In teaching the Bible my Grandfather used to hammer home a very important point, usage determines meaning. This simply means that regardless of the word or phrase, what the author meant at the time the words were spoken or written determine what the meaning of the word or phrases were.
You can no more automatically attribute modern meaning to ancient words than you can attribute modern social norms to those of the past. Just as social norms and traditions evolve and change so too do words.
In understanding the Bible you must not only know what was meant by the author when it was written, you must also realize that it has gone through numerous translations. Most people know that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, but that is just the beginning of the Bible's confusing journey.
For one, these two ancient languages besides changing as all languages do over time, were translated to other languages most notably and at first mainly to Latin.
When thinking about the Bible that has reached us you must remember that for literally hundreds of years very few people actually had a Bible to read. The Bible was controlled by the educated and elite and used and abused not only to evangelize but to control people.
During most of the time that the Bible has been with us, the idea of translating it for the common man was not only an extremely difficult task, to do so was considered heretical. Even when the Bible began to be translated to different languages, it was done more for the convenience of kings as a means to bolster their claims than as a way to enlighten the masses to the Grace of God and the truth of Christ.
This is not to say that there were not leaders that truly "believed" in God and Christ and did good, but a history of even the modern Christian church is filled with "good" Christian leaders brought low by the desires and temptations of this world.
The Bible may be the Word of God, but it has been in the hands of men since the beginning. Perhaps this is why the Bible warns us that "the letter kills but the spirit gives life."
All of this is easily identifiable by a simple fact which even the most fervent Christian cannot deny. There is no one single "theology" which all Christians follow and believe to be the "truth."
The multitude of denominations and now "non-denominations" exist due to the myriad of differences that exist within the over all Christian church. All of this diversity of beliefs is a direct result of the many interpretations of the meaning of words. Words which not only have been used to subjugate peoples over the centuries but to indoctrinate them to beliefs that may benefit princes and potentates but may not necessarily get us to a closer understanding of God.
That is briefly how we got to where we are now. Now we are lost in the wilderness of a forest of beliefs and dogma beyond any one persons ability to comprehend.
If you wish to understand where this strange yet obviously God inspired evolution of Christian thought and theology has taken us and what has caused it, you need only visit a Bible aggregate service like Bible Gateway and look up a Bible verse. Then look up the different translations. Last I looked there were over sixty different translations of the Bible available for your viewing and theological preference-in English language versions only.
Literally you cannot see the forest for the trees.
To show how far afield words can take you, let us look at the word gospel itself. The first thing we need to understand is that the word gospel is now a noun regardless of its original use. If you look it up you will find it to mean one of the following. In the religious context, either one of the first four books of the New Testament, or the teachings of Jesus Christ. In a less religious context the definition say that it means that it is an expression of absolute truth or a set of principles or beliefs applied to a particular field. Then, of course, it can also denote a particular form of music.
As we said at the beginning, words change, usage determines meaning. The authors of "The Gospels" did not label their writings. As time has passed we have just come to refer to their writings as "The Gospels" So what does the word gospel actually mean?
How many times does the word gospel actually appear in the New Testament? Which version? Without going through every version I found as many as 138 uses (King James Version) and as few as 0 (Names of God Bible) uses of the word gospel in the Bible. In case you think I was looking up strange off the wall bibles to come up with this, I admit I had never heard of the Names of God Bible either, but there are multiple Bibles where the word gospel only appears once. Interesting enough not all of them are the same verse either.
The word gospel is used in some places by some Bible translations and not in others. Did the original writers actually write something or didn't they?
How can this be? How can sixty different Bible versions have the same word in them anywhere between 0 and 138 times? Well for one thing usage determines meaning. Once you change the usage of a word, the translation of that word becomes acceptable. Even if what was originally intended is, forgive the pun, lost in translation. It almost seems as if rather than trying to faithfully "scribe" the "Word Of God", translation are done to further some particular belief or doctrine.
I will fairly quickly explain what the word gospel actually meant when originally written and what happened.
The word gospel comes from the original Greek word euganelion which means good news. This was translated to Latin and later to old English. When it was translated from Latin to English a vowel was inadvertently dropped and instead "good" spel (news) it was changed to "god" spel (news). Regardless of this mistake in translation from good news to god's news the actual Greek word written meant good news.
Again it must be noted that if you look up the word gospel in a regular dictionary the definition is not "good news " as was originally written.
Usage determines meaning.
For most people, religious or not, the word gospel now means truth or a message or if you like a message of truth. Now you may believe that it is a message of truth but the word itself has come to mean something that is not truthfully what it was intended to mean.
Is this important? Well consider over a thousand years of doctrine built around the belief in a true message versus a belief in one of good news. Consider also that the word (gospel) that has come to mean truth and message does not really mean that at all, at least it didn't to the people we revere for having written the "Gospels" to begin with.
