There are some who say that where we left off is precisely the answer: human beings, as a whole, are so corrupt that everything we produce is prejudiced according to whatever the prevailing bias of the day is. Except, of course, in our own time, where we have evolved so efficiently as to be able to be completely objective in everything.
The King James Bible is corrupt because it was commissioned by a king who wanted to subject his people. The Bible the Catholics use is corrupt because it is used to give power to the Pope. Thomas Jefferson's Bible is corrupt because he owned slaves while he was alive. In fact, almost all of the Bible is corrupt because it mentions slavery at all. The Bible from the Roman era is corrupt because homosexuality was used as a means of social coercion in those times. The ancient Bible is corrupt because those peoples believed in a flat earth. And on and on and on we go about all of the "backward" things peoples believed across time that renders their translation of the Bible corrupt.
Only we, in our infinite knowledge and incredible access to both science and archaeology, are able to completely, objectively translate the Scriptures in such a way that we can finally know what they say and what they mean based on all of these other corrupt factors that have influenced them over time.
Spoiler alert: anyone who has ever undertaken to translate the Scriptures has believed the same thing about themselves.
Yes, you say, but this time, it's true. Just look at all of our science and technology that is so far beyond what anyone before us had! We have arrived.
Then, in the very next breath, we admit that our science and technology are still developing and that we're still discovering things. But no mind that. We have arrived.
Our biggest trouble is that we too often use everything we have "learned," all the things we "know" and that we're very confident about, to undermine what anyone else could have possibly ever known. The issue of slavery is a big one in recent years. No one who ever owned a slave can, in our minds, have anything valuable to say about humanity or life as we know it because they were so utterly morally wrong.
The truth is that a generation or two from now, the world will be saying the same thing about us. I don't know what the topic of choice will be, but generations who have continued to develop upon our knowledge will come to a conclusion far different from what we have, and they will judge us for being wrong.
We will staunchly defend ourselves because, in most cases, we have acted with the best of intentions, with pure motives, with a sincere interest in arriving at what we're certain must be "truth," but to future generations, that won't matter. It certainly doesn't matter to us. We don't care how earnest previous generations were; we only care that they are morally wrong, and that colors everything that we are willing to believe.
Do you see how this is a problem? Using our own foundational understanding as the basis, nobody can ever do anything with any real meaning or staying power. Everything is temporary, everything is subject to change. We admit it even ourselves.
So even while we're undertaking to translate the "most authoritative Bible ever" based on our oh-so-sophisticated and advanced knowledge of the Scriptures (which we say must also be interpreted before they can ever be translated), we also know that we're still learning. Bibles that we confidently translated even fifty years ago are still undergoing edits as our knowledge develops.
How, then, can we ever know? How can we ever have any idea what God ever said or meant or anything meaningful?
Well, there is one way....
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