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British Library Puts Oldest Surviving Bible Online 568

Posted by kdawson
from the greek-to-me dept.
Peace Corps Library writes "BBC reports that about 800 pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible, the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript, have been recovered and put on the Internet. 'The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures,' says Dr. Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library. 'This 1,600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation.' The New Testament of the Codex Sinaiticus appears in Koine Greek, the original vernacular language, and the Old Testament in the version, known as the Septuagint, that was adopted by early Greek-speaking Christians. For 1,500 years, the Codex Sinaiticus lay undisturbed in a Sinai monastery until it was found in 1844 and split between Egypt, Russia, Germany, and Britain. It is thought to have survived because the desert air was ideal for preservation and because the monastery, on a Christian island in a Muslim sea, remained untouched, its walls unconquered. The British Library is marking the online launch of the manuscript with an exhibition which includes a range of historic items and artifacts linked to the document. 'The availability of the virtual manuscript for study by scholars around the world creates opportunities for collaborative research that would not have been possible just a few years ago.'"
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British Library Puts Oldest Surviving Bible Online

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  • by Viadd (173388) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:01PM (#28611129)

    But is it wiki'd so that people can make corrections to it?

    • by hansraj (458504) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:05PM (#28611185)

      Yes, but you need to be in God-mode for the editing feature to be enabled.

      • by davegravy (1019182) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:09PM (#28611281)
        That's a redundant security feature. God won't allow changes to the work that are not intended by Him.
      • 1600 years old, from earlier manuscripts that pre-date Constantine's adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

        It has no mention of a resurrection.

        For example, St Mark's Gospel ends 12 verses before later, revised, versions - omitting the appearance of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

        The incorporation of Osiris/Attys/Adonis/Mithras cultism, which dominated the eastern empire with it's symbolic resurrection theology was key to the success of Constantine's venture. It was so deeply held a belief, the bishops under Constantine may not even have realized they were fabricating and innovating.

        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:30PM (#28611629)
          ...Yet why would many of the followers of Christ before that time go to their deaths believing it if it were a lie? I mean, if you helped lead a lie about a resurrection would you die because of it? Or would you simply shut up when people threatened you? Yet there is no evidence that any of them did that. Why would Paul write so strongly about the resurrection even in prison? Heck, why would Paul leave his life of luxury as a Jewish leader stoning Christians if he didn't experience something supernatural?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Lumpy (12016)

            if you helped lead a lie about a resurrection would you die because of it? Or would you simply shut up when people threatened you?

            Let's see....

            Crusades, kill the infedels.
            Spanish Inquizition, kill those that dont agree, infedels.

            Catholic church rips you a new anus when you question them, damned infidels!

            The holy catholic church is incredibly powerful. Anyone challenging their stance is put as a nutjob to the world. (I wish we could go back to killing infidels!)

          • by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:49PM (#28611965) Homepage

            Why would Paul write so strongly about the resurrection even in prison?

            What makes you think that Paul wrote that gospel? The Bible was assembled by committee and included the the works submitted and voted in. Is it based on faith alone that you assume that the gospels were not embellished before publication?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Paul wrote NO Gospel.

              His are the epistles. Long after the four gospels.

              He was already polluted with Hellenised Judeo/Roman Levantine religion: he was an enforcer of the Orthodoxy before his conversion. Christianity had no orthodoxy at his arrival on the scene - so he constructed it for his unresolved needs and the social/psychological needs of intended mission.

              His epistles explicitly define and defend this new orthodoxy. Ultimately, Saul changed his name and religion - but the fundamental nature of his be

              • by gnick (1211984) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:15PM (#28612321) Homepage

                Paul wrote NO Gospel.

                OK. I absolutely have to correct this. There were four gospels, one of them Paul's. First came John, then Paul, then George, and finally Ringo.

                Oh, crap... I may be mixing theology here... OK fine. His story is an epistle - I stand corrected.

