This is one of the most readable translations of the Holy Bible for the modern reader. It's also one of the more accurately translated versions of the...moreThis is one of the most readable translations of the Holy Bible for the modern reader. It's also one of the more accurately translated versions of the Bible; accurate to the point of being the version most likely to offend the sort of Christian who prefers traditional errancy to accuracy. By the same cause, it's also the version least likely to offend Muslims, and a number Muslim authors prefer it when quoting the Tawrat, Nabi, Injeel, and Rasule.
On this point, a number of modern translations reject the spurious trinitarian text in 1 John 5:7,8. However, rejecting an eisegesic rendering in John 1:1 is more rare.
Most translators translate John 1:1 under the pressure of a long tradition of eisegesis, and from churches who will not use their translation of the Bible if they translate correctly; in some cases, translaters have been seduced by circular reasoning to actually believe that belief justifies eisegesis, as if "Jesus is God, so John must have meant that Jesus is God".
However, when this verse is translated with accurate knowledge of ancient Greek grammar - which had no indefinite article - since this sentence used the definite article with both instances of "word", but only with the instance of "god" stating with whom the Word is, it is clear that John wrote that the Word is "a god", "godlike", "in god's form", or "divine", rather than "God"
In the original language, the instance of "God" with whom the Word was, is τὸν θεόν (ton The‧on′), or "the god" in English, indicating God Almighty, or the Father. In contrast, the instance of "God" whom the Word was, is θεὸς (the‧os′), which word has no definite article, and according to correct grammar, the definite article cannot accompany this word, because its meaning is qualitative, rather than identifying. Therefore, it cannot mean, "the god", or God Almighty".
However, possibly the best-known controversy about the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, (NWT), is the restoration of God's name within the Christian scriptures as well as in the Hebrew scriptures. People who knowingly use versions of the Bible in which more than 6800 instances of God's name are paraphrased as "the Lord" or "God", seem offended that others use a version of the Bible in which they believe 237 instances of the word, "Lord" have been paraphrased as God's name.
These 237 instances are those in which the Christian scriptures are recognized to quote from passages of the Hebrew scriptures that contain God's name. Fragments of the Septuagint closest in age to the time of Jesus' ministry still contained the name, in the form of the Tetragrammaton.
According to David Bauscher, translator of the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, these instances coincide with his finding of God's name in manuscripts of the Peshitta, (he found 239 instances).
To translate the Tetragrammaton, NWT uses the same spelling, Jehovah, as found in earlier translations. Regardless whether this is the most accurate transliteration of God's name, it was the only accepted spelling in the English language when the NWT was translated.
When Israelites spoke Hebrew, they pronounced God's name, יהוה, with three syllables, and later, after Bablylonian exile, and spoke Aramaic, they pronounced it with two syllables. A shorter version of God's name, יה, used in Psalms and Isaiah, is one syllable. As much as Israel and Judah did that offended God, He never complained about this!
Jehovah, as we pronounce it, is an English mispronunciation of a Germanic transliteration of God's Hebrew name. Yahweh is a newer English transliteration of the Aramaic translation of God's Hebrew name, from which one syllable went missing. Both are second-hand and imperfect, but considering that God allowed His name to be written with as few as one syllable in the Bible, who are we to criticize anyone who who spells or pronounces His name with one more or less syllables than we?(less)
Congratulations, GoodReads. You dumped my review of the most amazing Star Trek novel I've ever read, into the bitbucket. Here's a second attempt:
Altho...moreCongratulations, GoodReads. You dumped my review of the most amazing Star Trek novel I've ever read, into the bitbucket. Here's a second attempt:
Although I typically read every one of my Star Trek novels repeatedly until it has long since fallen apart, I can't remember the last time I read the same one twice in a row, and considered reading it a third time in a row.
If you're not geek enough to be bugged when it becomes apparent that a Star Trek author failed to research the science, the culture, or even the Star Trek history and culture about which he's writing - or worse yet, you're oblivious to that - run along and read some light fantasy story, because this Star Trek novel was written by actual scientists who not only do their research; they participated in writing what there is to be researched.
To a geek, even the Bibliography contained in this novel is... dare I say, "fascinating". If you don't care, after whom the Neelix character in Star Trek: Voyager was named, run along and read that fantasy story; this isn't you.
A geek wants to see how CGI renders - or at least imagine for himself - a flying amphibious creature that grows jet engines underneath its wings. If this isn't you, run along and read that light fantasy.
A geek wants to see on a 3D movie screen - or at least re-create in his own mind's eye - the part of this story in which the Dyson sphere's sun is pushed so far off-center from the sphere that the orbit of the homeworld of the sphere's creators releases the planet onto the inside surface of the Dyson sphere as if it were a glorified bowling ball. If you don't want to see that - or worse yet, you don't have the attention span to read that far into the story - run along, you don't deserve to read this novel.(less)
As a book, this was the most annoying insult to my intelligence I've ever opened. Possibly, it never occurred to Armstrong that her book might one day...moreAs a book, this was the most annoying insult to my intelligence I've ever opened. Possibly, it never occurred to Armstrong that her book might one day be read by someone with knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek, and access to the Septuagint and Masoretic texts. However, it seems more likely that she isn't familiar with it, herself.
I cannot otherwise explain why she would choose to repeatedly quote from such a vaguely-worded paraphrase of the Bible, and then completely misconstrue everything she quotes, although more arrogant Christians, (read "Fundamentalists" or "Born Again Christians" here if you wish), might label her comments as, "sophistry", as they are wont to do with any biblical interpretation that disagrees with their own.
Speaking of arrogance, I could only stomach about 12 pages of Armstrong's biblically unsupported, and otherwise unexplained assertions contrary to the Bible, about the Bible, before I realized that she seems to expect readers to take everything she says on faith, as if she were our personal cult leader - and trashed the book in hopes that no one else would be unfortunate enough to read that copy of it. (Who ever read that one before me, irresponsibly left it where someone else might find it.)
In the absence of any explanation for these contrary assertions, my best guess is that Armstrong falls for the fallacy of Argument from Ignorance, to come to the conclusions she asserts, as for example, that biblical texts are derived from slightly older, similar Mesopotamian texts. She neither admits the possibility that Mesopotamian texts were derived from older biblical texts that have either been lost or not yet found, nor the possibility that the two are corroboratively derived from an older source, but apparently takes on faith that the Mesopotamian texts are the originals from which the Bible copies, and expects the reader to do the same.
Isaac Asimov made similar contrary assertions, with little more explanation, in Asimov's Guide to the Bible. Then again, Asimov admitted in his Introduction that he was writing outside his field of expertise, was compiling his information from the works of others, and that he did not intend his Guide to be a scholarly work. As much as Armstrong writes about religion, I'm afraid that excuse isn't available to her.
In hindsight, I recognize that this book is not so much about the beliefs of Abrahamic religions, as about the author's beliefs about Abrahamic religions. The author's beliefs are to be tolerated, as are any other's, but this reader would never have begun to read about a person's beliefs about other people's religions. I get enough of that from religious bigotry, and what little of this book that I read, set off all my bigotry alarms.(less)