"But That's The Old Testament"

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WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 12:27 am
Acheick wrote:
Yes, the poster must be careful to (1) NOT assume that God doesn't exist; (2) NOT assume that God doesn't have knowledge; (3) NOT assume that God doesn't grant this knowledge to humans; (4) NOT assume that some humans are incapable of understanding/using that knowledge; and (5) NOT assume the Torah is inaccurate. Wink

The only reason why I accept the above assumptions as fact is because I used logic and reasoning to make my decision. Through the use of my intellect - not emotion - I have consciously concluded that God must exist and that the Torah is true.

I was going to take some time to debate your friend's answers, but then I read the above.

This is the exactly what I was getting at before (and what I've found with my own interactions with people of the Jewish faith). They approach every problem from the angle of "How does this fit the Bible/Torah" as if The Bible/Torah have been scientifically proven as fact.

If that was indeed the case, then neither Judaism nor Christanity can be aptly called "faiths" as they would be based on indisputable facts that would be accepted by all.

The fact remains that the existence of God cannot be scientifically proven and therefore cannot be rightly used as the basis for any logical argument.

That fact seems to be difficult for your friend to understand. But, I don't blame him/her. Their reality is based on what they have been taught all their lives, and they experience everything through the filter of their faith -- much like those of us who were born into the Family did. Your friend has accepted that reality as fact, and has used the "logic and reasoning" limited to that reality to prove its veracity to him/herself.

This is also know as circular logic.

If there's one thing I've learned in my study of religions it is that every answer should be based on what is right, not who is right.

Inherently, religion is about who is right.

I maintain that if the holy books of all religions were understood as authorities in moral and spiritual matters only, as opposed to authorities in historical and scientific matters, then all conflicts between religions and their followers would cease.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 08:56 am
As I've read these posts, I'm wondering if I'm getting what you all are saying. Is it that you are saying that believing in a creator takes faith and is not proven, but not believing does not take faith and is a proven logic? This is what I'm deducing from these posts. Am I wrong?
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 09:39 am
Acheick wrote:
As I've read these posts, I'm wondering if I'm getting what you all are saying. Is it that you are saying that believing in a creator takes faith and is not proven, but not believing does not take faith and is a proven logic? This is what I'm deducing from these posts. Am I wrong?

I'm sure everyone has their own take on this, but what I am saying is that the concept of God is something that cannot be analyzed by using logic or science.

When one applies the logic of science to the concept of God (as accepted by all religions) it will end up disproving that concept. And yet the existence of that concept is undeniable and has a tangible impact on society today.

Those who want to apply logic to religion are free to do so, but they should be aware of the fact that they are reasoning on an entirely different level of logic.

Your Jewish friend, for example, is using the logic native to his/her reality and religion to prove the existence of his/her reality ("The Torah is the Word of God because the Torah says it is"). This type of circular logic is what you get when you try to combine scientific and religious logic.

Does that help?

I have no doubt that a few millenia from now science and religion will both have evolved to form a seamless entity of their own. But that entity will be as different from our current sciences and religions as the sciences and religions of 2000 years ago are from today's.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 10:47 am
WalkerJ wrote:
the concept of God is something that cannot be analyzed by using logic or science.


I asked a minister once whether he could tell me the evidence that proved the Bible to be the Word of God. His response was that neither the Scripture, nor God, need mankind’s standard of proof for support, and if one’s faith was based on evidence, then one had no faith. The implications of blind faith are troubling though, TF being a perfect example of how one’s misplaced faith can be so wrong.
 
evanman
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 10:57 am
Quote:
Your "text" refutes nothing. It contains only what the author(s) wrote down (and it has changed many times over the few thousand years this text has been around).


I would like to see evidence of this. As far as I'm aware one of the guiding principles of Jewish scribes was to copy the text faithfully. Any deviation from the original would be disposed of.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 12:06 pm
evanman wrote:
Quote:
Your "text" refutes nothing. It contains only what the author(s) wrote down (and it has changed many times over the few thousand years this text has been around).


I would like to see evidence of this. As far as I'm aware one of the guiding principles of Jewish scribes was to copy the text faithfully. Any deviation from the original would be disposed of.


