Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Bible scholar writes book pointing out that what you think the Bible says, it not at all what it says.
Here are a few examp0les courtesy of Chron:
The Bible Doesn't Call Homosexuality A Sin
Only three biblical passages address homosexuality directly. And while they frown on some male homosexual behavior, they do not condemn all of homosexuality, and they do not call it a sin.
So it's a double mistake to say that "the Bible calls homosexuality a sin."
The Ten Commandments Don't Prohibit Coveting
The word "covet" in "thou shalt not covet" is a translation mistake. The original Hebrew verb here, CHAMAD, means "to take," a fact we learn by looking at how the word is used in context is that some things are not just illegal but also immoral.
The mistranslation "thou shalt not covet" wrongly suggests that feelings might be immoral, while the original text only addresses actions.
The Bible Doesn't Contradict Evolution
Some modern critics of the Bible claim that you can't believe the Bible if you think evolution is right, and some modern Bible readers say that you can't believe evolution if you think the Bible is right.
Both groups have misunderstood the Bible. What they don't grasp is that most of the stories in Genesis were not meant to be history.
One of the ways we know is that there are, in fact, two creation stories --- one in which Eve is created from Adam's rib, the other in which Adam and Eve are created at the same time. They can't both be historically accurate, and they were not intended to be.
Rather, evolution is a scientific truth and the creation stories in the Bible are religious truths. And sometimes "believing the Bible" means believing that a story in it didn't happen.
"Biblical Marriage" Lets Men Marry More Than One Wife
"Biblical marriage" is a hot topic, but even a quick look at biblical marriage shows that it's not what most people think.
According to both the Old Testament and the New Testament, most men are allowed to have lots of wives at once -- the exceptions being kings (who according to Deuteronomy 17 can only have a few wives) and some religious leaders (who according to 1 Timothy can only have one).
Biblical marriage does not have be between only one man and one woman.
The Bible Doesn't Forbid Abortion
There's one direct mention of losing a fetus in the Bible, and that's in Exodus 21. The Hebrew isn't entirely clear, but the question there seems to be: What happens if a man accidentally causes a woman's miscarriage?
The normal eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth rule won't work, because the man doesn't have a fetus to match the woman's lost fetus.
The answer is that the man has to pay a fine. Because a fine is never the penalty for murder, we learn that, according to the Bible, abortion is not murder. Other than that, the Bible offers no guidance about abortion.
There is of course quite a lot more, but you get the gist.
One of my go to rules for understanding the Bible is to never ask for clarification from priests, ministers, nuns, or even Christians.
Most of them are salespeople trying to sell a product. They only care about a truth that helps them to achieve that goal, not actual truth itself.
It is hard to imagine that a book which has had such incredible impact on humanity is so poorly understood by the majority of humans.
But then again, we don't have to imagine it do we?