Skip navigation
Sidebar -

Advanced search options →

Welcome

Welcome to CEMB forum.
Please login or register. Did you miss your activation email?

Recent Posts


Which Fictional Realm/Pla...
Today at 03:11 AM

I can't sleep!
Today at 02:39 AM

Discussion about "My Orde...
Today at 02:31 AM

Dawahman banned for homop...
Today at 02:06 AM

❀ What do you believe?
Today at 02:05 AM

Anyone who rebels is call...
Today at 01:36 AM

My Ordeal With The Quran ...
Yesterday at 11:23 PM

Qur'anic studies today
Yesterday at 11:17 PM

Cosmology in Islam
Yesterday at 10:26 PM

Linguistic miricle
by zeca
Yesterday at 06:43 PM

Israel for the Jews Only
Yesterday at 06:25 PM

Arabs without God - new e...
Yesterday at 05:28 PM

Donations

Kitty is lost

Theme Changer

 Topic: The Bible Project

 (Read 3595 times)
  • 12 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »
  • The Bible Project
     OP - August 12, 2011, 04:06 PM

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44117239/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/?gt1=43001

    JERUSALEM — A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.

    An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.
     
    Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies — publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia.
     
    And it has evolved, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary.
     
    For many Jews and Christians, religion dictates that the words of the Bible in the original Hebrew are divine, unaltered and unalterable.

    For Orthodox Jews, the accuracy is considered so inviolable that if a synagogue's Torah scroll is found to have a minute error in a single letter, the entire scroll is unusable.
     
    But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine.
     
    'Must be of interest'
    The project's scholars have been at work on their critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, a version intended mainly for the use of other scholars, since 1958.
     
    "What we're doing here must be of interest for anyone interested in the Bible," said Michael Segal, the scholar who heads the project.
     
    The sheer volume of information makes the Bible Project's version "the most comprehensive critical edition of the Hebrew Bible in existence at the present time," said David Marcus, a Bible scholar at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, who is not involved with the project.
     
    But Segal and his colleagues toil in relative anonymity. Their undertaking is nearly unknown outside a circle of Bible experts numbering several hundred people at most, and a visitor asking directions to the Bible Project's office on the university campus will find that many members of the university's own staff have never heard of it.
     
    This is an endeavor so meticulous, its pace so disconnected from that of the world outside, that in more than five decades of work the scholars have published a grand total of three of the Hebrew Bible's 24 books. (Christians count the same books differently, for a total of 39.) A fourth is due out during the upcoming academic year.
     
    If the pace is maintained, the final product will be complete a little over 200 years from now. This is both a point of pride and a matter of some mild self-deprecation around the office.
     
    Bible Project scholars have spent years combing through manuscripts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek translations on papyrus from Egypt, a printed Bible from 1525 Venice, parchment books in handwritten Hebrew, the Samaritan Torah, and scrolls in Aramaic and Latin. The last member of the original team died last year at age 90.
     
    Inevitable hiccups, scribal errors
    The scholars note where the text we have now differs from older versions — differences that are evidence of the inevitable textual hiccups, scribal errors and other human fingerprints that became part of the Bible as it was passed on, orally and in writing.

    A Microsoft Excel chart projected on one wall on a recent Sunday showed variations in a single phrase from the Book of Malachi, a prophet.
     
    The verse in question, from the text we know today, makes reference to "those who swear falsely." The scholars have found that in quotes from rabbinic writings around the 5th century A.D., the phrase was longer: "those who swear falsely in my name."
     
    In another example, this one from the Book of Deuteronomy, a passage referring to commandments given by God "to you" once read "to us," a significant change in meaning.
     
    Other differences are more striking.

    The Book of Jeremiah is now one-seventh longer than the one that appears in some of the 2,000-year-old manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Some verses, including ones containing a prophecy about the seizure and return of Temple implements by Babylonian soldiers, appear to have been added after the events happened.
     
    Cheese merchant turned smuggler
    The year the Bible Project began, 1958, was the year a priceless Hebrew Bible manuscript arrived in Jerusalem after it was smuggled out of Aleppo, Syria, by a Jewish cheese merchant who hid it in his washing machine.

    This was the 1,100-year-old Aleppo Codex, considered the oldest and most accurate version of the complete biblical text in Hebrew.
     
    The Bible Project's version of the core text — the one to which the others are compared — is based on this manuscript.