More on that subject, Evanman, you might find interesting - again, from my follower of the Torah friend:

Quote:
"it has changed many times over the few thousand years"


Please support your claim that the Torah has changed. In return, I offer you this research, On the Text of the Torah, by Rabbi Gil Student, which traces the history of the Torah to the present day and concludes as follows.
"We began with the task of searching for evidence that the Torah we have is incorrect and to find methods of fixing it. However, we have not found convincing evidence that anything has been changed or omitted in the Torah text throughout history.... After tracing through the transmission of the Torah, we find that it has been preserved in an almost perfect form."
~ http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_text.html

"Almost perfect form," meaning that a handful of individual letters have come into doubt. Literally, a handful of letters. Moreover, the nature of these letters is such that they do not change the meaning of the text. There is no exact parallel in English, but I'll offer this inexact example. In English, we pronounce "behavior" and "behaviour" exactly the same - and the two words mean exactly the same thing. The letter "u" does not change the phonetics or the meaning of the text. Likewise, the handful of doubtful letters in the present day Torah do not change either the phonetics or the meaning of the text.

The entire article is well worth the read, for anybody interested in the veracity of the present day Torah text.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 04:10 pm
Acheick wrote:
More on that subject, Evanman, you might find interesting - again, from my follower of the Torah friend:

Quote:
"it has changed many times over the few thousand years"


Please support your claim that the Torah has changed. In return, I offer you this research, On the Text of the Torah, by Rabbi Gil Student, which traces the history of the Torah to the present day and concludes as follows.
"We began with the task of searching for evidence that the Torah we have is incorrect and to find methods of fixing it. However, we have not found convincing evidence that anything has been changed or omitted in the Torah text throughout history.... After tracing through the transmission of the Torah, we find that it has been preserved in an almost perfect form."
~ http://www.aishdas.org/toratemet/en_text.html

"Almost perfect form," meaning that a handful of individual letters have come into doubt. Literally, a handful of letters. Moreover, the nature of these letters is such that they do not change the meaning of the text. There is no exact parallel in English, but I'll offer this inexact example. In English, we pronounce "behavior" and "behaviour" exactly the same - and the two words mean exactly the same thing. The letter "u" does not change the phonetics or the meaning of the text. Likewise, the handful of doubtful letters in the present day Torah do not change either the phonetics or the meaning of the text.

The entire article is well worth the read, for anybody interested in the veracity of the present day Torah text.

Heh. This is like a Family member saying, "Prophecy is real because one of the Family leaders did an in-depth study into prophecy and concluded that it is real."

I mean, seriously, would you expect a Rabbi to say the Torah isn't in "almost perfect form"?

Haven't these guys heard of independant studies?
 
Acheick
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 07:29 pm
WalkerJ wrote:
Acheick wrote:
As I've read these posts, I'm wondering if I'm getting what you all are saying. Is it that you are saying that believing in a creator takes faith and is not proven, but not believing does not take faith and is a proven logic? This is what I'm deducing from these posts. Am I wrong?

I'm sure everyone has their own take on this, but what I am saying is that the concept of God is something that cannot be analyzed by using logic or science.

When one applies the logic of science to the concept of God (as accepted by all religions) it will end up disproving that concept. And yet the existence of that concept is undeniable and has a tangible impact on society today.

Those who want to apply logic to religion are free to do so, but they should be aware of the fact that they are reasoning on an entirely different level of logic.

Your Jewish friend, for example, is using the logic native to his/her reality and religion to prove the existence of his/her reality ("The Torah is the Word of God because the Torah says it is"). This type of circular logic is what you get when you try to combine scientific and religious logic.

Does that help?

I have no doubt that a few millenia from now science and religion will both have evolved to form a seamless entity of their own. But that entity will be as different from our current sciences and religions as the sciences and religions of 2000 years ago are from today's.


Thanks, Walker, for taking your time to explain all this to me. I'm going to sit down one day and study these different answers. It's hard to digest it all when I'm not spending much time reviewing and reading in depth. You know, like a drive-by poster, peeking and answering in between work, family and a million other projects of mine. I have to learn how to prioritize better. Seems I want to do it all.

Well, one thing is for sure, I agree with you that it will be interesting to see how science and religion evolve over time.
 
Thorwald 1
 
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2006 10:27 pm
evanman wrote:
I would like to see evidence of this. As far as I'm aware one of the guiding principles of Jewish scribes was to copy the text faithfully. Any deviation from the original would be disposed of.


The most accurate transcriber known to man is DNA polymerase III. This is the enzyme involved with DNA replication. It makes, on average, one mistake for every 1 million million (or "billion" in the US) "characters" transcribed. It also does this at an average of 1,000 characters per second. Present day computers are no where near as good at this.

