Was the original Bible the word of God?

Canada
December 29, 2008 9:06pm CST
Nowadays, there is many people who say that Bible got distorted and mistranslated; so the original message is lost. In other words, the original copy was the true word of God and was overflowing with wisdom. What have you to say to this?
1 person likes this
9 responses
@owlwings (38068)
• Cambridge, England
30 Dec 08
In the first place there is no 'original' Bible. Much of the early books of the Bible were first collected and written down after thousands of years of oral tradition. In other words, the stories in Genesis and Exodus and the history, laws and poetry in the later books were collections of the traditional stories and sayings of a people which had been passed down by word of mouth. The oral tradition is remarkable in that, especially where important information is concerned, it changes much less over the years than one would expect. The ordinary song or story, passed on orally for entertainment, may change and be embellished over time but core beliefs and laws are passed on with respect and much more accurately so that hardly a word may change over a thousand years. The problem with this is that languages do change and the meanings of words, especially, change slightly from generation to generation, so a text that may be passed down accurately through several generations may be understood less perfectly every time it is transmitted and, though the best transmitters try to make sure that the meaning as well as the text is understood, inevitably, some explanation is necessary and 'translation' occurs. By the time that the art of writing and reading becomes known and widely available, what is written down becomes more fixed and people begin to refer to the written word more - "But it says in the Book ..." becomes more highly regarded than the meaning behind the words! Think of the King James translation of the Bible. Many people today, only 400 years later, find it quite difficult to read because the language is unfamiliar. In its time, the language would have been easily understood because that was very much the way that people spoke. It would have seemed almost as fresh and up to date as we find our modern translations to be. It has to be remembered that exactly the same process was at work with the Jewish scriptures and that, by the time of Jesus, the language they were written in would already have been somewhat difficult to understand for the common man. What is remarkable is not what has got lost in translation or in oral transmission but what has survived. The words themselves (with the exception, perhaps, of the Ten Commandments and one or two other passages) were never the 'actual words of God' - nor were they ever intended to be - but were a collection of peoples' understanding of truths about their God. Today we use the word 'word' in a number of different ways. As an example, a 'word' can be a single spoken sound representing an idea, a symbol representing the idea (and usually called by the same name as the 'word' it represents), a collection of letters on the printed page representing the sounds of the spoken word, a summary of a description ("in a word") or it can be a solemn promise ("I give you my word"). The Greek word 'logos', which is itself a translation of a specialised Hebrew word, has given us the word 'logic' as well as being translated as 'word' (which, in Greek, was just one of its meanings). All of these things need to be borne in mind when talking about the Bible as the 'Word of God' (note that it is usually called 'the Word' in the singular, indicating that it has a special, not literal meaning). As a whole, the Bible is called the 'Word of God' in a highly metaphorical sense. It is only certain uneducated Christians who have misunderstood 'Word of God' to mean 'words of God' (as in actual words literally transcribed from speech).
• India
30 Dec 08
I don’t think God ever ‘spoke’ that is to say I don’t believe any book by any name conveys God’s words. I say this because I am surprised as to how God ‘spoke’ so much in those days yet now He doesn’t ‘speak’ at all! How is this possible or why? People in those times were corrupt too, they had their sins and vices and greed and ambition and everything which people have even now. So why doesn’t God speak any more? He doesn’t coz He never did! Everything is just a concoction by some exceptional men to lead and guide humanity towards a better life so that the human race can continue. Also note that all these Prophets were men, there’s no women Prophet (not that I know of) again signifying the patriarchal nature of ‘human mind’ throughout the times. If God had really spoken, any woman could have heard Him too and composed the books (if Muhammad being an illiterate could compose the Koran, why couldn’t a woman?).
