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« "He's a cat's cat" | Main | Inquiring minds want to know »

March 30, 2006

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"But Americans are deeply divided over the issue of whether the Bible is of divine or human origin. Those who believe the Bible's text is divine in origin, and is thus not subject to revision, are very, very different from those who believe the Bible was cobbled together by fallible men, importing their own assumptions and pre-modern superstitions into their accounts of God's design."

I think that may be a bit simplistic. When the writer says that the Bible's text is "divine in origin", he is being a bit loose with his terms - the Bible's original text was written by human beings. Human beings that may have had a (more direct) connection to God, but human beings nonetheless. Even Jesus is widely regarded as having his own share of human frailties *by people who also believe him to be the son of God*.

So if we accept that every one of the Bible's original authors was human, and subject to human frailty, then it follows that their writings are indeed subject to debate and revision. They were after all recounting experiences in their own vernacular - not acting as God's stenographers. And then of course the texts went through several rewrites over the ages, which leads many to ask how close is the present day text to the original.

So citing the Bible's text as divine in origin does not in itself preclude one from also entertaining the possibility of revision.

It's a different story with the Koran of course - not because its author was fundementally different than Jesus and the apostles (all were humans with a special connection to God), but because believers feel the hand of their god to be much more present in the minutest minutae of day to day life, especially including the documentation, transcription and citation of their own particular holy text, i.e. to them anything said by an imam is assumed to be directly sponsored by Allah... unless another imam contradicts him, at which point the muslim brain kind of explodes and shuts down rather than continue on down that seemingly blasphemous path.

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