However, since there are millions of "characters" that need to be transcribed per cell cycle (and in the case of E. coli this is, on average, every 20 minutes), after many thousands of generations these mistakes build up and become quite noticeable and can have a dramatic effect. This is what we call mutations and is one of the primary driving forces behind evolution.

My point is this: Human transcribers are many orders of magnitude less accurate than DNA polymerase III. Do you really expect me to believe the Torah--as transcribed by humans, spread across the Mediterranean, and over millennia--has no noticeable and, by statistical probability, important mistakes? I am not taking about leaving out a "u" here-and-there; I am taking about entire words, phrases, and even whole sections of text.

The meaning of words change over time (see: etymology) and often dramatically. The entire job of the Supreme Court in any modern democracy is to interpret a constitution. That is, they try to figure out what the original authors meant by a statement (and even a single word). In the US, for an example, their constitution is only around 230 years old and, yet, they have heated debates over what the original authors meant.

None of the above even factors in the intentions of the individual scribes over the thousands of years. Each could have introduced their own bias when transcribing (really "translating") the Torah . . . whether intentional or not.

It is the prevailing powers who write history. They record what is in their best interest, what furthers their agenda, and their interpretation of the events. They also do not write down a lot. This is, by no means, different with religious texts. In fact, I should think it is especially true.
 
winter 1
 
Reply Tue 24 Oct, 2006 07:55 am
WalkerJ wrote:

That simple answer would be that God doesn't intervene, because there is no God.

God is a concept -- a concept that billions of people have accepted as a reality simply because it has been ever present since their birth. It cannot be proved nor disproved. It cannot be scientifically studied and analyzed nor can it be discounted as irrelavent.

Religion is simply what you get when people anthropomorphize that concept.


Well, I don't know what many people call God. To me God is the light. God is the creative energy of the universe - so on and so forth. If you think God is a man with a bear who is all powerful and punishes you and blesses you how he sees fit, then you may as well join the Family.

I do not think that is what God is. Ever read the Tao? Ever take a look at how some other parts of the world see God? I find it quite interesting.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Tue 24 Oct, 2006 08:49 am
Now this is interesting. I didn't know all these things about my friend. Anyway, I'm not sure what post this is in response to - Walker's I think. Here you go:


YOUR PREMISE:
"the existence of God cannot be scientifically proven"

YOUR CONCLUSION:
"and therefore cannot be rightly used as the basis for any logical argument."

Science encompasses more than the physical world. For example, psychology is based upon non-physical phenomena which we KNOW exist. Yes, a machine can prove that a brain is generating electrical impulses. But, no, a machine can't prove that a particular thought construct exists at any moment in time.

Nonetheless, we use such non-physical phenomena as the basis for logical arguments all the time. You and I are having a discussion involving thought constructs, each of which is based upon other concepts in turn, the existence of which can not be proven through physical evidence.

Evidence of a truth can be logic-based instead of physical.

Your premise and conclusion are faulty.
Your argument collapses.



Quote:
"...as if The Bible/Torah have been scientifically proven as fact. If that was indeed the case, then neither Judaism nor Christanity can be aptly called "faiths" as they would be based on indisputable facts that would be accepted by all."


I will speak only for Judaism, not for Christianity.

Jews use the word "faith" casually in conversation. Casual usage aside, and speaking seriously, we say the existence of God is knowledge-based.

Indeed, Judaism demands that we each, as individuals, abandon all preconceived faith-based notions of God and use our intellect to ascertain the truth of God's existence. Using his intellect alone, Abraham concluded that God does exist. Abraham is our prototype of knowing God exists.

Yes, God's existence is not accepted by all. However, this shouldn't discourage the thinker. After all, even clear PHYSICAL evidence is sometimes not universally accepted. For example, millions of people believe that Israel was directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks - and not Arab Muslims - despite the physical evidence to the contrary. Emotion can be a powerful blinder to truth. It is even easier for people to reject out-of-hand evidence that is NON-PHYSICAL.


Quote:
"[Your friend's] reality is based on what they have been taught all their lives, and they experience everything through the filter of their faith"


One of my parents was an atheist; the other, an agnostic at best; an emotional knee-jerk reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust. I was born into a secular and unbelieving home. So, instead of "experiencing everything through the filter of Judaism," I deliberately experience Judaism through the filter of my intellect. My intellect preceded and precedes my experience of Judaism. Whether Judaism is true or false, I want to know that based on reason, not emotion.


