Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Who Owns The Bible and What Is The Bible

The Bible we have is not the original text. I think the common notation for the original text is MS. I know of no scholar who believes that any of the ancient texts we have are original. Instead we believe some are copies of the original. I believe the notation for copies of the original is MSS. Few of the ancient manuscripts are MSS. The manuscripts that we have, MSS, can not be copywritten in my humble opinion. I'm sure the images of them are considered museum property. Greek texts like the UBS are really a scholarly weighting of which of these public domain documents are closest to the original, since we don't have the original. It would be nice to have the original text preserved by an objective, devote groups of scholars. I think that is one function of groups like the United Bible Society. The debate a couple years back on the gender sensitive translations makes me think that perhaps Bible societies may not be able to hold the line in preserving the text. If Bible societies are unable, who then? In a sense I don't want each individual denomination to do this work, nor do I want publishing houses like Zondervan to do it. I believe the PCA is a great denomination because they have taken ministerial ordination seriously. The place to hold back false doctrine is at the ordination examination. The group of men who examine are a check against error. How can this be done in preserving the original text? Obviously we don't want to have doctrinal tests for those who are responsible for preserving the original text.

The Jollyblogger talks about how some from the "emerging church" are using alternatives to the traditional Bible. While there is benefits to videos based on the Bible, illustrations of Bible stories, and other artistic works, in the end these are not the Word of God. God choose to reveal himself and message via the written word. That written word contains content that is of a certain nature. God even forbids the use of images in representing himself. The commandment which forbids images in one sense says that the content of our belief can not be conveyed via video, painting or visual art. The content of the God revealed religion is verbal and must be conveyed in written and spoke word. The words are not arbitrary either. If someone retells the story of the three little pigs, I will not quibble with a rewording for the modern or post-modern. But it is possible to leave the original text and instead of translating the Bible, the person is writing a Bible story book.
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