This is just one small example of how translations and words have shaped peoples beliefs. I know many will think that it doesn't really matter, we know the basics. Well what could be more basic to Christians than the Gospel(s)? Besides what are those basics and what is the foundation for those basics? The words in your Bible? Which Bible, which words, which translation?
And how can someone tell them if he is not sent? The Holy Writings say, “The feet of those who bring the Good News are beautiful.”
That's biblical by the way.
Egyptologists stumble across ramp that helps explain how huge blocks of stones were hauled into place
Mexican citizen living in Marion sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for operating documents mill that produced 1,000 false identification documents, as well as stealing the identity of another: https://t.co/autC9GGbIa @ICEgov @CBP— NDOHnews (@NDOHnews) October 31, 2018
The Norwegian saboteurs skied across the Telemark pine forest in winter whites, phantom apparitions gliding over moonlit snow. They halted at a steep river gorge and gazed down at a humming hydroelectric power plant where Nazi scientists had developed a mysterious, top-secret project. Lt.
Watching the Kavanaugh/Ford show including the entire testimony of both parties one thing has become clear, some definition of credible needs to be determined.
Throughout all of this the Democrats have consistently used the term credible allegation, so what is credible?
able to be believed; convincing.Which also means that if something is not convincing or able to be believed it is not credible. Simple really.
Listening to Dr. Ford and her recounting of her story sounds credible, but nearly any story without context is believable especially if you have no reason to doubt the story.
Let's begin with the very real fact that anyone's memory of an event thirty-six years old is going to be a bit hazy at best. So she should not be held responsible to remember every single detail of the events in question.
On the other hand she does say the event has been a traumatic event in her life so it is not like she is being asked to recall some mundane event but rather something tremendously important in her life.
As a personal example, without help from someone else present I cannot remember my eighth birthday party, or that birthday at all. But I do remember a great deal about the day my father died, which happened shortly after.
Something which deeply affects you is bound to be more memorable than a normal day, simply because you will think about it more, and for a longer period of time. I have revisited the day my father died many times in my mind and have hardly, if ever, discussed it with others.
That is why we call such things, memorable.
Trying to determine what someone should or should not remember is impossible though. People hold onto some things and discard others and that is just the way the human mind works. By the way the human mind also replaces memories as well, especially painful ones.
So if memories are not to be a basis for credibility what is? How about the memories you do have and how they stack up against other peoples and common sense?
With that standard, Dr. Ford's accusation is not credible at all. She originally identified four other people as being at the scene of the alleged attack. They have all said they were not there and have no recollection of the event. This includes one person who was just an attendee, two people who would be in jeopardy if true and one person who is her life long friend.
She has now, at the last minute, added a fifth "unknown" attendee, more on that shortly.
Actually in a lot of ways this should end the matter straight out. But there is more.
She does not recall how she ended up at the house, she did not drive yet. Credible?
She does not remember where the party was, when it was and importantly whose house it was. Credible?
Perhaps this is why at the last official "telling" of her story she added another person who is "unknown." This new person was not in her previous statements. There is a very good reason for adding someone you cannot identify to the story at the last minute.
At the very least these kids were at someones house. The new person added to Ford's story was a must. Simply because, besides the people identified denying any knowledge, they also all lived in houses. Houses which could be compared to her description. Without an "unknown other" all the houses would be known and one better match her description.
Then there is the locked door that she seems to remember then promptly forgets.
From her testimony:
Brett and Mark came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them......It is of course possible that she simply forgot or did not mention that she stopped to unlock the door. But to be credible we must explain why the "attackers" allowed her to so easily escape. After all they locked the door to keep her in right? They turned up the music to drown out her calls for help and Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth to keep her from calling for help. Then after taking all these precautions to ensure the success of their scheme, they just let her go.
...... I was able to get up and run out of the room. Directly across from the bedroom was a small bathroom. I ran inside the bathroom and locked the door.
But she did not flee the house, she did not call for help, she did not run downstairs to be with others who could protect her, she locked herself in a bathroom right across the hall from her assailants. Credible?
We also know that her "lifelong" friend says she not only does not remember the party she does not know Brett Kavanaugh. But for the sake of argument let's say her friend just forgot about the party.
Lets say that since Ford claims not to have told anyone and she left the house without saying goodbye, her friend just does not remember the get together.
She left the house and her friend without telling her. She did not warn the other girl present, a friend, that there were two drunk "older boys" who had tried to rape her. She just went out the front door without warning her friend? Credible?
She said she was relieved that they did not follow her outside, that's nice, what about the girl she left behind? And the girl she left behind never asked her why? "Why did you leave me in the house with those older boys alone?" "Where did you go?" Never asked? Credible?
If that happened is it credible that two fifteen year old girls would never discuss the events that she claims to have just occurred....ever? Not after they happened, not in the next three years of high school together, not in the remainder of their "life long" friendship? Credible?
Then she goes home.