              • by Rostin (691447) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:56PM (#28612929)

                Paul's writings predate the gospels. They are generally accepted to be the earliest in the New Testament.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Apostle#Writings [wikipedia.org]

              • by Petrushka (815171) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @06:12PM (#28614965)

                He was already polluted with Hellenised Judeo/Roman Levantine religion: he was an enforcer of the Orthodoxy before his conversion. Christianity had no orthodoxy at his arrival on the scene - so he constructed it for his unresolved needs and the social/psychological needs of intended mission.

                Absolutely right, it seems to me. However, to someone (i.e. me) who specialises not in early Christianity but in Greek culture, it looks like there's basically no way of reconstructing pre-Pauline Christianity (assuming there were any point in doing so), as the gospels seem to me to be almost as infected with Hellenised philosophical and religious thought as Paul's writings. The ideas of the divinity as a saviour with a personal relationship to the saved, redemption after death, the roles of revelation and gnosis in salvation, and the Eucharist, are pretty well inseparable from the gospel accounts of Jesus, and they're all pretty much straight adaptations of aspects of Orphic/Dionysiac religion. There are various other lesser resemblances (the accounts of the nativity have some passing resemblances to an early poetic account of the birth of Apollo, for example).

                So I'd venture the hypothesis that these are all thoroughly and pervasively informed by Paul's theology too. So I'm curious: what is left once you remove the Pauline shell?

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by bogjobber (880402)

                  Speaking as an armchair theologian, AFAIK there isn't any belief of early Christianity that can't be directly correlated with a pagan religious tradition, whether it be from the Greek and Thracian culture or various "Middle Eastern" religions/folklores. Early Christianity can easily be viewed as a synthesis of Judaism and pagan religion/folklore.

                  Co-option and synthesis has been a major theme of Christianity from the very beginning through modern times. St. Augustine's writings were heavily influenced by t

        • by RDW (41497) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:30PM (#28611631)
          'It has no mention of a resurrection.'

          I see this is currently modded as 'Troll', since the Codex obviously has many such references. However, the other possibility is that Philip is unwittingly viewing the manuscript using an Evil Tool of the Devil [blogspot.com].
        • by PRMan (959735)

          You mean like this mention?

          http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/manuscript.aspx?book=36&chapter=21&lid=en&side=r&zoomSlider=0 [codex-sinaiticus.net]

          Just because some portions were cut off at the end due to age, doesn't mean that it's somehow a conspiracy.

        • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:55PM (#28612027) Journal

          It has no mention of a resurrection.

          Mod parent down. That's not correct at all.

          1. Codex Sinaiticus mentions the resurrection many times. What is omitted is the description of the Gospel of Mark. The description in the Gospel of Luke, however, is NOT missing from that text. At best Codex S. supports the theory that the ending of Mark was added later---a theory that a fair number of biblical scholars hold, mind you.

          2. Codex Sinaiticus was either written in the last few years of Constantine or after his death. This proves nothing about Constantine's effect on the early church. You'd need something at least a hundred years older.

        • by BRSQUIRRL (69271) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:19PM (#28612405)

          It has no mention of a resurrection.

          C'mon. Why is it that people who are otherwise intelligent, rational thinkers suddenly turn that part of their brains off when it is time to attack Christianity?

          Jesus' resurrection is also recounted in the gospels of Matthew (28:1-10) and Luke (24:1-35), passages which are present in the Codex.

  • Genesis I (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:03PM (#28611175) Homepage Journal

    1 In the begining was the psot. And it was frist.
    2 And yea, I faileth it.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:05PM (#28611187)

    I'm really interested to see what different translators come up with. Now that it's been made available, there is going to be a wonderful opportunity to compare translations and interpretations from a much more 'original' source.

    Though, I have this nagging feeling that "And it was Good" might also be interpreted as "Sorry for the inconvenience."

