Perspectives on Bible Assumptions focuses on the effect of Bible translations on beliefs about the Bible. This topic raises questions about the difference between assumptions and beliefs.
Consider this answer by Aakash Parameswaran to this question on Quora: What's the difference between assumption and belief?
Assumptions are things that are accepted without proof. While Belief is something that is accepted without proof but is built over the years based on your faith. Now here faith does not only mean religion. It’s about faith in anything. Remember your belief can influence your assumptions. But your assumptions can't influence your belief.
Without going into great detail about the definitions of assumptions and beliefs, this brief definition makes an insightful comparison of the similarities and differences between these two words.
Both assumption and faith refer to what is accepted without proof. The distinction between the two is that an assumption can be accepted without thinking about it. In contrast, faith results from a process of building trust in something or someone.
By definition, a belief is something that is accepted as true or real without proof. However, belief is not knowledge. The ancient Greek philosophers defined knowledge as something that could not be wrong. Knowledge is universal, necessary, and certain. No matter how much you believe something, a belief is an assumption. You cannot prove a belief. You can only believe it.
What’s the Problem?
Claims about “what the Bible says” have wide-ranging physical, psychological, intellectual, sociological, political, and economic impacts on contemporary society as a whole. Such claims also affect many people who feel confused, afraid, and conflicted by such claims.
Whatever you believe about the Bible and whatever role the Bible has played in your life, unless you are reading the Bible in the ancient languages of Greek and Hebrew, you are reading translations. The inevitable result of translations from one language to another is that translation itself can create perspectives that differ from the perspectives of original languages. The result is that even the most honest, well-intentioned translators can sometimes miss the point.
My own deeply-held belief as a biblical scholar is that mistranslations of the Bible can have powerful negative impacts on believers. My purpose is not to argue for or against the validity of beliefs about any part of the Bible.
Rather, my purpose is to offer life-affirming perspectives on original meanings of the Bible in Greek and Hebrew that got lost, distorted, or misused in contemporary translations.
The Life-Changing Question
How would your life change if you discovered that some translations of many widely-quoted Bible verses have distorted the actual meaning of the Greek or Hebrew sources?
Are you willing to examine your assumptions and beliefs? The words of Alan Alda encourage you to scrub off your assumptions once in a while. It’s a metaphorical way to encourage you to be willing to examine your assumptions about any topic.
This is especially true if you have a legacy of fear, confusion, and conflict from what you learned about the Bible. Would you be interested to know that much of your fear, confusion and conflict are directly related to mistranslated and misunderstood Bible verses?
The life-changing question is: Are you willing to examine your assumptions and beliefs about “what the Bible says”?
You can begin with my first two books in my Does the Bible Really Say That ? Series
Your True Self Identity: How Familiar Translations of Bible Verses in the Gospel of Matthew Hide Your True Identity from You.
Gospel of Wealth or Poverty? How Do Bible Verses about Jesus, Wealth, Poverty, and Heaven Affect Your Income?
Read my About page for my credentials for making such claims about Bible translations.
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