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Lestat 12-25-2005 05:10 PM

The Bible
Whether you're a believer or not, there's no denying that the bible is the single most widely read piece of literature in history. I've decided it's about time I read it. Cover to cover. I would be remiss to have never read such an important and magnificant book. I also read "A tale of Two Cities", for much the same reason.

It's probably inevitable that I'll get to parts that I won't understand. If this happens, I'm wondering if someone on here would be kind enough to help me out?

IMPORTANT: Whatever explanation you provide, I'll immediately accept it and move on. I am NOT looking to get into debates or prove any points. I just want to make sure I'm understanding what I'm reading. If someone would be willing to do this (should I need it), I would greatly appreciate it. I'm not sure it would be acceptable to post such questions on here as this is not (supposed to be), a religion forum. Also, like I said.. I'm not looking to have it opened to debate. On the contrary... I want to form my own opinions especially without atheisitic bias.

I'm going to begin reading after the 1st. I'll admit that I'm going into it thinking I'll be reading about the greatest fictitious saga ever told. I can't help this based on what I (think) I already know the contents to be. But I'm going to maintain an open mind throughout. I am not going to "scoff". When I'm done (if anyone's interested), I'll report back on what I was able to glean from the most popular literature ever written. This is just something I want to do for myself. So no snide comments please.

One last question: I have a copy of a Catholic bible that says the Gregorian edition. It was my father's and I think given to him as a child. It's like 50 years old and I believe it contains both the old and new testaments. It's a big red book and beautifully bound. Would this be the right one to read for a Catholic? Is this sufficient to get the gist from most bibles? Thanks.

hashi92 12-25-2005 05:29 PM

Re: The Bible
i think you should probally ask a preist or go to bible study classes. im pretty sure you will get conflicting interpretations. basically everybody interprets things differently thats why there is so many christian denominations.

JimNashe 12-25-2005 05:36 PM

Re: The Bible
Or use the wikipedia/google.

BluffTHIS! 12-25-2005 05:36 PM

Re: The Bible
You are going to get differing interpretations from different christians. The fruit of the reformation. So if you ask certain questions you will get a debate here. And Jews would often interpret passages in the OT differently than christians.

I am not familiar with a Gregorian edition, but it is probably an edition of the Douay-Rheims version that was in use in English speaking countries for about 300 years. The version I like best is the New Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition. If you want to read it online you can use the link below, which also has other translations.

There are also editions in print that have footnotes to explain various things, like the New American Bible that I also have. For more technical matters regarding biblical interpretation, I use the Jerome Biblical Commentary, though some of its views are not 100% correct IMO. Nonetheless, it is an exhaustive reference.

Bible Translations

Lestat 12-25-2005 05:38 PM

Re: The Bible
Well, I'm not interested in taking a class or even studying it for that matter. But perhaps talking to a priest regarding questions I have, might not be a bad idea though. Thanks.

Also, I thought the different Christian denominations all had different versions of the bible? I could be wrong.

BluffTHIS! 12-25-2005 05:41 PM

Re: The Bible
Most protestant denominations traditionally used the King James Version, and most fundamentalists still do. That however was a flawed translation in that it placed poetic beauty of language over a more correct literal translation in many cases, and also simply inserted non-scriptural elements in some cases like the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer (for thine is the kingdom . . .) that is not considered by biblical scholars to be truly part of the scripture.

Lestat 12-25-2005 06:00 PM

Re: The Bible
hashi92 suggested talking to a priest. Wouldn't a priest have to have a good idea on how to interpret any questions I might have? My kids go to religious school and I know a priest there. I'd just feel very awkward having a priest explain questions to my kid's atheistic father. Like you, few are able to take an atheist seriously when he wants to learn about religious doctrine.

Thanks for the link. I have a hard time reading books online (it's hard on the eyes). Maybe if I can tone my monitor down it will be worth a try. And before I even read the very first page....

Am I to understand that interpretations are not important? If Christians can disagree amongst each other, I honestly don't understand how you (or anyone), can be so sure that you're exact interpretation is the correct one. Either such interpretations can't be important, or God is really putting us through a rigorous IQ test. How can God limit His Kingdom of Glory to only those intellectually capable of sifting through such complicated writings and arriving at the exact right answers over other like-minded pious people who mistakenly got it all wrong?

But now I'm back to debating. I just want to get this out of the way before I start reading so I can keep an open mind.

hashi92 12-25-2005 06:23 PM

Re: The Bible
if you ask a priest you will get one (his) interpretation. if you ask the forum you will get numerous some will agree some wont. debates will probally occur.

BluffTHIS! 12-25-2005 06:47 PM

Re: The Bible
The point I have made here to protestants is that the very fact of differing interpretations means that there needs to be an authentic interpreter of scripture, and obviously I think that is the Catholic Church. But some interpretations aren't important, i.e. they concern the "details" that David is always criticising some believers for emphasizing too much over the core beliefs. And with the Catholic Church to properly interpret, the the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God are not limited to only those with enough intelligence and a detailed knowledge of scriptural matters.

Regarding talking to a priest, not all catholic priests are fully orthodox in their views, and some go to far the other direction (more catholic than the pope), plus it will likely prove an imposition to have to continually go to someone and ask questions as you read through the bible.

So my suggestion is that you purchase a new bible with footnotes and cross references, and if you really want to be diligent and have a thorough reference, the above mentioned Jermome Commentary. However, I will be happy to answer your questions here as well to the best of my ability using those references, if you want a catholic view.

12-25-2005 06:56 PM

Re: The Bible
Different interpretations are important to read.
The first english bible was very controversial, a lot of people at the time believed that the english language could not capture the wholeness of the message.

I'm not sure of the actual figures but I know that the english translation contained far less words than the original text. people have studied the original text and put every effort into capturing the meaning of the original text while presenting a text that is relevant and understandable. I can't speak for all translations and not being a catholic I can't suggest one. I read the NKJ (new king james), NIV(new international version) and the message(a paraphrase written in contemporary language). I find that reading the three side by side give me a good understanding of any passage. May not be liked by catholics though...I'm not sure.

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