Letter: Interpretation alters meaning
Thursday, January 12, 2012
In response to Alice Cox’ Jan. 8 letter, “The ‘other sheep’?” stating, “The Bible is never a ‘companion volume’ of anything. It is the unadulterated Holy word of God, and either you believe it or you don’t.” As a young Christian, I tended to believe what my minister told me about the Bible. Then I took an interesting course at the University of Washington called “History of the Bible.”
Those in that class came from various beliefs and background. Our professor certainly opened our minds to the truth about the Bible and various meanings of the words written within it. He had hundreds of historical examples of quotes by different well-known religious leaders regarding the same Scriptures but given different meaning. Additionally, he had guest speakers from other countries explaining the meaning of similar Scriptures in a different language and how that changed the meaning. We left that class with the knowledge that there are some wonderful words written in the Bible.
We also understood that the meaning can be very different when translated from the original language to a different language. We also learned that with the changes over time, certain words no longer have meaning.
What it comes down to is that the interpretation may not be what you were taught.