General Question

oratio's avatar

Is a revision of the bible possible?

Asked by oratio (8920points) April 14th, 2009

Instead of further feeding the discussion on “What do you know about the religious condemnation of homosexuality?” I thought I’d make a question instead.

Thomas Jefferson made a version of the bible in which he removed the supernatural, and what he perceived as superstition and misinterpretation of Jesus message.

Is it possible to do a total overhaul of the bible? Would there be a point of doing so? Is the old testament needed at all? Would the Jeffeson Bilble be better suited as a bible or is the supernatural characteristics of Jesus necessary for his message?

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14 Answers

crisw's avatar

“Is it possible to do a total overhaul of the bible?”
Yes.

” Would there be a point of doing so?”
Probably not. Those who see it as other than an ancient work of fiction are apt to want to stick to whatever version seems to support whatever views they have chosen to have.

PupnTaco's avatar

There are “teen” translations attempting to make that stodgy old warhorse edgy and extreme.

Don’t bother, please. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

dynamicduo's avatar

Of course it’s possible. The question really is, is an adoption of the new revised bible likely to happen? And I must conclude no. Most of the denominations are happy with things the way they are, they already include or exclude information from it without any physical editing needed. Furthermore, who would be tasked to revise the bible, the Pope? Well, not all groups who use the bible agree with the Pope’s outlook on things.

I think it’s be far more likely and successful for a brand new religious group to create itself and start using a Thomas Jefferson styled bible, than it would be to try and revise the bible yet keep it satisfying every group who currently uses it.

Of course, that last point is especially funny considering the sheer number of translations (thus misinterpretations/exclusions/tampering) the bible has been through already. Then again, that’s one reason why different groups use different translations.

tinyfaery's avatar

It has happened in the past, and I’m sure it will happen again. If religions do not adapt they will die.

asmonet's avatar

When has it not been possible?

gambitking's avatar

Any revisions to the Bible would make the subsequent text just a book. The reason for the significance of the Bible is because, according to those with beliefs pertaining to its precepts, it is in actuality the Word of God. Therefore, it’s ‘read-only’ (for you tech savvy people). Unless the original editor makes the revisions.

crisw's avatar

@gambitking

I think the first coders were rather careless, and a few things got pretty buggy in the succeeding translation algorithms. The resulting program now crashes and hangs constantly. Plus, the output often makes little sense. And its attempt to dominate the market makes Bill Gates look like an Edsel salesman.

kruger_d's avatar

There is a manga bible.

ratboy's avatar

I can do it for you for a modest price. What would you like it to say?

Jack79's avatar

I understand your question, though I feel that there is a problem with it. Bear with me.

The Bible by definition is a very set series of books about the Christian faith. Even metaphorically, the word “bible” means something that remains dogmatic and unchangeable, even when it is obsolete. So in that sense, no, there could never be any change at all to the Bible.

Having said that, there have been a series of changes over the years, most often unwittingly, either when translating or even when interpreting the Bible. To add to the confusion, a word-of-mouth notion called “holy tradition” is added to what Christians consider to be their Faith (and of course different denominations of Christianity have developed their own versions over the years). It is this type of comfusion that allows common misconceptions, such as the notion of Mary Magdalene being a prostitute, something never mentioned anywhere in any religious or historical text.

Apart from all this, there could conceivably be a new book interpreting the central morality that belies the teachings of Jesus, the 1st c AD Jewish Rabbi mentioned in the New Testament. And this book could become the basis of yet another Christian sect. By definition a heresy, but sure, why not? It would probably be much closer to the truth than any of the current faiths.

And beyond all of the above, anyone who loves their neighbour and tries to be nice to people is bound to go to whatever Heaven there is. Even if they call themselves an atheist.

flameboi's avatar

sure! it is possible, then we will trash the whole concept of religion and God (except for the Star Trek fans, they are something special…) and the society will fall as we know it… that’s why we have not done it yet, we don’t want the trekkies to take control

toleostoy's avatar

Jefferson clearly had a point in “overhauling” the bible. He didn’t think the supernatural was possible and it detracted from revelation, so he chucked it. Luther wanted to throw out James and Hebrews. They were too conflicting with his theology. Plus they were Jewish. Marcion wanted to rip out the OT. Furthermore, why not rip out the parts we don’t read? It would make bags for church and seminary lighter.

The deuterocanon is ripped out of a ton of Bibles; and it is pretty easy to get only a NT. I think the Gideons hand out plenty of those. Finally, the language of the Bible has been redone hundreds if not thousands of times.

All of this to say you can overhaul the Bible, and you can do it for any reason. However, the manuscripts are the manuscripts and you cannot get away from those.

fundevogel's avatar

Most Bibles do a pretty good job of getting away from the apocryphal books. And there are a ton of texts referenced on the bible that no longer survive. Not exactly an overhaul, but worth noting.

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