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John Byrne
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Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132449
Posted: 16 May 2024 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

One of the first things that chipped away at my comfortable tolerance of Christianity happened circa 1964. A new English language edition of the Bible had changed “thou shalt not kill” to “thou shalt not commit murder.”

The rationale behind this was given as excusing military and police personnel who were often called upon to kill people. It was reasoned that they should not anticipate eternal punishment for doing their jobs. (Don’t start!)

This was not only the first time I had encountered the idea that the Bible could be changed, but also that such rewriting could be shaped by contemporary circumstances. And if this was happening IN MY LIFETIME, how many times had it happened before? How much of the “transcribed Word of God” could really be read as such?

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Andrew Bitner
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Joined: 01 June 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7497
Posted: 16 May 2024 at 3:47pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

This has been a major problem for me as well. Knowing the Bible has passed through so many hands--including those of rulers and Popes and those with their own agenda--who knows WHAT "the Bible" really says? Unless you go back to the original scrolls from which it was translated (often poorly), there's no thread of continuity to the whole thing.

And that's putting aside that Romans, who were pretty good at documenting what went on in the territories they ruled, say absolutely nothing about a Yeshua ben Joseph or an uncanny crucifixion/return from the dead. You would think the territorial authorities would have been interested in something like that.

I liked the story of Christ when I was a kid. But when I grew up, there were too many holes that had to be patched over with "faith" for me to suspend my disbelief. I like Superman just fine but I don't believe he is/was real, despite all the comics that say otherwise.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 4596
Posted: 16 May 2024 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Interesting about revisions to 'The Bible' changeable to present circumstances. I had more of a humorous reaction to something like that where the Beatitudes in a new modern English (language) version went from "Blessed be the..." to "Congratulations to you if..." That still cracks me up! From florid King James II to a Publisher's Clearing House junk mail flyer.

People definitely have a ton of real things to be angry at Christianity about, and it only keeps piling higher. The whole residential schools thing (where aboriginal children were taken from communities and punished for using their native language, practicing any customs or professing un-Christian beliefs) of the not as distant past as some imagine is still very current here, we have what is named "truth and reconciliation", but there are so many things that can be returned that were taken. Can or should the anger notch back? Has it not fully been expressed yet so even the thickest not directly involved can be properly aware? The blame accounting just needs to be accurate, what damage has been done is enormous without adding a thing more, and there is a point where anger goes toxic and hurts the victim (saying this from very personal experience)... a boomerang effect and self-injury for what can never be made right.

I hope you/we all get an accounting somehow, but have little real faith in that ever happening, certainly not in this plane of everything always half effed up. Perhaps the worst sin of all is done in the name of some God or supposed greater good. Mistakes we must not keep making. So, do you want to destroy 'the abuser' or do you want a much needed accounting with thought? I see signs from the current acting Pope (and I am definitely no Catholic though have been friends with some) of genuine thought, but as usual, very old and weak and the centuries of wrong so absolutely crushing. Without communication however there really is no hope.
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