It’s not about the myriad translations and versions of the BibleIt’s about the historical and cultural context in which it was written and the recognition of the influence of the Holy Sprit over time.Amen!
This was the language used by my Rhode Island Puritan ancestors in the 17th century to justify slavery.
"Unless the heathen were acquainted with the Gospel, eternal misery would be their lot in the after life. Therefore, any suffering that the slaves might experience on the slave ship or in slavery was more than compensated for by their fortunate delivery from a life of idolatry and savagery.
A slave trader could piously rejoice that an overruling Providence had been pleased to bring to this land of freedom another cargo of benighted heathen to enjoy the blessings of a Gospel dispensation." (Of course the “land of freedom” (New England) first had to cleared of Native Americans, who were either killed or enslaved, in King Phillip’s War, arguably the bloodiest war in American history.)
The “majority of practicing Christians in the world” at the time used the Bible to "feel superior" to Africans and Native Americans just as many Christians still use the Bible to feel superior to LGBT persons. Pious and patriarchal “delivery from a life of idolatry and savagery” is simply an earlier version of “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
Monday, January 24, 2011
Why it pays to know our history
You can set your clock by it: the "you people are trying to re-write the Bible" arguments from those who take Holy Scripture as the Literal Words -- rather than the Living Word -- of God. Here's a great response to one of those arguments from a frequent commenter on this blog. (Thanks, "uffda51")