Thursday, November 02, 2017

You Don't Say

I recently heard an argument that people misrepresent Islam because they don't read the Koran--and more specifically, for those who quote bits in English, that because they don't know Arabic they can't understand the Koran.

Is that true?  Is the Koran (and hence Islam) basically unknowable unless you can read it in the original language.  Does that mean that the many millions of Muslims around the world who don't know Arabic don't really understand their religion?

The same goes for other religions, of course.  The Bible, as Christians know it, was originally in Hebrew and, I believe, Aramaic and Greek.  So do you have to know these languages to truly understand the Bible?  Or, for that matter, to truly understand your religion?

Of course, you can be a believer and not be literate--you can just hear stories from others and accept it.  But if you want to argue about the meaning of the Bible, can you read translations, or is that not good enough?

The irony is that there are many Biblical scholars, and they hardly agree on its meaning.  So while I can understand learning a language to understand certain scriptures better, don't count on that alone for enlightenment.


Blogger New England Guy said...

There is an old MAD or National Lampoon article (or maybe it was one of the Python books) which had an interview with God (or maybe Jesus) who was fuming about being misquoted and taken out of context. I will see if my delayed powers of memory work and I can recall it.

12:32 PM, November 02, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll remember it. But you won't remember why you wanted to remember it.

10:32 AM, November 03, 2017  

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