How did she get there? She doesn't remember. She did not live near the country club where she thinks she came from on that day before the "get together" so who drove her home?
How did she call for a ride? This is pre-cell phone America. If she did not call from the house, Where did she go to find a pay phone? Even in those days pay phones were not on every corner, you had to go to commercial area to find one. Certainly if she called someone to pick her up, an older person who could drive that she knew, they might remember. Or did she return to the club? She does not remember? Credible?
She was there, Kavanaugh attacked her, she was gone. Everything else is forgotten.
I came in to my house from playing baseball with Gary and Ernie B. to house full of Aunts on the day my father died fifty five years ago when I was eight.
I could go on but in evaluating two compelling testimonies, two totally conflicting accounts how do you decide? You decide based on the best evidence available to you. In this case the best evidence available is the memory of Dr. Ford. But not her memory taken as fact, but her memory judged against known facts and common sense.
What is credible? Not the memory of Dr. Ford.
We are not talking about a house party we are talking about 5 people. We are also talking about a young teen age girl alone with three drunk "older" boys in a home suddenly by herself when her friend disappears. That would be something to remember.— Jerry Brown (@sebastianjer) September 23, 2018
Lisa Page bombshell: FBI couldn’t prove Trump-Russia collusion before Mueller appointment TWEET SHARE MORE
To date, Lisa Page's infamy has been driven mostly by the anti-Donald Trump text messages she exchanged with fellow FBI agent Peter Strzok as the two engaged in an affair while investigating the president for alleged election collusion with Russia.
Unseal the FISA redactions? We should be alarmed by what's already disclosed Will this be the week? With bated breath, we wait to find out whether we've reached the moment, after the Labor Day end of summer, just as the critical midterm races heat up, when President Trump will follow through on his threat to declassify and publicize key FISA-gate documents - in particular, the redacted portions of the Carter Page surveillance-warrant applications.
Opinion | When I challenge the president, I do it directly. My anonymous colleague should have, too.
We have enough issues to deal with in the world, so it's unfortunate to have to take time to write this, but I feel compelled to address the claims in the anonymous "resistance" op-ed published this week in the New York Times. The author might think he or she is doing a service to the country.
Trump’s new science advisor calls ‘global warming’ a ‘cult movement’ & ‘pure belief disguised as science’
Trump's new science advisor calls 'global warming' a 'cult movement' & 'pure belief disguised as science'
President Donald Trump has fired a huge salvo against the man-made climate change establishment with his pick of new top White House advisor Dr. William Happer of Princeton University.
Throughout history there are countless examples of individuals, governments or even entire societies descension into the abyss when they come to believe that life has no value. The endgame to this is always death and a moral sickness which destroys that individual, government or society.
The Nazis were by no means the first or the last to deem certain individual classes of people “undesirable.” They were however an illustrative example of how a society could be led like sheep to the slaughter, to moral bankruptcy. An example of how an educated and even a religious society could be turned into a society which readily accepts the unacceptable.
Morality, like beauty, is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but uncaring slaughter of others is far more than a moral issue, it is determinative of civilized humanity itself.
Simply put, slaughter of innocent humans is uncivilized, morally bankrupt and inhumane.
Interestingly the online Webster Dictionary gives this as a definition of inhumane:
: not kind or gentle to people or animals : not humane
the inhumane [=cruel] treatment of prisoners
The entire pro-choice argument is based on thinking that is a relic of a time far removed from the society we now live in. We now live in a society where contraception is not only accepted it is taught and encouraged by the majority.
The “choice” that its adherents champion is, in a vast majority of cases, the second choice after first making an irresponsible first choice. I do not mean partaking in sexual activity, that is an individual personal and moral choice, I speak of partaking in unprotected sex in the first place.
That is the “choice” that the so called pro-choice movement would have us ignore.
Regardless of gender, life and especially adulthood is filled with responsibilities. A responsible human first and foremost is responsible for their own actions, or inactions. A civilized society is built on the concept of individual accountability. We, each of us, is responsible for what we do and how it may affect others.
We all make mistakes, an unwanted pregnancy ought to be viewed as a mistake, not a choice. Certainly the child of this mistake is not the mistake, to say that it is, is to say that the destruction of the child is self serving murder.
To say that a woman has the choice to create life in order to destroy it is condoning infanticide, plain and simple.
At any level, once life has no value, nothing has value. At that point every aspect of life becomes a meaningless show. Preening about “caring” for others, whether it be any particular group, ethnicity, or gender is pure hypocrisy. When your internal philosophy finds no compassion for the most innocent and defenseless of all creatures, the unborn, the rest is all show.
Spare us the outrage for the destruction of forests, or the unjust slaughter of animals. Spare us the candlelight vigils for the condemned criminals while condoning nay encouraging and championing the wanton destruction of life in the womb, who truly are those who have been imprisoned without trial let alone choice.
Better yet spare the innocent from your false and depraved choice.