• India
30 Dec 08
Thnx for the BR
@gjabaigar (2101)
• Philippines
30 Dec 08
Hello sudiptacallingu..... bless and peace be with you..... ^_^ So you have many questions.... You remind of me also, who have lots of questions to God before.... I search and I found God and He is a true Living God.... You can have those question as long as you live if you will not start finding the answers for those questions of yours..... Those questions you have and not knowing the answers, is the reason you are doubting that God is not existed anymore because basically practically it is much easier to say God is not existing and it just a waste of time searching God.... And my life has become meaningful when I started searching God..... Because that's why I am living here to find and search God.... And I found God here in my heart, in my mind, and in my soul.... If you have a locked and hard as a stone of heart, a negative mind and a sinful soul you can not find God....
• India
31 Dec 08
Finding God within my soul and accepting a book as the word of God are two completely different things.
@murderistic (2280)
• United States
30 Dec 08
I honestly have my doubts that everything written in the Bible is to be taken literally and that everything in the Bible is 100% true to the word of God. However, it is the Holy book of Christianity, and the only one we have, so I do believe that everything in the Bible is there to teach us something about God and that whether or not it is historically accurate, it is accurate in it's meaning.
• United States
30 Dec 08
I'd also like to add that I think that God's word extends far beyond the words of the Bible. If a book were so important, Jesus would have written one Himself.
@savak03 (6688)
• United States
30 Dec 08
The Bible is indeed the word of God and overflowing with wisdom. It was then and it is now. There is plenty of proof of this that could be offered but for this discussion let me just use a little logic. Do you think that God would have gone to all the trouble of authoring a book to guide us in our lives and tell us what His will for us is, and then let someone distort it over time?
@owlwings (38068)
• Cambridge, England
30 Dec 08
I can only point out that a word is usually defined as a single utterance with some breathing space around it. When it's printed, the separation between words is usually made with a space. There are an awful lot of words (with spaces in between) in the Bible. 'Word' in the sense you are using it here does not imply that every single word in the Bible is a 'Word of God'. Many men wrote the various books of the Bible in the words of their day. Men translated those words as they became unfamiliar and obsolete and in order to make the text comprehensible to people who spoke different languages. The Bible must not be (and was never intended to be) taken literally. It is the words of men attempting to express the 'Word' (or 'logic' ) of God. Many of the passages are not literal truth but metaphorical and poetical simply because the ideas that the authors were trying to express were inexpressible any other way. I know that I have no hope of convincing some people of that fact but, nevertheless, I have to point it out, just as you, no doubt, know that you will never be able to convince everyone that Christianity is the true religion but you are impelled to try.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
20 Apr 10
individuals have different way of analyzing or understanding a certain topic or thing so I somehow agree that maybe the bible now was not the real words of GOd.
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
31 Dec 08
Thousands of years ago humans were still very primitive people. There were no schools, and no teachers, if there were any schools. During this time stories and events were told and retold and passed down, from generation to generation, for hundreds of years. Anyone who has listened to gossip, surly knows how a story gets distorted almost out of context, in just a few tellings. Imagine then, if you will, a story that was told and retold hundreds of times, over hundreds of years, and many generations. How much faith would you have that this was the True word of God?
@gjabaigar (2101)
• Philippines
30 Dec 08
Good Day Frederick42..... ^_^ The Original Bible is the word of God..... And its is a cursed "for us" "by literally" mistranslated the Bible especially to some today modern Bible.... It is like poisoning or intoxicating our souls..... So whatever Bible translation we are reading be sure we are guided by the God the Holy Spirit.... Because the Holy Spirit is the true author of the Bible, and those prophets and holy men are only the instruments or medium.... The Holy Spirit is the true divine wisdom of God....
• India
30 Dec 08
As far as the Bible is concerned, I feel it is a load of middle eastern trash adopted first by the West and them dumped onto the East. Cheers and happy Mylotting
30 Dec 08
I would say the true mean was lost, I can not discuss it here as every time I try to shine light on the text my star loses a few points. But it is not so much that the mistranslations have made or not made it the word of God, it is the fact that its true meaning has been deliberately hidden from the people that the church has enslaved.