Quote:
"every answer should be based on what is right, not who is right. Inherently, religion is about who is right."


When a thing is "right," then it is right regardless of "who" recognizes its rightness. Judaism is about "what" is right - not "who" is right. Individually, each Jew strives to know the "what."
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 24 Oct, 2006 06:16 pm
Acheick, your friend seems confident he has found all the answers he needs in his reality. He seems to believe that those answers apply to the rest of the world as well.

All his statements, while admirable attempts at logic, are all based on his religious perspective and do not address all religions.

He is conviced that "Judaism is about "what" is right - not "who" is right.".

I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I know more about his religion than he does. Maybe all those debates with the Rabbis taught me something afterall. Smile

One is a Christian, because one believes Jesus is right. One is Jewish because one believes Moses is right. One is Muslim because one believes Mohammed is right.

It all boils down to who's definition of 'right' is right, therefore essentially it is about who is right.

It is human nature to want to be right. It is human nature to want to have all the answers. I think it makes your friend feel good that he has or has access to the "right" answer for every question.

But in order to really discover what is right, one must abandon any preconceived ideas and be willing to accept that not every question has an answer.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Tue 24 Oct, 2006 06:47 pm
WalkerJ wrote:
Acheick, your friend seems confident he has found all the answers he needs in his reality. He seems to believe that those answers apply to the rest of the world as well.

All his statements, while admirable attempts at logic, are all based on his religious perspective and do not address all religions.

He is conviced that "Judaism is about "what" is right - not "who" is right.".

I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I know more about his religion than he does. Maybe all those debates with the Rabbis taught me something afterall. Smile

One is a Christian, because one believes Jesus is right. One is Jewish because one believes Moses is right. One is Muslim because one believes Mohammed is right.

It all boils down to who's definition of 'right' is right, therefore essentially it is about who is right.

It is human nature to want to be right. It is human nature to want to have all the answers. I think it makes your friend feel good that he has or has access to the "right" answer for every question.

But in order to really discover what is right, one must abandon any preconceived ideas and be willing to accept that not every question has an answer.


Well, Walker, one thing for sure, I'm having an eye opener as to the way Judaism is followed and the different ways of looking at it. Of course, every religion thinks they are the way, or why follow if you don't think that? That wouldn't make sense.

BTW, I totally agree with your last paragraph.
 
WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Tue 24 Oct, 2006 07:39 pm
Acheick wrote:
Well, Walker, one thing for sure, I'm having an eye opener as to the way Judaism is followed and the different ways of looking at it.

Been there.

I had no idea how many "levels" of believers there are in Judaism until I began looking into it. The only Jewish believers I have not had religious discussions with so far are the Hassidic Jews. At one point, my wife and I even looked into placing our children into an Orthodox Jewish elementary school. Had their fees been cheaper, we might have actually gone through with it.

My original interest in Judaism stemmed from my understanding that debate and questioning of their faith is highly encouraged. I thought this approach would lend itself well to keeping a religion based on independently verifiable facts.

However, I was disappointed to learn that the answers to all those questions and doubts MUST come from the Torah itself and cannot be introduced from another source. Thus, all logic becomes cyclical, all problems become self-solving and all solutions predetermined.

I would not feel comfortable with such a belief structure.

In regards to religion, it is my hope, that I will be able to give my daughters the opportunity to create a reality for themselves that encompasses as broad a spectrum of religious faiths as possible. I believe that is the only way for them to better comprehend what the concept of God really is.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Tue 24 Oct, 2006 10:36 pm
[quote="WalkerJ"

Quote:
My original interest in Judaism stemmed from my understanding that debate and questioning of their faith is highly encouraged. I thought this approach would lend itself well to keeping a religion based on independently verifiable facts.


My interest is in understanding the bible as it was created and passed on through the original dialects and customs. I'm finding out how much I've truly misunderstood. I'm getting a clearer picture of what the bible is all about.


