Christian Nonscience

Pun intended, the fact that Cleve would defend his bible with his fortune and his sacred honor prompts me to share a tidbit of christian controversy that has lasted a few hundred years:

The scholars authorized by … King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated … largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, “Day star, son of the Dawn,” as “Lucifer,” and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and — ironically — the Prince of Darkness.

I would expect someone of genius jewish decent (who don’t share the same concept of Satan as christians), to know about the above error and not use the terms interchangeably. Imagine this tiny mistranslation and others, compounded over time, perverted by the hands of men into something other than intended, or perhaps in some instances, exactly as intended.

You may claim that religion smells of rotten fish, but maybe it’s because the water is polluted.

Ironically, I learned this at a bible summer camp many years ago, and a quick google gave me a nice synopsis. The quoted article can be found here

Call me a fanatic if you will, but anyone who can be blinded by faith that the bible is the actual word of god, cannot ignore inconsistancies and errors that either prove one of two things:

God is not perfect, since he must have overseen these translations


The bible is not the true word of god

Which one can you live with ?

From my notes on this:

Actually, the word used in Isaiah is the Hebrew word heylel - It is used only once in the Bible, in Isaiah 14:12.

“Heylel” is derived from the primitive root word “halal” It is this word that gives us understanding of what “Heylel” really means. This is also the only way that Jerome and the English translators could come to an understanding of what “Heylel” means–by clearly understanding the meaning of the word that “Heylel” is derived from, since it is only used once.

“Halal” is used 165 times in the Old Testament and it is translated as follows in the KJV:

117 times = Praise
14 times = Glory
10 times = Boast
8 times = Mad
3 times = Shine(d)
3 times = Foolish
2 times = Fools
2 times = Commended
2 times = Rage
1 time = Celebrate
1 time = Give
1 time = Marriage
1 time = Renowned

This should make clear that the translators felt they should attach over a dozen different meanings to this word “Halal.” The meanings are both, good and bad; both, positive and negative.

There is no question that this word has a good, positive meaning. But neither is there any question that it also has a bad, negative meaning. Jerome, without the slightest proof available to him, decided to give the word “Heylel” a good, positive meaning. All the major translators into English have simply followed Jerome’s lead, who was working for Pope Damascus, remember?

Here are some of the places where “Halal” is translated as:

•“Mad” = 1 Samuel 21:13; Psalms 102:8; Ecclesiastes 2:2; 7:7; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 25:16; 50:38; 51:7;
•“Fools” = Job 12:17; Psalms 75:4;
•“Foolish” = Psalms 5:5; 73:3; 75:4;
•“Rage” = Jer 46:9; Nahum 2:4;
•“Boast” = 1 Kings 20:11; Psalms 10:3; 34:2; 44:8; 49:6; 52:1; 97:7; Proverbs 20:14; 25:14; 27:1.

It is not a clear translation from Halal or Heylal to Phosphoros at all.

As for translations, the Dead Sea scrolls demonstrated for most folks (including an old atheist professor of mine) that our modern good translations of the Bible (those translated from the best original language sources) are remarkably consistent and accurate. That doesn’t “prove” anything - my old atheist languages professor is still an atheist, but he remarked that as a historical document, the Bible is a pretty unique document.