    • by jwthompson2 (749521) <james@plainprog r a m s.com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:11PM (#28611323) Homepage

      The text of Sinaiticus has been reviewed by scholars already and is part of the critical apparatus used to construct the UBS and NA modern Greek texts of the New Testament. Never mind that we also have manuscripts of individual books that predate even Sinaiticus by 200 years. This is an interesting development in terms of making the text more broadly available, but the impact of Sinaiticus on the actual translations we use today has already happened.

      From the standpoint of textual criticism and biblical translation this is a non-story. From the standpoint of broad accessibility this is a great development. Remember that serious scholars have been able to get facsimiles for this text for years...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by peragrin (659227)

      Actually I plan on pointing out the major discrepencies as a sign that the bible is in fact fallible and has been manipulated to change it's message over the centuries. With several additonal books that aren't in the current versions one has to wonder why the "words of god" Would be left out. I don't ever expect a reasonable answer. Because trolling religous nutjobs is always fun until they hang you for being a heretic.

      • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:24PM (#28611517)

        Actually I plan on pointing out the major discrepencies as a sign that the bible is in fact fallible and has been manipulated to change it's message over the centuries.

        What major discrepancies? Yes, there have been a few changes over the years by different translators, typos, etc. But I don't think any of them could be considered major. There are many different ways to translate things from any language. And there weren't any copiers back when the first books first came out. Yes, we can't pretty much be guaranteed that Paul's letters that are in the bible differ slightly from those Paul himself wrote. However, the message is kept constant. If you question the bible with several old sources, you would have to put the same scrutiny in a lot of other historical texts to make sure they haven't been manipulated through the ages where we have a whole lot less evidence than with the bible.

        With several additonal books that aren't in the current versions one has to wonder why the "words of god" Would be left out.

        ...Because they contain contradictions compared to the other books? And how do you mean that they have been left out? Any person who has had any type of Christian training for anything high ranking has studied the books. Just because they aren't in everyone's Wal-Mart bibles doesn't mean that they aren't studied, just that most Christians and the early church doubted that they came from God.

        • Just copy and paste the whole thing into bablefish and click translate.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by plague3106 (71849)

          What major discrepancies? Yes, there have been a few changes over the years by different translators, typos, etc. But I don't think any of them could be considered major. There are many different ways to translate things from any language. And there weren't any copiers back when the first books first came out. Yes, we can't pretty much be guaranteed that Paul's letters that are in the bible differ slightly from those Paul himself wrote.

          Well, the debate between if the commandment is "Thou shall not kill" or

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by zerocool^ (112121)

          What major discrepancies? Yes, there have been a few changes over the years by different translators, typos, etc. But I don't think any of them could be considered major.

          The Johanneum Comma [wikipedia.org], for one.

          The establishment of the Trinity didn't show up really until the Textus Receptus, the bastardized text based on many, many later manuscripts, and the text on which the King James Version was based. Prior to this (and ALL, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, old manuscripts agree), the passage:
          1 John 5:7-8
          5:7 "[...] in heaven, t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Hatta (162192) *

          If you question the bible with several old sources, you would have to put the same scrutiny in a lot of other historical texts to make sure they haven't been manipulated through the ages where we have a whole lot less evidence than with the bible.

          Would that be so bad? If the historical evidence for Julius Caesar is as flimsy as the historical evidence for Jesus, I'm more than willing to doubt the existence of Caesar.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by copponex (13876)

          http://www.hereticalideas.com/2009/06/book-review-misquoting-jesus-by-bart-ehrman/ [hereticalideas.com]

          More saliently, Ehrman notes other portions of the Bible that appeared to have been subtly altered in order to combat specific heresies. Particularly, alterations were made in order to counter heresies that contended that Jesus was part of a trinity and was, in fact, the Son of God. Here's one example:

          A similar phenomenon happens a few verses later in the account of Jesus as a twelve-year-old in the Temple. The story line is familiar: Joseph, Mary, and Jesus attend a festival in Jerusalem, but then when the rest of the family heads home in the caravan, Jesus remains behind, unbeknowst to them. As the text says, "his parents did not know about it." But why does the text speak of his parents when Joseph is not really his father? A number of textual witnesses [later texts - Ed.] "correct" the problem by having the text read, "Joseph and his mother did not know it."