    Other critical editions of the Bible, such as one currently being prepared in Stuttgart, Germany, are based on a slightly newer manuscript held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
     
    Considering that the nature of their work would be considered controversial, if not offensive, by many religious people, it is perhaps surprising that most of the project's scholars are themselves Orthodox Jews.
     
    "A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy," said the project's bearded academic secretary, Rafael Zer. "But as soon as the words are given to human beings — with God's agreement, and at his initiative — the holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text is passed on."

    "Those who do not move, do not notice their chains." Rosa Luxemburg

    Everything in life
    is a good experience
    or a good story.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #1 - August 12, 2011, 04:20 PM

    This is great. I love that they found prophecies inserted retroactively. The project won't affect Muslims in the slightest, though, as one of their core reasons why they are better than the other Abrahamic faiths is that the bible was corrupted. This will only make them even more sure of themselves.

    "Those who do not move, do not notice their chains." Rosa Luxemburg

    Everything in life
    is a good experience
    or a good story.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #2 - August 12, 2011, 04:48 PM

    It would be nice to hear QueenIsabel's views on this. Is it a lie? Do you accept the Bible is of human and not divine origin (or at the very least humans have added to/taken away bits?)

    I'm hoping for something more than; "lol" or "bite me"

    Hell is an absurd & wicked fiction. You're not a bad person for rejecting something that's cruel, irrational, unjust & lacks evidence. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to feel ashamed about. Enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Make yourself & others happy.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #3 - August 12, 2011, 05:21 PM

    I'm not QueenIsabel, but I agree, and I'm not really astonished, by the fact that the Hebrew texts, like all old texts, were changed by people. I know of hundreds of changed texts in the Christian New Testament (including Evangelies that never reached the Bible although they were older than the four known).
    I am sure the same can be done with both the Qu'ran and the Hadeeths, bur people who would like to do so must fear for their lives...

    Religion is organized superstition
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #4 - August 12, 2011, 05:38 PM

    Considering the quran is mostly plagerized from the old testament,
    it would affect islam too.

    When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
    Helen Keller
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #5 - August 12, 2011, 05:43 PM

    Considering the quran is mostly plagerized from the old testament,
    it would affect islam too.


    Muslims will just say: That's why the Qur'an was so necessary as it confirmed what was true in the Bible and corrected what had been corrupted.

    Hell is an absurd & wicked fiction. You're not a bad person for rejecting something that's cruel, irrational, unjust & lacks evidence. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to feel ashamed about. Enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Make yourself & others happy.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #6 - August 12, 2011, 06:05 PM

    Do you accept the Bible is of human and not divine origin (or at the very least humans have added to/taken away bits?)

    I don't think any sensible Christian would deny this, certainly not my parents.

    I was talking about CEMB with my Dad the other night, and amongst other things, he told me of an old friend of his who has just died, author of the Christian Counterculture (not the one that comes up on Google, I think) about the Sermon on the Mount and the way that in it Jesus explicitly rejected many of the main tenets of the Old Testament.

    The Bible had been open to criticism and reinterpretation for yonks... but I still think it's elegant baloney of course.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #7 - August 12, 2011, 06:14 PM

    but I still think it's elegant baloney of course.


    I find it odd when I hear ex-Christians say that because when I read the Bible I found it an awful read - and imho the Qur'an is a superior read both in literary elegance and coherence.

    I guess it has a lot to what you are brought up with.

    Hell is an absurd & wicked fiction. You're not a bad person for rejecting something that's cruel, irrational, unjust & lacks evidence. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to feel ashamed about. Enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Make yourself & others happy.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #8 - August 12, 2011, 06:18 PM

    Some of the psalms (in the King James version) are lovely. And it's got some cracking stories.

    I've not read the Koran, though, so I can't compare the two.



    Edit: I'm not a Christian (so forgive ignorance), but I'm not sure the Bible is meant to be coherent. Rather than being a divinely-revealed life system, it's all about believing in magic.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #9 - August 13, 2011, 09:06 PM

    It would be nice to hear QueenIsabel's views on this. Is it a lie? Do you accept the Bible is of human and not divine origin (or at the very least humans have added to/taken away bits?)

    I'm hoping for something more than; "lol" or "bite me"


    The Bible was written by human hands and is divinely inspired. That is what Christians believe.

