15 Jan 2011

Demystifying the Word(s)

Submitted by Stephen Winters

I would suppose that the documents of the Bible (see footnote below) were originally written as very practical everyday letters and documents to help others live a responsible and fruitful life. However, over nearly two thousands years of retranslations and adding religious meanins to the original Greek and Hebrew words, the meaning of the writings can be altered considerably. But, once we remove the layers of layers of built up religiosity from the defintions of the words in the Buble, then we can begin to understand the original intent of the authors.

Let's start with a very basic but foundational concept. In the period of time that Christ was on the earth (and before this time), very few people could write. (see history of writing_) So writing was more in awe. Scripture was a term for writing in general, and for generic written documents.

(note to myself: look up the history and usage of writing in general. Also look more into the word "scripture")

The books1 2 in the Bible were originally written as individual documents, letters, etc. At the time they were written there is no indication that any of the authors intended their writings to become part of a "holy" book. The authors wrote each document for a specific purpose, some of which we know and some that we don't know.

The documents of the bible are very practical and they have the ring of truth.

Religious people have taken the term "scripture" and made it into a "spiritual" term. But is there really an indication that at the time of this word's usage that it was considered anything other than the act or ... of plain writing?

The word Bible originally meant "book", as in it contained scriptures (documents).

Truthful words are helpful whether or not they are said to be "inspired by the Spirit". But, to go a step further than that, since God is the very embodiment of the truth, all truthful words are "inspired by the Spirit".

Definitions of the words.

As I look through a Greek or Hebrew dictionary of "Bible" words, one thing I notice is sthere is of then the "Religious" definition of the words and then there is a natural or plain definition. It's almost as though there are two primary definitions of the same word. I often wonder if the religious definition was put there to support people's religious beliefs. Then the natural definiton seems more like the real definition that was actually used in the time period that was written about. It seems to me that if we would just strip away all the religious definitions of the words then we would have a closer understanding of what the original authors really meant.

[note to myself: look up "revealed truth" as used in religion."]

  • 1. Bible:

    Look up Bible at Dictionary.com early 14c., from Anglo-L. biblia, from M.L./L.L. biblia (neuter plural interpreted as fem. singular), in phrase biblia sacra "holy books," a translation of Gk. ta biblia to hagia "the holy books," from Gk. biblion "paper, scroll," the ordinary word for "book," originally a dim. of byblos "Egyptian papyrus," possibly so called from Byblos (modern Jebeil, Lebanon), the name of the Phoenician port from which Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece (cf. parchment). Or the place name might be from the Gk. word, which would then probably be of Egyptian origin. The Christian scripture was refered to in Gk. as Ta Biblia as early as c.223. Bible replaced O.E. biblioðece (see bibliothek) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Bible

  • 2. Main Entry: bi·ble

    Pronunciation: \ˈbī-bəl\ Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin biblia, from Greek, plural of biblion book, diminutive of byblos papyrus, book, from Byblos, ancient Phoenician city from which papyrus was exported Date: 14th century

    • 1 capitalized a : the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament b : the sacred scriptures of some other religion (as Judaism)
    • 2 obsolete : book
    • 3 capitalized : a copy or an edition of the Bible
    • 4 : a publication that is preeminent especially in authoritativeness or wide readership

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/bible

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