          It's significant to note that both the King James version and the New King James version of the Bible both repeat this alterat

      • by jwthompson2 (749521) <james@plainprog r a m s.com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:29PM (#28611601) Homepage

        The additional books are typical for this period of church history. In the fourth century the church was hashing out the canon of Scripture as evidenced by Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and the various letters that circulated from church leaders discussing the issue. What is more interesting is that Sinaiticus doesn't exclude any of the now recognized books, it only adds to the list. And never mind that certain Christians still hold that these other books are at least useful if not wholly inspired works. If you take the historical context into account your "discrepancies" and objections are not nearly as substantial, especially if you entertain the idea that God works through the processes of history.

      • by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:34PM (#28611693) Journal
        Variants in the text are already noted in the footnotes of most bible translations. As another poster mentioned earlier, this is a non-event as far as textual criticism goes. Scholars have had access to photographic copies and to the genuine article for decades. What makes this newsworthy is that now non-scholars have some access.
    • Unfortunately, hosting images on the net is substantially easier than disseminating knowledge of Koine Greek, so that will be a largely theoretical benefit.

      Don't get me wrong, a world where I could, with enough effort, check is better than a world where I can't check at all(and a world where I can check with less effort is better than one where I can check only with more effort); and I suspect that this will be a boon for any scholars who don't have the time, money, or access to go to the British Library
      • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:46PM (#28611915)
        You also need to understand the world view of the people who were writing it. Understanding NT Greek is a lot more than just a reading knowledge. It's the "lifetime study" category of things, which is why this document is of very little use to so many people. (And no, I know just enough to have an idea of the sheer amount I don't know.) It's a bit like putting the data from the LHC on line for anybody to look at; very few if any people who don't currently have access will be able to draw any meaningful conclusions from it.
    • by loteck (533317)
      Indeed, it has already been noted that "some [cnn.com] familiar -- very important -- passages are missing, including verses dealing with the resurrection of Jesus". With the Christian faith being so dependent on the Bible being "God's perfect word", one wonders what the religion will look like in another few hundred years given its rampant re-translation and re-interpretation. The Bible that we read today is vastly, vastly different than the one on display in TFA.
      • by pluther (647209)

        It'll probably look like Catholicism, or other branches which place higher importance on faith, tradition, and study than on "literal" interpretations of one book.

        Not all, or even the majority, of Christians are fundamentalists. They're just the loudest, and the ones most commonly found preaching on TV.

      • by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:35PM (#28612647) Journal
        This is, of course, not the only manuscript. There are thousands of others. The bible is by far the most copied collection of historical documents, ever. This particular one is the oldest CODEX (book format as opposed to scroll format) containing the entire bible. There are other codecies containing various parts of the bible. There are older scrolls. Much of what was to become the New Testament was written in the form of letters that were circulated among key churches, and copies were made from there and circulated to smaller congregations. Some of these have survived, and date back to 150AD.

        The bible we read today is not vastly different than the one on display (apart from Gutenberg's contribution: the printing press). Practically every bible has footnotes indicating where there are variations in the various manuscripts used in the translations.
  • Celebrate! (Score:5, Funny)

    by i.r.id10t (595143) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:08PM (#28611249)

    ..... and the old priest looked at the original copy, and came out crying.

    When asked why, he looked at the young novice and said "the word is CELEBRATE not CELIBATE"

    • Re:Celebrate! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Matimus (598096) <mccredie@ g m a i l .com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:28PM (#28611597)
      I know you are joking, but the Bible says nothing about priests or celibacy. That was invented by the catholic church in the 12th century so the church could get around paying for the children of priests.
      • Re:Celebrate! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by PRMan (959735) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:08PM (#28612205)

        Actually, it does. 1 Timothy 4:

        1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

        I'm not trying to bash the Catholics here, but it would seem that people that forbid marrying for priests and meat on Fridays is not really where you want to be.

