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Customer Discussions > Christianity forum

The Bible Telephone

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Showing 1-25 of 345 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 12, 2012 10:48:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 12, 2012 10:49:27 PM PST
Blu Boy says:
In the words of comedian David Cross:

"Back when the Bible was written...then edited...then rewritten, then rewritten, then re-edited, then translated from dead languages, then re-translated, then edited, then rewritten, then given to kings for them to take their favorite parts, then rewritten, then re-rewritten, then translated again, then given to the pope for him to approve, then rewritten, then edited again, then re-re-re-re-rewritten again...all based on stories that were told orally...30 to 90 years AFTER they people who didn't know how to guess what I'm saying is the bible is literally the world's oldest game of telephone."

I wonder how accurate this description is and if it is even remotely close, how does one rely on the "word of God" when it has been edited over and over again?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 10:51:06 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 15, 2016 2:23:06 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2012 10:54:32 PM PST
Blu Boy says:
That certainly might be the case but how can one decypher the original intent of passages like, say, Leviticus 18 and 20 on homosexuality?

Perhaps these were editing errors and there really is no reason for all the fuss?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 7:57:01 AM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Blu Boy,

What is David Cross's evidence that the Bible was "written...then edited... then rewritten, then rewritten, then re-edited" before it was translated in the first place?

According to Josephus, the Jews had a different attitude about the Scriptures than the Greeks. The Jews weren't so bold "as either to add anything to them, to take anything from them, or to make any change in them". So I can't see any indication of all the re-writes that Cross refers to.

When you consider that almost all of the writers of the New Testament were Jewish and very aware that what they were writing was inspired by God and easily contradicted by people still alive who had heard Jesus preach and who witnessed his resurrection, if they got stuff wrong- I don't see that rewriting process going on.

I wonder why David Cross thinks that ancient people couldn't write? The Bible specifically shows God telling Moses and Jeremiah to write down what He told them. There are examples of secular ancient Semitic writings uncovered by archeologists in the area of Israel, so the ancient Semitic cultures were not without people who could write.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 1:23:30 PM PST
mrs exp says:
Blu Boy
Have you even written a book on how the Bible was written and transmitted. I would like to recommend a good book on that subject.
"Encountering the Manuscripts" by Philip Comfort.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 2:15:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2012 2:17:54 PM PST
Blu Boy,

You are trying to say that the Bible is not accurate because it has gone through so much editing and re-writing, translation with events and people were added 70-140 years after they occurred. Now come on. Get with it. Just ask "God." Christian God will tell you.

Speaking of telephones. I got an inside deal on a phone. I knew that the Pope must have one. So, a rep at AT&T admitted that they exist and for a hefty price they installed a god phone in my house. Any questions and I call up "God." Usually I have been getting his secretary Ophelia. However, she tells me she has been running the show for the past 4000 of our years. God is out on an extended golf game (4000 years = 4 god hours).

Blu Boy, how can you even think of such things. ;)

Have a good day.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 4:24:29 PM PST
Blu Boy says:

I don't think that Mr. Cross was refering to the "original writers" of the bible, merely the many different transcripts/translations that over time may have changed the original text.

Again I reiterate my question reguarding Leviticus 18 and 20, is it possible that these were changed/lost in translation?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2012 4:26:30 PM PST
Blu Boy says:
Scientific Mind-

I called AT&T to ask about the god line, they told me that to get one I needed to obey the commandment of not reading the fine print. I just couldn't do it. Sorry, perhaps when you get God on the line I may sign up. Keep me posted.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 9:55:22 AM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Blu Boy,

You asked :"Again I reiterate my question reguarding Leviticus 18 and 20, is it possible that these were changed/lost in translation?"

I don't see how. Moses was viewed as having received the law from God. Meddling with what he wrote would have been extremely sacrilegious. The priests were held to a higher standard by God than regular people. If they were true believers, they would not have even considered changing God's Law. If they were not true believers they could have simply ignored it, which some generations did for awhile. In times when people followed and respected the Law, it was read to the people and they would have noticed anything added in and objected.

(I re-read Leviticus 18- 20 and found that chapter 18 tells us the laws regarding sexual purity, which includes many admonitions, not just homosexuality. Leviticus 19 relates various other laws not having to do with just sexual purity and Leviticus 20 tells what the punishment is for breaking the laws mentioned in Leviticus 18 and 19).

Keeping the Law was required in order to keep the land. Tampering with the Law would have been out of the question for faithful believers.

What evidence can you point to that this editing was done?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 10:26:32 AM PST
Budgie says:
Occasionally, a tablet or pottery shard is discovered that points to OT revisions as the Hebrew monotheistic faith evolved.

The most recent incidence of this editing that I'm aware of is the attempt to delete Asherah, Yahweh's wife, from the OT.

