Most people don’t realize my religious studies include the Bible.  I mean, if you’re into “alternative” spiritualities you must be anti-Christian and uninformed, right?  *sigh*  Actually, I’m somewhat of a Biblical scholar and a theologian, went to a Catholic college for my undergrad degree.  Oh, that degree, a BA in English Lit which means I would’ve had to learn something about the Bible even if I hadn’t wanted to because most English literature is heavily influenced by if not using Biblical symbols, scenarios, and settings.  Then there was my studies in Judaism when I started my Masters in Women’s Spirituality because the Reform movement is a large and currently active participant in adding women and our perspectives back into the mix.  Think Shekhinah to see a prime example.

What’s funny is that I forget how much I know, how in depth my knowledge goes, although I’m no expert.  I don’t read or write Hebrew or Aramaic, Coptic or Latin or Greek so I haven’t read any of the texts in the original.  Like many of us I rely on English translations. But I have been studying Christianity and Judaism, now Islam due to my further studies into cultures who accept reincarnation and write about the Akashics, for over 30 years and so there’s some stuff about it up there in the noggin.  So when people ask me generic questions about Biblical matters it kinda stops me dead because…well, goodness, there’s no way to give an answer to a general question that isn’t a thousand miles long and full of other questions trying to narrow things down.

I mean, what does anyone mean by Bible?  There’s the Tanakh which is the Jewish Bible and is only the Old Testament.  There’s the Catholic Bible with its chapters and the Protestant Bible with its chapters.  These are different, btw.  And then, because we know the Bible is a collection of texts that was selected by men for a variety of reasons including political, there are texts outside the Bible which many believe to be just as important and just as much divine including the Nag Hammadi, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Judas and others.  More texts are being discovered all the time giving us more and more insight and bringing up even more questions.  So then, having selected what is meant by Bible, you need to narrow down what version of that Bible is being referenced.  Because who among us is reading the original?  Besides seminarians, rabbis and REALLY dedicated researchers?  So what we’re reading is a translation and currently there are about 50 translations just in English and it’s been translated into 518 languages, says Wikipedia.  Having been an interpreter for several years I know first hand how inexact a science translation is.  So which version of the Bible is being referred to.  Literally, we need to get on the same page. LOL

See, waaaaayyyy too much information for such a simple question, but nothing about the Bible is simple.  What’s funny is that in the media there are people spouting Bible quotes they’ve never read and people on the other side shouting “Read the Bible.” Yeah, well which one?  If we ever needed an example of how the information age is not helping us as a culture, I think this might be one.  More is just more, it doesn’t seem to be any better.  We’re still pretty illiterate about the Bible and no longer literate in the symbolism and stories like we were way back when.  All that church art, stained glass windows, sculptures, etc, weren’t idols, they were teaching tools, using the stories of the Bible to illustrate how we should live our lives to the best of our ability.  It didn’t make us any better at it or any better as people, but at least it was pretty.  And this is why I’m staying away from Biblical movies this year.  I’m going to go work on Kabbalah materials now.  Because, you know, irony…