One of the speakers at this weekend’s Red River Freethinker’s Conference has spent much of his life studying origins of the Bible. He specializes in the traslations from its original languages to English. One of his conclusions is it’s really hard to know what was meant in the original languages.
Some of the early troubles with translation was recorded in notes made during the writing of the King James, 1611, version. Writers back then were not quite as politically correct as today. They admitted some entire sentences were simply too strange to know exactly what was meant.
We need only go back to the versions of “English” spoken in ancient Ireland and Scotland to see how much language changes over time. Even by the time of our founding fathers, spelling was still largely phonetic. Since we do not have perfect knowledge of how words sounded, it throws off further what might have been meant when they appeared on paper.
When Bible literalists hang importance on specific words in today’s Bibles, they may be off the mark from what was actually intended. One of the examples is references to homosexuality which apparently is based on words over which there is creditable disagreement. If those who decide to interpret this ancient writing in their own way would keep it within their own circle it would not matter.
Using the Bible as the basis for laws against such specific things as antigay marriage is the problem.