|Technical Mysteries of the Bible||Age
of Earth Quandary
In the understanding of ancient language, it is sometimes difficult to determine the original thought that was expressed.
The first rule of
hermeneutics is that the original intended meaning is the proper
interpretation as to what it means.
There are many words that have more than one meaning. For example a word that means, “beyond the rising sun” could mean at least two things. It could mean a direction in time, or it could mean a direction in space. In time it would mean the ancient past. In space it would mean beyond the eastern horizon. Just which meaning should be assigned in a translation?
Many times the original intended meaning is difficult to establish. Assume for a moment that there is an ancient language where the concept “baby color” was a word, and it was established that in that culture baby colors were pink and blue. An ancient poem might be discovered that had the line, “His eyes are as the “baby color” of the sky.” In this case, the phrase is obviously referring to his baby blue eyes. We know this by applying a rule that keeps us in touch with the reality that most of the time the sky is blue, and eyes are generally found to be blue, not generally pink.
That would be correct unless, of course, it is a fictional account of a red eyed space alien. Then, it would be obviously referring to his pink eyes. In this case reality has nothing to do with it.
This illustrates the need for a commonly used, yet rarely stated, rule of hermeneutics. If the ancient writing claims to be a work of fiction, or claims to be a true account, the rule would be applied judiciously. That rule is: If there are two equally possible interpretations of the meaning, and one is in accord with reality, and the other is not, the one in accord with reality is the proper interpretation. If the work claims to be a true account, this rule is applied. If the writing is a fictional account, this rule is not to be applied.
The bible claims to be a
true account. Therefore, this rule of
hermeneutics is just as valid as any other, maybe more so.
Suppose there is a line in the bible that says, “Beyond the
rising sun God established an ecology of paradise…” and it goes on to
describe the luxurious trees etc. The
question then is, does that passage of scripture describe a
geographical area whose location is in the
Add to that the fact that modern science has discovered there was in fact an eon of time in the ancient past where the ecology and climate matches the description, but no where is there any evidence that there is in recorded history a geographical area in the east as was described.
In this case, the rule should be applied and the proper interpretation rendered as an eon in the ancient past.
This rule of reality can
sometimes lead us astray. This rule was
applied liberally when the bible was originally translated from the
then nearly dead language of Ancient Hebrew into the then universal
language of Greek, under the influence of ancient Greek science. Obviously, this is in reference to the
translation of the LXX at the library of science in
Before any useful understanding of the technical information in the bible can be determined, this must be sorted out.
Max B. Frederick
Max B. Frederick, an Old Scientist.