When things like this arise, the Bible apologists come up with excuses like "Asherah is a tree stump, not Yahweh's wife" while ignoring drawings of Yahweh and his Asherah together and other statuettes of Asherah, who, as a fertility goddess, looks nothing like a tree stump.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 12:04:54 PM PST
BV says:
BB - "then rewritten, then rewritten, then re-edited"

If that was the case, the Apostles would have been more like the Marvel Society than the Keystone Cops (Peter would have been Thing from Fantastic 4, since he was the rock).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 2:53:36 PM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Budgie,

Thank-you for the interesting link. :)

I am puzzled why the Biblical scholar looked at the pottery shards depicting Asherah with Yahweh (especially as Yahweh is a spirit, I wonder what picture would have stood for Him?) and concluded that Asherah was edited from the Bible.

For one thing, Asherah is mentioned in the Bible. There were prophets of the Lord who bemoaned the fact that people daily made offerings to the Queen of Heaven. There were Israelite kings who refused to get rid of the Asherah poles. Priests even mixed worship of gods and goddesses with that of the Lord.

I don't doubt that there were many people back then who worshiped both God and Asherah because the Bible indicates this as well as the archeological evidence. But that doesn't mean that we should jump to the faulty conclusion that Asherah as Yahweh's wife was edited out of the Bible.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 3:06:24 PM PST
Budgie says:
Hi, Vicki,

If you can overlook the overdramatizations of this BBC series, you might find them interesting.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 4:30:40 PM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Budgie,

Unfortunately, my slo-mo connection to the internet doesn't allow me to view youtube. :(

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2012 4:48:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2012 4:49:55 PM PST
Blu Boy says:

Thank you for your comment.

I am not a bible scholar nor do I have a very in depth knowledge of how much the bible transcript has changed over the last few millenia. I think that all of the different "translations" of the bible are somewhat indicitive of the lack of criteria for acknowledging what has or hasn't changed since the time of the original writings.

One area I have often heard called into question is that of the "virgin" birth as it is only cited in one of the gospels and there is a common translation of the original word used meaning purity (not nessecarily sexual).

With so many different translations and all of the different interpretations of the bible I find myself with more doubt about its validity.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 1:54:35 PM PST
All I can say is that my sixty-one year walk with the Lord has never wavered and the Bible to which you're referring was being preached when I was saved. You may be interested in reading HEAVEN-BOUND OR HELL-BOUND? (THE ZON TWINS). The fictional stories have two real salvation experiences in them, my granddaughter's experience and mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 3:06:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2012 3:07:36 PM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Blu Boy,

I believe that the example that you used has to do with the English translation of the word "virgin" from the Hebrew term which can mean "young unmarried girl". I don't see how this effects the reading of the text. The Bible clearly relates that Mary was not impregnated by Joseph, but was made pregnant by the work of the Holy Spirit. Somehow the argument over the word "virgin" seems kind of moot.

Although we don't have the orginal autographs, we do have numerous ancient Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that are compared to each other when a new English translation is made. This catches variants such is different spellings, scribal errors, etc. I notice that in my NIV Bible, there are portions that are clearly identified with notations such as "this passage not found in the earliest manuscripts", or "not found in the Masoretic texts".

I am sometimes unhappy with my NIV translation but I have other English versions that I can compare it to in order to get a clearer understanding of what various passages are saying. But even in those cases, the message is not significantly changed.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 1:18:05 PM PST
K. Cooper says:
The Gospels were around from the early days of Christianity and they were published fairly soon after the events happened. It is likely that when the Gospels of Matthew and Mark first appeared that were people still living who had seen and known Jesus, His family and the Apostles.
So while it is possible that some editing/rewriting was done, it is not the extent described above.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 4:09:55 PM PST
Budgie says:
What is "fairly soon"?

Here is a good link to a paper by a non-biased university (Duke) which has the earliest bit of gospel (John) being dated around 100-125 CE.

That is plenty of time for the "telephone" message to be massaged, corrupted, embellished, etc.

Lots of people could write in Jesus' time, in multiple languages, and yet there are NO (valid) contemporaneous accounts of Jesus or any of the wonders he is supposed to have performed before multitudes other than the New Testament, which doesn't add to the credulity of the Bible.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 4:45:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2012 4:47:50 PM PST
Mens Sana says:
Vicki: What evidence can you point to that this editing (of the Bible) was done?

M_S: One NT example is the story of the woman caught in adultery, now found in John 7:53-8:11. That editing was done is evidenced by its placement, in some manuscripts, after John 7:36, also after John 7:44, even after John 21:25 - and in another manuscript, it is not found in John at all, but is located after Luke 21:38!

Thus we have at least five different editors deciding where this otherwise homeless story can be interpolated.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 5:09:46 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 17, 2012 3:50:06 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 6:42:16 PM PST
mrs exp says:
How do you know that Duke is a non-biased university? Most date John abound 85-95 AD.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 6:44:09 PM PST
mrs exp says:
Mens Sana,
Do you know of any other, other than 1 John 5:7-8, places that indicate editing?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 8:10:25 PM PST
emac says:

Mt and LK both coping exactly MK and other times changing MK in differing ways, of course, is the best example.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 8:15:06 PM PST
emac says:

Almost no scholar thinks that Moses wrote the pentateuch. There are several views of how the construction took place. Start with the documentary hypothesis. Then look into the scholars: van Setters, Whybray, and Blum. You will find more from there such as Blenkinsopp and Challenor. Happy discovery.
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  28
Total posts:  345
Initial post:  Feb 12, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 12, 2012

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