The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

How Many Is Too Many English Translations Of The Bible?


New American Standard Bible

Daniel Burke (The Huffington Post)

Scholars estimate that at least 200 English translations have been published since 1900 — many of them revisions of earlier texts. Sorting out the differences between the New American Bible and New American Standard Bible, for example, can be daunting for even experienced
readers.

The market can be so confusing and crowded that half of customers who visit Christian stores to buy a Bible leave without one, according to a study presented to Christian retailers in 2006.

“Heck, I’m overwhelmed and I’m supposed to know what the hee-haw I’m doing,” said Tickle, author of “The Great Emergence,” a well-regarded book on the future of Christianity. “Bibliolatry is not a word I use very often, but we are probably veering very close to it.”

There’s even a cottage industry of experts to help people choose a Bible. Paul Wegner, a professor at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona who conducts church conferences about the Bible, says Christians constantly ask why there are so many different Bibles, and which is the “right”
one.

“People almost throw up their hands, there are so many Bibles out there,” he said. “Maybe they’ve created a market for me.”

To counter consumer confusion, publishers began marketing Bibles based on “felt needs,” or secular interests, said Andy Butcher, an editor at the journal Christian Retailing.

Christian publisher Zondervan’s 2010 catalog of Bibles (“The Book of Good Books”) runs 223 pages and includes Bibles tailored toward black children, students, spiritual seekers, women with cancer, busy dads, new moms, recovering addicts, surfers, grandmothers and camouflage
enthusiasts.

“The next thing will be a Bible for men in midlife crises,” Jeffrey said, “with ads for Harley Davidson motorcycles inside.”

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October 20, 2010 Posted by | Christian Education, Commentary | , , , | Leave a comment

The “Evidence” for Jesus’ Resurrection, Debunked in One Page


Chris Hallquist

Among Evangelical Christians, it’s become popular to claim that Jesus’ resurrection can be proved
with historical evidence. This is nonsense. Here’s why:

1. There is no evidence for the resurrection outside the Bible. Non-Christian historical references
to Jesus don’t occur until about six decades after the time when Biblical scholars think he probably
died. When these non-Christian sources refer to Jesus’ miracles, there’s no reason to see them as
anything more than a report of what Christians of the time believed.

2. There is little evidence that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or based directly on
eyewitness accounts. Most of what the Bible says about Jesus’ life and supposed resurrection is in
the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, (a.k.a. the Gospels).
But Biblical scholars now agree these books were originally anonymous, their names added later.
The traditional Christian claims about who wrote them is now widely doubted by scholars.

3. This means that the Gospels can’t be trusted as evidence for miracles. Imagine someone trying
to convert you to another religion based on the “proof” of the miracles worked by the religion’s
founder… in the form of a handful of anonymous tracts recounting his life. Would you accept that
“proof”? Of course not. Among other things, the stories could just be legends.

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There are counter arguments to this. How would you respond to Chris?

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Apologetics, Atheism/Agnosticism | , , , | 1 Comment

The Garden Of Good And Evil


Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Robert M. Price, Ph.D.

One of the best known stories in the world is the Bible tale of the Garden of Eden (the Book of Genesis, chapter 2, verse 4, through the end of chapter 3). Many people believe two things about this story that I think are not true. The first of these is that Adam and Eve were actual people who lived in a real place called Eden. The second is that the story tells us the human race is sinful and that life is hard because God is punishing us. Let me explain.

The story of Adam and Eve in Eden is not supposed to be history. The name “Adam” means simply “human being.” When people in a story have names like this, we are reading a fable or a myth, not a story of facts. When we read further and meet another character who is a talking snake, we have to wonder how anyone ever thought this story could be historical fact!

So the story of Eden is not fact but fable. Many fables teach important truths. Does this one? Wait and see. But first, here is why I think the Eden myth does not teach that the human race is sinful. God is another major character in the story, but is he the “good guy” or the “bad guy”? We usually hear that the snake is the villain, and that he is somehow the same as the devil. But the story says nothing about any devil. The devil is a character in other Bible stories but not this one. But not only is the snake not the devil; he is not even evil! I say the snake is supposed to be the hero of the story, the friend of the human race. Let’s summarize the action. Continue reading

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Biblical Studies | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Satan Wants You To Know (Message #5)


Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

The ladder or stairway that Jacob sees in his dream (Genesis 28:13-15) is the passageway between heaven and earth. The comparable word in Akkadian is used in Mesopotamian mythology to describe what the messenger of the gods uses when he wants to pass from one realm to another. It is this mythological staircase that the Babylonians sought to represent in the architecture of the ziggurats. These had been built to provide a way for the deity to descend to the temple and the town.

Jacob’s background would have given him familiarity with with this concept, and thus he would conclude that it was a sacred spot where there was a portal opened between worlds. Though he sees the stairway in his dreams, and the messengers (angels) are using it to pass between realms (embarking on and returning from missions, not a procession or parade), the Lord is not portrayed as having used it, but as standing beside it (this is the proper translation of the Hebrew idiom).

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: The Old Testament

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Education, Satan Wants You To Know | , , , , , , | Leave a comment