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Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and

TBR
Posts: 9,991
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4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

It would seem reasonable that the devout, those interested in parsing every word of God, would be compelled to learn these languages, the languages of the original texts of the Bible.

It occurred to me today that I gripe about the silly translation issues, and the way the faithful quote English translations with the silly ""thou art my God". If this book is so critical to your life... The words of god on the printed page, why on earth wouldn't you take the time to learn the languages?
TheUncannyN
Posts: 95
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4/21/2015 1:45:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The essential problem wouldn't change in any meaningful way. They would still interpret scripture in a way that suits them, wouldn't you agree? Differences in language or no, they would still view it as the ineffable word of god/allah, and all that's happened to change the discourse is that they now have to apologize for transcription and translation errors.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,280
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4/21/2015 1:50:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM, TBR wrote:
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

It would seem reasonable that the devout, those interested in parsing every word of God, would be compelled to learn these languages, the languages of the original texts of the Bible.

It occurred to me today that I gripe about the silly translation issues, and the way the faithful quote English translations with the silly ""thou art my God". If this book is so critical to your life... The words of god on the printed page, why on earth wouldn't you take the time to learn the languages?

It is more important that they live out the Gospel rather than learn the languages. However, if their belief will be strengthened by this additional knowledge, then sure go for it.
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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4/21/2015 1:53:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The essential problem wouldn't change in any meaningful way. They would still interpret scripture in a way that suits them, wouldn't you agree? Differences in language or no, they would still view it as the ineffable word of god/allah, and all that's happened to change the discourse is that they now have to apologize for transcription and translation errors.

I don't disagree that the arguments would stay the same. My question is... If I thought that this was the literal word of God, I would want to read the actual text in its original language for myself.
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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4/21/2015 1:56:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It is more important that they live out the Gospel rather than learn the languages. However, if their belief will be strengthened by this additional knowledge, then sure go for it.

This is missing the mark I am attempting to make. Say I am obsessed with the bible. I think it has everything in it. It is perfect in every way, HOWEVER, I am reading a "diluted" version of the perfect - the translation. I would be driven to take a little time to learn these languages to get at this raw information.
TheUncannyN
Posts: 95
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4/21/2015 1:56:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 1:53:45 PM, TBR wrote:
The essential problem wouldn't change in any meaningful way. They would still interpret scripture in a way that suits them, wouldn't you agree? Differences in language or no, they would still view it as the ineffable word of god/allah, and all that's happened to change the discourse is that they now have to apologize for transcription and translation errors.

I don't disagree that the arguments would stay the same. My question is... If I thought that this was the literal word of God, I would want to read the actual text in its original language for myself.

Well now that would just require work. I'm not saying that theists are lazy, but look at their arguments. Repeatedly refuted but repeatedly repeated.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,280
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4/21/2015 2:05:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 1:56:20 PM, TBR wrote:
It is more important that they live out the Gospel rather than learn the languages. However, if their belief will be strengthened by this additional knowledge, then sure go for it.

This is missing the mark I am attempting to make. Say I am obsessed with the bible. I think it has everything in it. It is perfect in every way, HOWEVER, I am reading a "diluted" version of the perfect - the translation. I would be driven to take a little time to learn these languages to get at this raw information.

You'd also have to learn history and oral tradition in knowing how to gain full meaning from it.

I think it depends on which tradition you come from. Being a Catholic I love to learn the scriptures( and the deeper meanings that are lost in the simple reading of the text). However, I can trust those who have done this level of research and who follow the Tradition of the Church to explain it to me.

Ultimately, it is better to be an illiterate and live out the Gospel message than to know everything and not live it out. Knowledge is great and valuable, but application is superior.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,280
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4/21/2015 2:06:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 1:56:45 PM, TheUncannyN wrote:
At 4/21/2015 1:53:45 PM, TBR wrote:
The essential problem wouldn't change in any meaningful way. They would still interpret scripture in a way that suits them, wouldn't you agree? Differences in language or no, they would still view it as the ineffable word of god/allah, and all that's happened to change the discourse is that they now have to apologize for transcription and translation errors.

I don't disagree that the arguments would stay the same. My question is... If I thought that this was the literal word of God, I would want to read the actual text in its original language for myself.

Well now that would just require work. I'm not saying that theists are lazy, but look at their arguments. Repeatedly refuted but repeatedly repeated.