        The Apostle Paul VOLUNTARILY went unmarried because of his faith, but even commented that others would probably be unable to do so, and should marry rather than commit sexual sin. At no time did he criticize married believers such as Peter.

        • Re:Celebrate! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Thanar (979567) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:40PM (#28612725)

          In warning against those who forbid people to marry, St. Paul was referring to Gnostics who taught dualism which viewed material things as bad, and thus rejected marriage and procreation. He was not referring to the Christian practice of celibacy which recognizes the great good of marriage but "have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:12).

          Celibacy is a charism, a gift given by God for the building up of the Body of Christ. It is not given to all ("Whoever can accept this, ought to accept it" (Matthew 19:12). Speaking of his own celibacy, St. Paul says, "I wish that all were as I myself am, but each has a particular gift from God, one of one kind and one of another" (1 Cor 7:7).

          In the Catholic Church, celibacy is imposed on no one. Rather, in the western rites of the Catholic Church, candidates for the priesthood are chosen from those who have freely promised celibacy. In the eastern rites, candidates for the priesthood are chosen from both married and celibate men, but bishops are chosen only from celibate priests.

          Fr. Terry Donahue, CC

          • Re:Celebrate! (Score:4, Informative)

            by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @05:01PM (#28613903) Journal
            To me the big problem with Catholicism is it adds so many potential and _unnecessary_ problems or stumbling blocks for its adherents.

            Examples:
            The veneration of Mary.
            The praying to the saints. Yes some Catholics understand that differently, but so many stumble into something that resembles polytheism.
            Indulgences.
            The vows of celibacy. Sure celibacy is fine (and so is marriage), but they made it into a _requirement_ that priests must have.

            The chastity/celibacy of Christ is sometimes used as justification but Jesus and others have referred to himself as the Bridegroom, and there going to be a wedding, so since he's not married yet, he has to be celibate.

            We already have enough trouble with the really necessary stuff (following Jesus), why add extra unnecessary stuff that causes problems in so many cases?
      • Re:Celebrate! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:10PM (#28612253) Journal
        More than paying for the children... it was about title to the lands.

        When a wealthy lord had too many sons, he would have the extras sent either to serve in the military (which cost money, but it was part of the dues to the liege), or to the church. This conveniently got the extra sons out of the way so that his lands could be passed in entirety to his first son.

        The son(s) shipped to the church would get a nice title, if the lord donated enough cash (or preferably, land) to the church when he sent his son to them.

        The problem is that when some of these sons had sons of their own, they wanted to pass those lands to their sons... and the Church wanted to keep those lands. This caused schisms between the Church and the lords who supported the Church. So the solution was to require celibacy. Then those lordlings could not have sons inherit those lands. If they recognized an heir, then they were guilty of celibacy and the lands were forfeit to the Church (and the lordling would lose their title).

        I'm not sure I explained it as well as others could... but the point is that it wasn't just about paying for the children of priests, it was about holding onto the bequests that came in exchange for appointing the sons of Lords to high office.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I know you are joking, but the Bible says nothing about priests or celibacy. That was invented by the catholic church
        The Catholic Church decided the canon of the bible. If you're going to recognize their authority to do that, why wouldn't you also recognize their authority on other matters?

        I find that I have a much more positive view of the Catholic Church as an agnostic than I did as a protestant.

    • by mangu (126918) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:45PM (#28611887)

      If you look into 1 Timothy, chapter 3 -

      "2: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
      3: Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
      4: One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
      5: (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

      you will see that it was not the intention of the church founders that priests should be celibate.

       

  • Finally... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jasonhfl (657075) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:08PM (#28611263)
    a good use for technology instead of just another way to twitter/facebook/blog what you had for lunch.
    • by mcgrew (92797)

      a good use for technology instead of just another way to twitter/facebook/blog what you had for lunch.

      Please don't use the word "blog" in connection with lunch. Ralph either, for that matter. Now my stomach's queazy...

