The article has some interesting information, but is sensationalized as is the title. Scholars have known–forever, of variations among hand-written copies of the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah in the 7th century before Christ complained of deliberate corruptions in the text by “lying scribes.” The book of Jeremiah’s prophecies itself testifies to at least three editions within the prophet’s lifetime.But to be “news” journalists have to make it sound like a bold new discovery. Nevertheless, the article provides a good introduction to textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible.
Do you not find that some bits of the Bible are almost closed to you until you are ready.
I love reading my Bible and gaining an understanding and closeness. I was told during a study with some serious Bible scholars that the fact that the Gospel accounts have different aspects of the same event and some odd observations is good. It displays the quirky way we individually recall things. As well, anyone making this up would try to make their accounts tally and would not included the observed oddities. An example of this is the boy with no clothes running away from the arrest of Jesus (Mark 14:50-52). No explaination who the young man is or why he's in night clothes is in the acount. I believe that some Scholars think this was Mark including his own story in the Gospel
The different target audiences and culture of the writers determined some of the descriptions. For instance, when lowering the young man through the roof in Luke 5, he mentions tiles. But in Mark, it's merely said that they made an opening. Generally, roofs didn't have tiles in Palestine and so-called scholars have hilighted this as an inaccuracy. However, Luke's account was written to a gentile audience who would better understand what happened in terms of their own culture which included tiled roofs.
This even happens today - a Wycliffe translator related once to me that he was translating the passage that said, "behold I stand at the door and knock". In the culture that he was translating for, if someone knocks on the door, he's a thief and he wants to come in and rob you. We can't have Jesus portrayed as a thief, so he translated it as "Behold, I stand at your door and I want to come in and speak with you."
So those who insist on everything matching up exactly regardless of culture and audience are being unrealistic.
So those who insist on everything matching up exactly regardless of culture and audience are being unrealistic.I totally agree here. However, it seems to me that this is a difficult thing to find in practice in many churches. The result is that there are many who don't believe this. So when something hits the media, either the media is accused to lying, or faith is shaken because it was based on a lie.
And for those who can't take their Sunday afternoon nap on account of those disturbing tiles, the city of Kaphar-Nayoom, where Jesus was ministering, was no mean Jewish fishing village, but small cosmopolitan city with a fair degree of Hellenizing (Greek) influence - no reason for that enthusiastic scholar to completely discount the existence a house of Greek or Roman construction.
But your entire post, Stevo, is well taken and gets to the point.
I've heard tell of a missionary who took a lot of flak (from other missionaries) for reversing pigs and sheep in some of the Gospel stories because in his target group, pigs had been clean and sheep unclean as long as anyone could remember.
None of the Gospels directly identify their authors -- can you imagine anyone today writing a best-seller and not signing it? John seems to be "the disciple that Jesus loved"; Matthew is found at his tax booth in Matthew but not specified as that particular Matthew; Luke gives his addressee but not his own name; and this intriguing tidbit about Mark!
I've read a few other 'holy books', and from a textual point of view, I indeed found them lean on human detail and fat on whatever doctrine the book was promoting.