Lol...
Varrack
Posts: 2,410
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4/21/2015 2:24:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM, TBR wrote:
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

It would seem reasonable that the devout, those interested in parsing every word of God, would be compelled to learn these languages, the languages of the original texts of the Bible.

It occurred to me today that I gripe about the silly translation issues, and the way the faithful quote English translations with the silly ""thou art my God". If this book is so critical to your life... The words of god on the printed page, why on earth wouldn't you take the time to learn the languages?

The message would be the same. It takes a ton of effort and a lot of time to learn new languages, especially those ones, just to understand the words a little more. There are already people who know those languages, and there are translators that exist already, so it wouldn't be worth it.
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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4/21/2015 2:32:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago

The message would be the same. It takes a ton of effort and a lot of time to learn new languages, especially those ones, just to understand the words a little more. There are already people who know those languages, and there are translators that exist already, so it wouldn't be worth it.

It seems blase. "Well, this is just as good". If I had any reason to believe that the literal words had importance (which seems common in discussion of the bible) then given I thought it WAS the word of the very creator the universe, all knowing, everything, I would be compelled to know it.

I personally don't give a rats-a**, but it seems disingenuous. I was reading a thing that linked to another thing that eventually was bickering over how many times "yahweh" was used in context wrong.
Varrack
Posts: 2,410
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4/21/2015 2:37:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 2:32:23 PM, TBR wrote:

The message would be the same. It takes a ton of effort and a lot of time to learn new languages, especially those ones, just to understand the words a little more. There are already people who know those languages, and there are translators that exist already, so it wouldn't be worth it.

It seems blase. "Well, this is just as good". If I had any reason to believe that the literal words had importance (which seems common in discussion of the bible) then given I thought it WAS the word of the very creator the universe, all knowing, everything, I would be compelled to know it.

I personally don't give a rats-a**, but it seems disingenuous. I was reading a thing that linked to another thing that eventually was bickering over how many times "yahweh" was used in context wrong.

If I was that compelled to find the exact translation, I would probably find something or someone that would show alternate English words for a Hebrew word than to learn new languages.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/21/2015 3:51:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM, TBR wrote:
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?
Not really, TBR -- think of what other learning that might displace.

But Christians shouldn't ignore historians and philologists who have learned these languages, and spent a lifetime studying the people, their times, cultures, and contexts.

Because whatever else the Bible might be, it's also an artefact of people and politics and culture. And without understanding the people, their cultures and struggles, one can't know what they meant, why they said it, or how they applied it. And one can make the historian's fallacy of thinking they were writing for oneself, knowing what one knows -- instead of realising they were writing from their own knowledge and values about very different times indeed.
TBR
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4/21/2015 3:59:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Not really, TBR -- think of what other learning that might displace.
If I were to believe that it is the written word of God, and the literal word was critical to the proper adherence to said god, and further was critical to eternal life, little else would have more importance to know.


But Christians shouldn't ignore historians and philologists who have learned these languages, and spent a lifetime studying the people, their times, cultures, and contexts.
Sure enough, but again, if its God, and the most importation thing you will ever know... Well, it sure seems like you should spend all those Sundays learning this stuff too.


Because whatever else the Bible might be, it's also an artefact of people and politics and culture. And without understanding the people, their cultures and struggles, one can't know what they meant, why they said it, or how they applied it. And one can make the historian's fallacy of thinking they were writing for oneself, knowing what one knows -- instead of realising they were writing from their own knowledge and values about very different times indeed.
When a believer is asked, they think it IS written for them.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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4/21/2015 4:20:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 3:59:23 PM, TBR wrote:
Not really, TBR -- think of what other learning that might displace.
If I were to believe that it is the written word of God, and the literal word was critical to the proper adherence to said god, and further was critical to eternal life, little else would have more importance to know.
Unfortunately, the word 'of' is ambiguous. In this context it can mean 'authored by' or 'about'.

However, any Biblical scholarship at all makes it apparent that the Old Testament was written by multiple people over time, and not a singe person all at once. And there's no question that the New Testament is written by multiple authors over time too, and that Biblical canon was selected and edited by humans centuries after the times written about.

So the meaning 'authored by God' isn't a defensible claim, and I haven't met a Christian well-educated in Biblical scholarship who actually believes it. The Bible is authored by multiple humans, and even if they were inspired, they were using their own language and ideas, and writing in the context of their own times -- from which all my other points follow.