  • by schmidt349 (690948) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:15PM (#28611385)

    Sinaiticus is arguably one of the most important discoveries in the history of the textual transmission of the New Testament. Add an exciting controversy involving either idiot Greek monks who had quite literally dumped it in the wastepaper bin or a conniving Russian manuscript hunter-turned-thief making up lies to cover his crimes and you've got a great story that never fails to turn up fundraising dollars.

    That said, I wish they could produce software for the examination of the codex that doesn't suck. But because they refuse to release the database of manuscript photos for public download (even though, at least in the United States, those images are uncopyrightable and therefore in the public domain) enterprising folks like me can't build a better system and give it away to people. So you have to suffer with their terrible system if you want to examine the manuscript. It's typical conservator behavior, building unnecessary walls against access to information that should be free.

    We really really need to start making sure that digital copies of the ancient literary patrimony are available for free with no conditions -- i.e., in the public domain, but apparently everyone is too interested in fighting for scarce research grant dollars to produce something that all of their academic competitors could use.

    • Which, if you actually read the Bible, is exactly the opposite of what it says to do. "Go and share this with everyone," it says.

      Not saying these people would be trying to follow it anyway, just... ironic.
    • But because they refuse to release the database of manuscript photos for public download (even though, at least in the United States, those images are uncopyrightable and therefore in the public domain) enterprising folks like me can't build a better system and give it away to people. So you have to suffer with their terrible system if you want to examine the manuscript.

      What am I missing? If you have all the images in some sort of reasonable format and the images organized linearly (page 1, page 2 .... )w

      • We need to be able to download the full-resolution digital images of the manuscript (or something reasonable, say, 150DPI downsamples) and then redistribute them without restriction. But the British are the absolute worst monsters in terms of copyright restriction, and there's no way the British Library would ever permit that kind of freedom with the images.

    • by mcgrew (92797)

      That said, I wish they could produce software for the examination of the codex that doesn't suck.

      You're a nerd, get on it!

      We really really need to start making sure that digital copies of the ancient literary patrimony are available for free with no conditions

      Agreed.

  • by Spencerian (465343) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:19PM (#28611443) Homepage Journal

    This work should be helpful in the translation issues that some scholars and theologians have faced, or worse, perpetuate.

    IMO, the most difficult problems in Bible translations is (1) bias based on a reader's idea of what things say and (2) literallist POVs that don't consider that idiom and metaphors in the text shouldn't be taken (ahem) as gospel. One example from a Catholic apologist is the modern statement "it's raining cats and dogs." We today know that means "it's raining very heavily." Write that down in a book, bury it for 2,000 years. What would people then think that phrase means. A literalist will honestly think that cats and dogs fell from the sky. A person skilled not only in translation but in the culture of the time knows it to be a figure of speech--and will NOT change the wording despite that understanding.

    And that, in an oversimplified example, is why humankind went from one Christian church to over 23,000. It's become a matter of bad translation and/or interpretation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797)

      It does actually and literally rain cats and dogs. A few years ago I read about a storm where it rained frogs. That, indeed, is a BAD storm, one that contains tornados that can suck small animals ito the sky, where they'll land miles away. In 2006 it rained birds here in Springfield -- at least, judging by the vast number of dead birds in my neighborhood the next day. It also rained tree limbs, insulation, cardboard, nails, garbage, corrugated steel (which I saw in the tops of trees), and everything that wa

  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info.devinmoore@com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:25PM (#28611537) Homepage Journal

    From the images they have of the document, it gives "its all Greek to me" a whole new meaning, and it prompts important questions, spiritally meaningful questions, like: What year did we invent the spacebar anyhow?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Meumeu (848638)

      What year did we invent the spacebar anyhow?

      I guess the spacebar was invented around the same time as the keyboard... But the space was invented in the 7th century [wikipedia.org].

  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:16PM (#28612347)
    I would think that the Bono Act would have ensured that this work was still under copyright.
  • by zojas (530814) <kevin@astrophoenix.com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:27PM (#28613397) Homepage
    I can't read either form of archaic Greek, you insensitive clod!

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