Quote:
In regards to religion, it is my hope, that I will be able to give my daughters the opportunity to create a reality for themselves that encompasses as broad a spectrum of religious faiths as possible. I believe that is the only way for them to better comprehend what the concept of God really is.[/[/quote]

This is the same as to how I felt with my children. I took them to my mother's church and gave them the opportunity to have the knowledge and left the rest up to them. Some have gone on with it, some have not or found other paths more to their liking. I would never insist on anything. I might suggest or encourage, but I feel that faith or a religious following is deeply personal and should be up to each individual to follow the path they chose. As long as they don't sacrifice virgins or something obviously wrong. Rolling Eyes

I think you are a very caring father and your daughters are very fortunate.
 
Day 1
 
Reply Wed 25 Oct, 2006 06:02 am
[quote="WalkerJ"
It is human nature to want to be right. It is human nature to want to have all the answers. ... But in order to really discover what is right, one must abandon any preconceived ideas and be willing to accept that not every question has an answer.[/quote]

The discussion throughout this thread has been so interesting and informative. You all have provided much food for thought. I, for one, appreciate your studies and, particularly, the time and effort involved in explaining your ideas.

As for your hopes for your children WalkerJ, Acheick couldn't have said it better. They are very fortunate to have a father with the intellectual honesty you seem to possess.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Wed 25 Oct, 2006 08:10 am
winter wrote:
WalkerJ wrote:

That simple answer would be that God doesn't intervene, because there is no God.

God is a concept -- a concept that billions of people have accepted as a reality simply because it has been ever present since their birth. It cannot be proved nor disproved. It cannot be scientifically studied and analyzed nor can it be discounted as irrelavent.

Religion is simply what you get when people anthropomorphize that concept.


Well, I don't know what many people call God. To me God is the light. God is the creative energy of the universe - so on and so forth. If you think God is a man with a bear who is all powerful and punishes you and blesses you how he sees fit, then you may as well join the Family.

I do not think that is what God is. Ever read the Tao? Ever take a look at how some other parts of the world see God? I find it quite interesting.


Winter - I certainly have. Have you delved into the beliefs of American Indians? Strikingly similiar to Christianity - almost uncanny. I think they were deeply spiritual. Maybe the peyote helped????
 
Day 1
 
Reply Wed 25 Oct, 2006 09:47 am
Winter's and WalkerJ’s remarks about Tao and open-mindedness reminded me of a paper one of my daughters wrote for a philosophy class several years ago about “Lao Tsu and Chang Tsu regarding human behaviorâ€
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 25 Oct, 2006 04:43 pm
Quote:
My point is this: Human transcribers are many orders of magnitude less accurate than DNA polymerase III. Do you really expect me to believe the Torah--as transcribed by humans, spread across the Mediterranean, and over millennia--has no noticeable and, by statistical probability, important mistakes? I am not taking about leaving out a "u" here-and-there; I am taking about entire words, phrases, and even whole sections of text.

The meaning of words change over time (see: etymology) and often dramatically. The entire job of the Supreme Court in any modern democracy is to interpret a constitution. That is, they try to figure out what the original authors meant by a statement (and even a single word). In the US, for an example, their constitution is only around 230 years old and, yet, they have heated debates over what the original authors meant.


I expect you to believe it because all the evidence points to this as being fact. You can look at ancient Hebrew texts of the books of what is known as the Old Testament, and compare them with modern copies and there is no difference!

Scribes do not change the text, they simply copy it out word for word. The job of interpretation was down to the Rabbis.
 
Acheick
 
Reply Sun 29 Oct, 2006 09:12 am
More on the Torah - part 1
My Torah follower is not done. Apparently, she is on a roll. This is great, because it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. Hope others are benefitting also.

Quote:
"Human transcribers are many orders of magnitude less accurate than DNA polymerase III"


The DNA polymerase III "transcription process" is not a good analogy, for a variety of reasons, including the following.

(1) A replicated cell is not scrutinized for mistakes. By contrast, every Torah scroll goes through layer upon layer of scrutinization. First, the scribe is examining his scroll on a regular basis. After the scroll is sold, the synagogue reads part of the scroll, at least 4 times every week, slowly and methodically working their way through the entire scroll once every year.

(2) Cellular mistakes are not corrected; unless the mutation causes that cell to die, it is retained within the gene pool. By contrast, discovered Torah transcription mistakes are purged with urgency, or else the entire scroll is buried.

(3) Every cell has equal opportunity to produce descendants. By contrast, few Torah scrolls are eventually used to transcribe new scrolls. A Torah scroll is not used as a master template until it has undergone exhaustive inspection by many different people over many decades.