But Christians shouldn't ignore historians and philologists who have learned these languages, and spent a lifetime studying the people, their times, cultures, and contexts.
Sure enough, but again, if its God, and the most importation thing you will ever know... Well, it sure seems like you should spend all those Sundays learning this stuff too.
That's hardly the worst of it, TBR. If you believe in an eternal afterlife, why aren't you living as though all the pain and suffering in this life doesn't matter except as an admission exam?

Why accumulate wealth when you could give it all away piously? Why defend your property from theft when you could turn the other cheek? Why over-eat when you could fast and donate food to others? Why buy more than one set of clothes when fashion is all vanity?

I think most modern Christians don't live as though they absolutely believe in heaven. They live as though they absolutely believe in this life, and only hope for heaven.

Which I think is a wiser way to live; it's just not the way they say they believe.

Because whatever else the Bible might be, it's also an artefact of people and politics and culture. And without understanding the people, their cultures and struggles, one can't know what they meant, why they said it, or how they applied it. And one can make the historian's fallacy of thinking they were writing for oneself, knowing what one knows -- instead of realising they were writing from their own knowledge and values about very different times indeed.
When a believer is asked, they think it IS written for them.
That depends on the believer. Again, believers who spend time understanding the Bible as an historical artefact no longer see it as a single theological concept.
Rosco_P_Coletrain
Posts: 143
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4/21/2015 4:31:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM, TBR wrote:
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

It would seem reasonable that the devout, those interested in parsing every word of God, would be compelled to learn these languages, the languages of the original texts of the Bible.

It occurred to me today that I gripe about the silly translation issues, and the way the faithful quote English translations with the silly ""thou art my God". If this book is so critical to your life... The words of god on the printed page, why on earth wouldn't you take the time to learn the languages?

The most important thing is to grasp what the following means: Zephaniah 3:9 "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent."

I have heard many say that pure language is Hebrew and until recently I was not sure that was not true. But then I realized the following concerning what that change to a pure language really means:

This was in the thread, "Why?", which is a discussion of the serpent pole raised by Moses in obedience to God in the wilderness before the people of Israel entered the land of promise. The people were plagued by serpents and the poison of those serpents threatened them with death. Sop they had to give their trust to God and focus intently on that serpent pole that the poison would not kill them. And this is what that pure language is:

The poison is in man's tongues.

Psalms 58:3-4 "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear.."

Job 20:12 "Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;.......... Job 20:16 "He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him."

By the poison of our own tongue we can deceive our own heart: James 1:26 ""If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."

By the poison of our tongue we harm also others: James 3:5 "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" ........... Galatians 5:14-15 "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

the poison in our tongues defiles us and acts to defile everything that comes close to enough to hear us: James 3:6 "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Gehenna."

Mankind has been unable to tackle the problem of his own tongue: James 3:7-8 "For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: "But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."

Yet mankind desperately needs to grasp the following: 1 Peter 3:10 ""For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:" ........ 1 John 3:18 ""My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."

For: Matthew 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

Now understanding all of that, why was Jesus likened to that original serpent who had spoken that poison into the world where it lodged upon the tongues of men?

The main way in which Jesus takes the sins of the world to himself is to lift that serpent's tongue with him out of this world.

As we look to Jesus we are allowing him to lift that poison up and away from us.

See how simple it is when we relax and just let ourselves be able to hear the spirit on God's word?
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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4/21/2015 5:06:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM, TBR wrote:
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

It would seem reasonable that the devout, those interested in parsing every word of God, would be compelled to learn these languages, the languages of the original texts of the Bible.

It occurred to me today that I gripe about the silly translation issues, and the way the faithful quote English translations with the silly ""thou art my God". If this book is so critical to your life... The words of god on the printed page, why on earth wouldn't you take the time to learn the languages?

Well, what proportion of self-identified Christians have read the bible in any language?
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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4/22/2015 3:15:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/21/2015 12:44:06 PM, TBR wrote:
Should Christians learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?

It would seem reasonable that the devout, those interested in parsing every word of God, would be compelled to learn these languages, the languages of the original texts of the Bible.

It occurred to me today that I gripe about the silly translation issues, and the way the faithful quote English translations with the silly ""thou art my God". If this book is so critical to your life... The words of god on the printed page, why on earth wouldn't you take the time to learn the languages? : :

There were many unbelieving antichrists who spoke the original languages of the saints who were testifying to the knowledge of God. So if an English speaking antichrist learns Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek today, it wouldn't help him believe the Truth that the early saints were preaching.