    As for me typing lol, I only type that when there is something funny.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #10 - August 13, 2011, 09:14 PM

    QI you have stated you are Lutheran-- are you ELCA or LCMS? I ask because the latter believes in Biblical inerrancy-- in other words, the Bible is the complete word of God and totally without error, which would be inconsistent with the findings of this study.

    "In battle, the well-honed spork is more dangerous than the mightiest sword" -- Sun Tzu
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #11 - August 13, 2011, 09:17 PM

    I'm with the LCMS
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #12 - August 13, 2011, 09:25 PM

    Then the findings of this study are at odds with your religion's doctrine.

    "In battle, the well-honed spork is more dangerous than the mightiest sword" -- Sun Tzu
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #13 - August 13, 2011, 10:18 PM

    The Bible was written by human hands and is divinely inspired. That is what Christians believe.


    Yet the Bible has clearly changed and had things removed, changed and added. Do you believe these deletions, changes and additions were divinely inspired too?

    Also, when you say Divinely inspired, do you mean in the same way I might say I was inspired to write a story in the sense of being motivated by something, but not in the sense that the words came from some source other than my own mind? Or do you mean every word was divinely inspired?

    Hell is an absurd & wicked fiction. You're not a bad person for rejecting something that's cruel, irrational, unjust & lacks evidence. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to feel ashamed about. Enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Make yourself & others happy.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #14 - August 13, 2011, 10:26 PM

    The last line makes me go  banghead


    Quote

    "A believing Jew claims that the source of the Bible is prophecy," said the project's bearded academic secretary, Rafael Zer. "But as soon as the words are given to human beings — with God's agreement, and at his initiative — the holiness of the biblical text remains, even if mistakes are made when the text is passed on."





    Take me to the moon in your watermelon slipper!
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #15 - August 14, 2011, 01:10 AM

    Then the findings of this study are at odds with your religion's doctrine.


    The small changes and the one added prophesy means nothing to me. I not the type to knit pick over such small stuff. I do not hold the view the Bible was directly written by God or God handed the Bible to the Jews.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #16 - August 14, 2011, 01:34 AM

    Quote
    Hassan
    Yet the Bible has clearly changed and had things removed, changed and added. Do you believe these deletions, changes and additions were divinely inspired too?


    No.

    Quote
    Also, when you say Divinely inspired, do you mean in the same way I might say I was inspired to write a story in the sense of being motivated by something, but not in the sense that the words came from some source other than my own mind? Or do you mean every word was divinely inspired?


    The Bible was written by people who were inspired by God, preserving the author's works without eliminating their specific concerns, situation, or style. The divine involvment allowed the writer to reveal God's own message to those who received the writings and to those who would come later, communicating God's message without corrupting it. Any textual variation of accounts, events, and speeches have to do with the copyists.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #17 - August 14, 2011, 01:37 AM

    Queen Isabel - are you a creationist?

    "Befriend them not, Oh murtads, and give them neither parrot nor bunny."  - happymurtad's advice on trolls.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #18 - August 14, 2011, 01:59 AM

    I'm a Day-Age Creationist.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #19 - August 14, 2011, 02:32 AM

    So you believe the days refer to whole eras rather than literal days. While that technically reconciles the Bible with age of the Earth, I always found it very untenable.
    Why wouldn't God just say "eras" or "a long time" instead of confusing everyone? There was no need to lie employ such misleading metaphors.

    What about evolution? Do you believe first woman was made from Adam's rib? What do you think of the talking snake and the original sin?

    Have you heard the good news? There is no God!
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #20 - August 14, 2011, 02:59 AM

    In the creation story the word Yom is used for day. The word can be interpreted as a long period of time ( thousands or even millions of years ) rather then a 24 hr time period.

    I believe Adam and Eve were created by God and believe in the fall of man story.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #21 - August 14, 2011, 07:52 AM

    You don't believe in human evolution then?

    "It's not enough to say that I don't believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Qur'an and I refute them." Emma Thompson

    Chat: http://client01.chat.mibbit.com/#ex-muslims
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #22 - August 14, 2011, 09:50 AM

    In the creation story the word Yom is used for day. The word can be interpreted as a long period of time ( thousands or even millions of years ) rather then a 24 hr time period.


    Did you know that's exactly what Muslims say too. The word in the Qur'an is "Yawm" which is the same as the Hebrew word "Yom".

