Bible Translation and Deconversion
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
12-09-2018, 12:29 PM (This post was last modified: 12-09-2018 12:51 PM by Glossophile.)
Bible Translation and Deconversion
I was watching a video by Godless Engineer in which he responds to a Christian (attempted) defense of Deuteronomy 22:28-29. The Christian in question identified the NIV as a version of the Bible which is especially misleading, and I can easily see why. It explicitly uses the word "rape," which is very inconvenient for apologists who try to argue, as the subject of the video did, that the meaning is closer to seduction and/or consensual "fornication."

A key part was referencing the original Hebrew diction, which used the verb taphasa, meaning "manipulate; seize; take." While this seems a bit more ambiguous than the alternative used elsewhere in the Old Testament (chazaq), it's still quite a stretch to claim that the implied sexual act was consensual.

Then it occurred to me that the NIV was translated by a whole committee of biblical scholars working with the earliest and best Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts. I believe such a pedigree lends robust credibility to the words and phrases used in the NIV as reflections of the original meaning. Moreover, a bit of further research told me that the translators came from several different Christian denominations. That doesn't tell us how devout they were, but at the very least, this was not a team of skeptics doing the work. So any agenda they may have had is very likely to have been in the faith's favor. If a consensus of these scholars concurs that "rape" is the best translation, or at least a reasonably accurate one, than I think we can be quite confident in the fidelity of that choice.

Interestingly, I also checked the Spanish counterpart to the NIV (the NVI, or Nueva Versión Internacional), and it translated the relevant phrase as "la obliga a acostarse con él," which literally means "forces/compels her to go to bed with him." Even in a different language, the implication of consent is just not supported.

But this raised a question in my mind that I've occasionally wondered about before. Many atheists cite an unfiltered reading of the Bible as a major route or catalyst to deconversion. Since translating the text almost certainly entails a deeper dive than even a typical doubting Christian would undertake, I have to wonder if any of the translators emerged from the project either as outright atheists or at least with some serious doubts.

More broadly, do Bible translation endeavors in general have any particular knack for producing doubters?

The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. – Carl Sagan
Sōla vēritās sancta in philosophiā nātūrālī est absentia vēritātum sanctārum.
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστίν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
12-09-2018, 12:36 PM
RE: Bible Translation and Deconversion
(12-09-2018 12:29 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  I was watching a video by Godless Engineer in which he responds to a Christian (attempted) defense of Deuteronomy 22:28-29. The Christian in question identified the NIV as a version of the Bible which is especially misleading, and I can easily see why. It explicitly uses the word "rape," which is very inconvenient for apologists who try to argue, as the subject of the video did, that the meaning is closer to seduction and/or consensual "fornication."

A key part was referencing the original Hebrew diction, which used the verb taphasa, meaning "manipulate; seize; take." While this seems a bit more ambiguous than the alternative used elsewhere in the Old Testament (chazaq), it's still quite a stretch to claim that the implied sexual act was consensual.

Then it occurred to me that the NIV was translated by a whole committee of biblical scholars working with the earliest and best Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts. I believe such a pedigree lends robust credibility to the words and phrases used in the NIV as reflections of the original meaning. Moreover, a bit of further research told me that the translators came from several different Christian denominations. So any agenda they may have had is very likely to have been in the faith's favor. If a consensus of these scholars concurs that "rape" is the best translation, or at least a reasonably accurate one, than I think we can be quite confident in the fidelity of that choice.

But this raised a question in my mind that I've occasionally wondered about before. Many atheists cite an unfiltered reading of the Bible as a major route or catalyst to deconversion. Since translating the text almost certainly entails a deeper dive than even a typical doubting Christian would undertake, I have to wonder if any of the translators emerged from the project either as outright atheists or at least with some serious doubts.

More broadly, do Bible translation endeavors in general have any particular knack for producing doubters?

I doubt it. I read the OT in Hebrew. I read it less well in Aramaic. Sometimes the Aramaic departs quite a bit from the Hebrew, but in such cases the Aramaic adds to the understanding rather than detracting from it. For example, the admonishment not to go about as a talebearer among your people in Hebrew, says not to eat of winking in Aramaic. The Hebrew says not to tell tales, the Aramaic says not to listen to them. Arguably, the real damage happens when we listen.

My belief that people are basically good is sometimes crushed by the reality that people are basically bad
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Yonadav Kenyon's post
12-09-2018, 01:51 PM
RE: Bible Translation and Deconversion
Robert Price has a great book out which demolishes the OT bullshit that these jesus freaks love to throw around as if it is real. Well worth the read.

Holy Fable: The Old Testament Undistorted by Faith (Volume 1)

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Minimalist's post
12-09-2018, 05:50 PM
RE: Bible Translation and Deconversion
Translators becoming atheists for having studied the original languages? Bart Ehrman comes to mind immediately. He was a devout Christian who became a a Bible scholar, but when he examined the original languages of the scriptures his studies led him to become a prominent agnostic skeptic. Books like Misquoting Jesus would be worth looking into. As many a person has noted, the best route to atheism is to read the Holy Scriptures.

I was already an atheist by then, but while studying Paul in Greek, it occurred to me how transactional so much of the text reads. "You get that in exchange for this, you lose this if you do that..." He might as well be giving out coupons.

(I have heard sermons that were much the same way. One priest was trying to explain the value of the sacrament of confession vs. some other form of penance for sin. He might as well have been selling merchandise. The vibe was "100% off guaranteed if you confess now!" Religion is a racket.)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like DistantSecond2's post
12-09-2018, 07:14 PM
RE: Bible Translation and Deconversion
(12-09-2018 05:50 PM)DistantSecond2 Wrote:  Translators becoming atheists for having studied the original languages? Bart Ehrman comes to mind immediately. He was a devout Christian who became a a Bible scholar, but when he examined the original languages of the scriptures his studies led him to become a prominent agnostic skeptic. Books like Misquoting Jesus would be worth looking into. As many a person has noted, the best route to atheism is to read the Holy Scriptures.

I was already an atheist by then, but while studying Paul in Greek, it occurred to me how transactional so much of the text reads. "You get that in exchange for this, you lose this if you do that..." He might as well be giving out coupons.

(I have heard sermons that were much the same way. One priest was trying to explain the value of the sacrament of confession vs. some other form of penance for sin. He might as well have been selling merchandise. The vibe was "100% off guaranteed if you confess now!" Religion is a racket.)

I buy my indulgences on eBay.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
12-09-2018, 07:47 PM
RE: Bible Translation and Deconversion
I don't really care which of the bible translations people refer to...

Same shit, different smell.    Dodgy

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: