Ubi Dubium wrote: Back in my sunday school days, I was sent to classes for "bible study" and all we did was read a verse or two and were then asked to analyze "what it meant to our lives" or some such nonsense. When I heard "bible study" I expected that we would actually study the book, how it got to us, opinions about translations, historical manuscripts. whether there had been later additions, etc. Of course, no such interesting information ever found its way into the rubbish taught to kids...... (And I've learned the word "parablepsis", which is a really fun-sounding word to know.)
I had much the same shock when I started doing R E lessons at socondary school in England 30 years ago (!)
I had already delved into the "good" book and I was kinda wondering what the background was... I wondered who the authors were and why they were so hung up on god etc. and was looking forward to some genuine "bible bashing" and textual analysis, a bit like an English Lit class, the way you do with Shakespeare... but all we got was wishy washy moralistic nonesense and the actual text of the Bible was hardly considered at all.
I guess the "powers that be" thought that the text should be untouchable and just "given".... but the experience gave me (or reinforced in me) a deep seated mistrust of authority and "teachers" which I've never quite freed myself from... I'm sure it fatally hindered my intellectual development!
PS... for those who can't be bothered to google it:
parablepsis = From Ancient Greek παρά (para-), “‘beside’”) and βλέπω (blepō), “‘to look at’”)
1. A circumstance in which a scribe miscopies text due to inadvertently looking to the side while copying, or accidentally skips over some of it.
(if you want more wierd Textual Criticism type words: http://www.tetragrammaton.org/tcglossary.htm
parablepsis is a nice word! Dawkins talks about it too, in the Selfish Gene, as regards the "virginity" of mary and the whole almah - bethulah - parthenos - virgin - maiden debate. The fundies would never accept that an article of their faith is based on a mistranslation or a parablepsis... altho' I dont think Protestant fundies really consider the virginity (or role) of Mary to be very important... right?