    Hell is an absurd & wicked fiction. You're not a bad person for rejecting something that's cruel, irrational, unjust & lacks evidence. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to feel ashamed about. Enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Make yourself & others happy.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #23 - August 14, 2011, 11:56 AM

    Well, it's true, the word means both a literal day and a period of time. And I think Maimonides said that it isn't used literally in Genesis.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #24 - August 14, 2011, 12:04 PM

    So you believe the days refer to whole eras rather than literal days. While that technically reconciles the Bible with age of the Earth, I always found it very untenable.
    Why wouldn't God just say "eras" or "a long time" instead of confusing everyone? There was no need to lie employ such misleading metaphors.


    Because 'yom' means both an 'era' and a 'long time' as well as a day, and this would have been understood by the ancient Jews. The word isn't the same as our English word 'day' and thus it wouldn't have been so misleading as it may seem to be in translation.
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #25 - August 14, 2011, 12:15 PM

    Because 'yom' means both an 'era' and a 'long time' as well as a day, and this would have been understood by the ancient Jews. The word isn't the same as our English word 'day' and thus it wouldn't have been so misleading as it may seem to be in translation.


    ... wouldn't that make the "six" redundant?

    قل للمليحة في الخمار الأسود
    مـاذا فـعــلت بــناسـك مـتـعـبد

    قـد كـان شـمّر لــلـصلاة ثـيابه
    حتى خـطرت له بباب المسجد

    ردي عليـه صـلاتـه وصيـامــه
    لا تـقــتـلــيه بـحـق ديــن محمد
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #26 - August 14, 2011, 12:18 PM

    Also, I never really understood this. The universe wasn't "created" in a specific period of time because it started existing at 0 seconds. If they mean that it was "constructed" in a specific period of time (in the sense of being built like a house), then when did that "construction" end? With planet Earth? With "Adam"? With Moses? With Muhammad? Has it not ended yet?

    قل للمليحة في الخمار الأسود
    مـاذا فـعــلت بــناسـك مـتـعـبد

    قـد كـان شـمّر لــلـصلاة ثـيابه
    حتى خـطرت له بباب المسجد

    ردي عليـه صـلاتـه وصيـامــه
    لا تـقــتـلــيه بـحـق ديــن محمد
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #27 - August 14, 2011, 12:19 PM

    Islamic texts seem to suggest it ended just before Adam appeared, because it speaks of creating mountains and pastures in that six-day period. That almost makes it seem as though the universe was built for us.  Huh?

    قل للمليحة في الخمار الأسود
    مـاذا فـعــلت بــناسـك مـتـعـبد

    قـد كـان شـمّر لــلـصلاة ثـيابه
    حتى خـطرت له بباب المسجد

    ردي عليـه صـلاتـه وصيـامــه
    لا تـقــتـلــيه بـحـق ديــن محمد
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #28 - August 14, 2011, 12:32 PM

    ... wouldn't that make the "six" redundant?


    No because you can still have six periods of time, six millennia, six centuries, etc.

    Islamic texts seem to suggest it ended just before Adam appeared, because it speaks of creating mountains and pastures in that six-day period. That almost makes it seem as though the universe was built for us.  Huh?


    It was, wasn't it? As in Q. 2:29, And He it is who has created all that is in the earth for you...
  • Re: The Bible Project
     Reply #29 - August 14, 2011, 12:48 PM

    No because you can still have six periods of time, six millennia, six centuries, etc.


    But if we're going to examine these texts critically, as products of their historical context, despite "yom"'s possible other meanings, it seems kind of pointless for the person who wrote the texts to refer to *six* periods of undefined length. It seems much more likely the original authors had the literal meaning of "day" in mind. Then again, I'm not a biblical scholar or anything; it just seems pointless to refer to a vague period of time and multiply it by six. It's like, there's no information content in that extra piece of info.

    Also, I can't remember where, and whether it was in the Quran, but I've heard a Muslim authority of some kind say -- or write -- once that the universe was *not* created for us and that it is arrogant to think so. I'm too tired to verify this now, but I think I've seen it somewhere.

    Are you a Muslim, by the way?

    قل للمليحة في الخمار الأسود
    مـاذا فـعــلت بــناسـك مـتـعـبد

    قـد كـان شـمّر لــلـصلاة ثـيابه
    حتى خـطرت له بباب المسجد

    ردي عليـه صـلاتـه وصيـامــه
    لا تـقــتـلــيه بـحـق ديــن محمد
  • 12 Next page « Previous thread | Next thread »