(4) Each and every cell replicates itself; creating cell lines that are replicas of replicas; this produces the "snowball effect" of mistakes accumulating generation after generation. By contrast, a Torah scribe replicates all his Torah scrolls from one singular master template; thus all his Torah scrolls are "siblings" of one another and there is no opportunity for mistakes to "snowball." Moreover, if a mistake is found, then the scribe knows at once that all the siblings contain the exact same mistake, which means they can be easily corrected. After retirement, the scribe gives his singular master template to his replacement scribe, ensuring that new Torah scrolls continue to be "siblings" for centuries.

(5) Cellular reproduction occurs at such an astonishing speed, that mutations can spin out of control, quickly killing the organism. By contrast, the typical Torah scribe produces one new Torah scroll each year. There is plenty of time to catch and correct an error.



THE TRANSCRIPTION PROCESS

Completing one Torah scroll takes approximately one year of full-time work. It takes roughly 2,000 hours to transcribe the 304,805 characters contained in a Torah. Why does it take so long? Because Jewish law requires the scribe to follow strict and exacting procedures.

Scribes are regulated accorded to Jewish law. They undergo specialized training and certification. Likewise, all the materials (parchment, ink, quill) are regulated; parchment must be closely checked for pinholes or slight tears, because defects might interfere with legibility; faulty quills or ink are not allowed.

The scribe cannot write even a single letter from memory. Instead, he must always look at his "master template" - meaning a Torah scroll that has been exhaustively checked for accuracy. Before copying a word, the scribe must pronounce it aloud from the "master template." Afterwards, he may copy it letter by letter, looking at the "master template" before beginning each letter.

Throughout the process, the scribe must constantly check the "master template" to measure the white space. Precise spacing is as important as the text itself. One letter cannot touch another letter. One word cannot look like two words. And two words cannot look like one word. The physical layout of the sections, the exact line lengths, and the paragraph configurations cannot be changed. The copy must be identical to the master template.



FIXING MISTAKES

The rare mistake is caught during usage. Once the scroll is purchased by a synagogue, part of it is read at least 4 times every week, and the entire scroll is completely read over the course of each year. During public readings, the text is simultaneously read aloud by one person and read silently by two additional people (whose job is to closely follow in order to correct any reading mistakes by the first person).

If even one letter was discovered to be added, deleted, or illegible - or if the physical layout of white space has been altered - then the ENTIRE scroll is invalidated until that mistake is fixed. If the mistake is not fixed within 30 days of discovery, then the entire scroll must be buried.

A new Torah scroll cannot be used as a "master template" (by a new scribe) until the scroll has undergone many years of exhaustive, close reads and examinations for mistakes. A particular Torah scroll slowly develops a good reputation over time.

(By the way, the price of one Torah scroll starts at $25,000 (US), because it represents one year of full-time salary. Burying a Torah scroll means an enormous financial loss. Mistakes are treated as emergencies and a scribe is quickly called to fix them.)



THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

Has the Torah transcription process been successful? It's been successful if and only if our Torah scrolls were transcribed with accuracy. Now, there's a way to know.

The Jewish nation has undergone numerous exiles and dispersions. There were no telephones, Internet, airplanes, or other quick means of communication - and from Yemen to Poland to Shanghai to Zimbabwe to Kurdistan, scattered Jewish communities existed with little communication between them.

The community of most interest to this discussion is the Yemenite Jewish community. Due to geography and oppression, this community was completely isolated from the rest of world Jewry for 1500 years. After the modern State of Israel was born, the Yemenite Jewish community was airlifted by Israel in the 1950s.

They brought their Torah scrolls with them. Astonishingly, after 1500 years of isolation, their text was still identical to the Ashenazi and Sephardic texts except for a handful of letters - and those letters do not change the pronunciation or the meaning of the text at all.



Quote:
"Do you really expect me to believe the Torah--as transcribed by humans, spread across the Mediterranean, and over millennia--has no noticeable and, by statistical probability, important mistakes? I am not taking about leaving out a 'u' here-and-there; I am taking about entire words, phrases, and even whole sections of text."


Yet, the physical evidence shows this to be true.


"
Quote:
The meaning of words change over time... None of the above even factors in the intentions of the individual scribes over the thousands of years. Each could have introduced their own bias when transcribing (really "translating") the Torah . . . whether intentional or not."


No, Torah transcription is NOT "translation." Rather, it is the verbatim copying, letter by letter, of the text. There is NO translation involved.
 
 

 
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