mouth, from father to son.
From Adam to Seth, from Seth to Enos, from Enos to Caanan, for 40 generations
a growing, changing story, passed down, word of mouth, father to son.

Till Moses finally gets it down on lambskin.
But lambskins wear out, need to be copied.

So you have a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy
of an oral history passed down through 40 generations.

From Hebrew it's translated into Arabic. From Arabic into Greek.
From Greek into Latin. From Latin into Russian, from Russian into German,
from German into an Olde form of English that you could not read.
Through 400 years of evolution of the English language to the book we have today.
Which is:
A translation of a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation
of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy
of an oral history passed down through 40 generations.

You can't put a grocery list through that many copies, translations and re-tellings
and not get some big changes in the dinner menu when the kids make it back from Superfresh.

And yet people are killing each other over this written word.

Here's a tip.

If you're killing someone in the name of God...
you might be missing the message.

Sep. 19 2009 01:18 PM

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