Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Biblical Ad Fontes

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My name is Laycee Liston and religion enthusiast concerned with the disintegration of  truth in society. I believe that with the uprising of the digital age, now more than ever we need a cry of ad fontes. 
With the dawn of the digital age changing history is only a buttons click away. This can hold many positive qualities but you need to remember that changing truth is also just a buttons click away. I believe that society has started to change and redefine original truths. Thus to counter this modern day movement I call for a movement off ad fontes, or returning to the original sources, the original truths 

The Romans give us a great example of how to use ad fontes. They respected the words ideas and art of the Greeks and didn't change the actually scripts but built on the ideas of their predecessors in their own books. Thus they didn't destroy the thoughts of the past but still changed the future. 

The bible. The bible contains original truths that are being lost in today's society. In a Ted Talk I watched AJ Jacobs talked about following the bible. He actually spent a year living the bible literally but he found that there were many different bibles and that these bible. These bible are very different in their wording and meaning. he mentioned that Psalms 23 in the King James bible talks about, the Lord is my shepherd, but in the hip hop bible Psalms 23 is entitled, "the Lord is all that". As you can see many truths were changed. 

I had a personal experience with the altering of the word while I was teaching a church lesson to a woman in Virginia. While teaching we had this woman read a verse out of her bible. As she read we followed along in our bibles. Very soon it became apparent that the words in her bible were very different than ours. she was reading out of a commonly accepted new translation. This new translation though was so different that we had to change our lesson to correlate with the new scripture. This was a testimony to me of the immense difference between the original translations and the new translations 

Some people may feel that if the Bible doesn't change with the modern digital times then it will become unusable or not understandable. This is false and can be proven so through history. Historically the Koran resisted modern day changes both in not allowing it to be printed on a printing press and not translating the language to english for a very long time. Today Islam is the second largest religion in the world. It is obvious that this resistance in preserving the word of God did not hinder their ability to progress as a religion and neither will keeping the original wording of the Bible hinder the progression of Christianity. 

This concept is like running. Running is good for you and change is also good but if all you do all day is run then that will mess up and change your life. In the same, it is important and essential for Chrstiaity to adapt to the digital age but it is also very essential that we keep it balanced. Like a pendulum, you don't want to touch the pendulum because it will change how it swings. 

Not only is it important to keep balance but it is most important to keep true doctrine. In ancient history sophists were one of the first to believe in absolute truth. Although sophists were not Christina they would agree that if we believe the original bible to be true we should preserve these truths. Thus sophists would agree with my claim that we need to keep original truths original. 

The modern book "A Brief History of Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities but Howard P. Segal talks about religion trying to create a Utopia. With this I am not saying that we can create an instant utopia but we will have more success in spreading Christianity if we stick to original truths and texts. 
Katelyn Dalton (my peer/ homie) restated my claim as such, we need to "return to the sources rather than improving on the source." In this statement there is an argument that these changes are improvements. I disagree. sometimes change is not improvement. I will share two examples of this one change that is improvement and one that is not. For example the change from old age phones to new phones is commonly seen as an improvement.

On the other hand is the modernday change from brown rice to white rice improvement or just change. There are positives about both but essentially we are giving up nutrients for convenience. I believe that with translation and changing of the bible, we are giving up the essentials for the convenience of easy reading. 

I claim that we are disintegrating an original text into something unrecognizable. In art when  a copy of a painting is created they printers don't change the painting bit by bit, they keep it exactly the same. If a printer decided to change the Mona Lisa bit by bit it would eventually end up looking nothing like the original. I believe that we had changed the bible so much that it is unrecognizable from the original text. Let us go back to the beauty of the original and find the truths that have been lost. 

1 comment:

  1. Great examples from history that support your cry to return to the sources! Interesting personal experience yet would this appeal to a greater viewer base outside of the Mormon community? Loved your argument and insights!