July 14, 2009
My pastor told us last sunday that "everyone can read it, well, if you know Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek". To that end, it really just makes research easier for those who already know about the Codex and bible translation. Like people who have been to seminary. Since language is still a barrier, it doesn't really democratize it too much for the rest of us.
Thanks for sharing this, Jerod! What a great tool.
I think having these pieces together is interesting, because scholars are able to compare manuscripts to get at who the actual authors may be and see what the discrepancies are and try to get at why there are discrepancies.
It's interesting how the Epistle of Barnabas and The Shepherd of Hermas clearly don't match the knowledge base of the New Testament writers, nor the tone or doctrine. It becomes quickly obvious after a brief reading, why they would be excluded from the final canon.
Well, honestly Jerod- I'm not sure what to make of it.I think that it is a curiosity, and a challenge. It challenges us to re-examine why we read the version of the bible that we do, (I personally read KJV), and so it could help or hurt our walk with Christ depending on our stance on those issues.I mean- as Christians we have to have our antennas up for false doctrine all the time. I'm excited for this because I see that the website is primed to offer an English translation. What a day that will be, when that comes out. Then Pastors like Bethany's will actually have to sit down and educate us about it and explain why, (or why not) this literature should be taken into account.Regardless of this, it's an old book. I love old books. The fact that they're peicing this together is a testement to God-given human ingenuity, and I'm blessed to live in an age where I get to see things like this happening.
On the other hand, if we had all been raised on the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas, we would be sharing remarks about how Matthew, Mark and Luke, which obviously drew upon a common source, do not match the knowledge base of what would be the "accepted" New Testament writers. I don't find stunning new truths in the apocrypha. In fact, reliance on apocryphal tales is one reason I haven't bothered with Anne Rice's "Out of Egypt." However, do we really know that "the final canon" is what the deity actually intended? Or was it the victor in a mosh pit of competing syncretisms, behind which lies the "real" Jesus, forever unknowable. Yes, Jesus lives in our hearts, but that is another matter entirely.
What I like about KJV is that it is not too precise. It leaves me with a sense that I am on to something, but don't have a complete understanding, which is as it should be. I once heard an adherent of the NIV say it makes everything clear, but in doing so, it may be leaving out a good deal of nuance that God put there. On the other hand, I have found some meaning in verses of NIV that are not visible in KJV.
This is the most lovely defense of reading the KJV I have ever read. I think the more I learn about the history of our Bible, the more humility I have about my understanding of it. There is more there than any person can access.
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