The M+G+R Foundation

Biblical Literalism or Symbolism?
It Is Both - It Just Depends on the Circumstances - Part II

Originally published on  January 1, 2006



PURPOSE

The purpose of this document, a follow up of an earlier one  (1), is to further disarm the enemies of Sacred texts. The enemies of  Sacred texts are easy to spot and disarm when they present themselves as such; the problem arises when they present themselves as "Theologians", "Scholars", "Authors", Researchers", "Archeologists" and, worst of all, "Shepherds".

The best way to defend anything and/or anyone from slander is to lay the truth "on the table" - the naked truth, for no one can fight the truth and win. That is precisely what we plan to do in this Phase II regarding the origins of the New Testament.


INTRODUCTION

We have recently had the opportunity to review several "educational" documentaries prepared by BBC, Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc. Two that made a negative mark  were: (a) The Family of Jesus; and (b) Witnesses of the Resurrection. In those "educational" documentaries poetic license soared to unknown heights. Considering how unfamiliar the Faithful are with Sacred texts, after being "educated" by those documentaries they would be left worse than before. Beforehand, they knew little about the New Testament but, after viewing them, whatever little they knew would now be hopelessly confused.

By rewinding Time all the way back to the origins of the New Testament we shall put on the table how the New Testament got to us from "There", in the First Century, to "Here" in the Twenty-first Century.

One may hear, for example, that the Douay-Rheims version, (2)  which was translated from St. Jerome's  Latin Vulgate, was diligently compared with the original Greek text; or that the version published by Mons. Juan Straubinger, (3)  also directly translated from the original Greek text, are the best translations. But based on what? Its "direct" connection with the allegedly "original" Greek texts?

In reality, those two versions are the best renditions of the New Testament that we have ever encountered in five languages but, under no circumstances, are they the Last Word. The only "Last Word" is that which passes the test of Scriptural coherence. God does not "speak from both sides of the mouth". A true believer has to accept that God is perfect and thus, perfectly coherent.

The only possible problem with those two excellent renditions of the New Testament is their source: The original Greek text.


DETAILS

Logically if everyone is going to praise the reliability of said original Greek texts we wanted to review those texts too; thus we acquired them. In the introduction of the New Testament in the "original Greek texts" we read (highlighting and underscoring by The M+G+R Foundation):

The text of the Greek New Testament has come down to us in various manuscripts,  since printing was not invented until the fifteenth century and Erasmus did not publish his Greek New Testament until 1516.

Some of these manuscripts are more important than others (age not necessarily being indicative of importance). The study of the various manuscript copies, and the assessment of their individual value in attempting to reconstruct the original as nearly as possible, constitutes the science of textual criticism.

For those who wish to study this seriously there are many books available; it is sufficient to say here that, after Erasmus, a great number of scholars have, over a long period, applied themselves the task of constructing a reliable text out of a mass of various readings that have arisen from copying and making copies from copies of the old manuscripts.

There you have it! Some of those Greek "originals" may be as reliable as the intelligence the US used to justify its occupation of Iraq. 

It would seem that with the above transcribed introduction to our Greek "New Testament to end all New Testaments",  the New Testament has been reduced  to "a bunch of stories told in accordance to the whim of those who were paying the copyists to justify whatever they wanted to justify with 'Holy' texts."

Hardly so! It is here where required Scriptural coherence shines and guides the Faithful as a beacon of light guides a ship in a stormy night. Whenever incoherence - symbolic or literal - manifests itself in the Sacred texts - look in another version or translation to isolate and identify where, how and why the verse(s) in question lost coherence.


CONCLUSION

Now, as you review the Part I (1) of this Biblical Literalism document, and all becomes clearer, your trust in the reliability of the Sacred texts may very well increase.

We have also published a brief  history (4) of each of the four Gospels. With that as an overall background, these two documents on Biblical Literalism (Part I and Part II) and the information from the appropriate links appearing in them, the reader will be ready to better understand the Holy Word of God - whether it is expressed through the Torah, the Bible or the Qur'an.





NOTES___________________________________

(1) Biblical Literalism - Part I
(2) First published by the English College at Rheims, A.D. 1582
(3) El Nuevo Testamento  - Mons. Dr. Juan Straubinger - Doctor Honoris Causa por la Universidad de Müenster (Alemania)  - 1969
(4) A history of the four Gospels - Written: by whom,  when, where and under what circumstances


All Documents of This Series

The Time Line of the Creation Story

Biblical Literalism - Part I
Biblical Literalism - Part II

Creation vs Evolution - Part I
Creation vs Evolution - Part II

The Book of Enoch
The Selection of the Elect


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