Monday, September 11, 2023

We might be wrong!

I had marked this passage earlier, but forgot to post it. So, mentally rewind about 100 pages!
Many people today who misread the Bible do so as a result of failing to properly translate its ideas. As a result, some people view the Bible’s text as containing a record of God’s absolute ideals, which were dictated to ancient Israel in an effort to alter their thinking to become like modern people, or at least more like modern people than they already were. This is because we see modern ideas as being better than ancient ideas. While it is reasonable for us to prefer modern ideas (if for no other reason than simply because they are ours), it is not reasonable to project our ideas onto God and ascribe them to him simply because we prefer them. This is why, if we wish to treat the text as a source of authority, it is so important to make sure that we are careful and consistent in describing what it actually says, instead of intuitively describing what we think it should say. We must never appropriate divine authority for ourselves, and we must never assume that our ideals and perspectives correlate with God’s.— The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest, 23–24
<idle musing>
Indeed! And a very difficult ideal to maintain. We all bring our own presuppositions and experiences to the text. It's impossible not to! The nineteenth century's neutral interpreter of the facts doesn't exist and never has or will. Joe Friday's, "Just the facts, ma'am," is an illusion.

Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try! It just means we should humbly acknowledge that we might be wrong. What a thought! But a little (better yet, a lot) of humility goes a long way. Hubris/pride always leads to a downfall.

Just an
<idle musing>

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