Debate:Why do fundamentalists take mistranslations seriously?
The original Bible says the savior will be born not from a virgin, but from a woman who has never given birth before. In other words, the savior has to be a first-born. Fundamentalists have taken this mistranslation to "virgin" seriously, and it has become important in many churches that Mary was a virgin rather than a first-time mother. Why has this point become so important? SEdwin 01:48, 4 June 2012 (EDT)
If I accept that the word translated as "virgin" really does refer to someone who has given birth, then I would say that the cause of any obstinate refusal to accept the actual translation is two-fold. First, that people see something which they know to be true, and we hold onto the only evidence we have been taught or have thought of. Since the only evidence people know is the mistranslation, they hold onto it. In this case, we know that she was a virgin for other reasons than the mistranslation seemed to give. My practical answer to this is to do what you suggest by (1) rethinking every pertinent thing using the corrected translation (deriving new outcomes) and by (2) knowing whether the previous pertinent outcomes (or facts) of the mistranslation are still correct (but using different words as evidence). Second, many people feel more pressure to conform with their families and friends than whatever the truth of a given situation is; this is destructive to us all in all things and not just here, but it serves here to clarify just why fundamentalists take this mistranslation seriously. Remember: God knows the true cause for every true effect, even when we don't; God has even revealed much of His knowledge to us. Reliance on God will cause your sense of the truth to be refined as you wait on, ponder and know Him. GiLGiJ 18:03, 13 July 2012 (EDT)
- Umm, I am a fundamentalist, and I don't think the words in the N.T. or O.T. mean virgin. This is one of those words that got translated wrong because of the Catholic Church's wrong teaching on the Virgin Mary. The O.T. word "almah" means divorced woman or widow, same with the N.T. word "parthenos". In the Old Testament the word for virgin is bethulah, so if Isaiah 7:14 wanted to refer to virgins, that's the word it should've used. Almah appears to be a variation of almanah meaning widow. Both almanah and bethulah are used in Leviticus 21:14 - "A widow <'almanah>, or a divorced woman <garash>, or profane <chalal>, or an harlot <zanah>, these shall he not take <laqach>: but he shall take <laqach> a virgin <bathuwlah> of his own people <`am> to wife <'ishshah>." The Isaiah 7:14 prophecy is repeated in Matthew 1:23 and the word used is parthenos. But parthenos cannot mean virgin. As seen from a reading of 1 Corinthians 7, the correct interpretation is widow. In fact, the incorrect reading of 1 Corinthians 7 led to the Catholic belief on priestly celibacy. As far as I'm concerned, Mary was a widow when she married Joseph, and a number of Jesus' siblings may have come from her other marriage. --Joshua Zambrano 03:13, 3 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm not a fundamentalist
People claim I'm a fundamentalist. They also claim I'm anything else that is in opposition to some belief they have that they put a brand name to. Anyway, to clarify a few important points, Mary said when told by the angel that she would give birth to a son "How is this to be, since I am having no intercourse with a man?" (Luke 1:34) Being betrothed to Joseph, this would have made her a subject to adultery in her days, and after she fell pregnant, it was revealed to Joseph that she was indeed given God's seed. To consider that word that you've stated as meaning "from a woman who has never given birth before", it is only half the story. It is misleading to say that maiden doesn't mean virgin, as indeed a maiden CAN be a virgin, although as you state, it could have another meaning. The fact though that Matthew and Luke (Matthew was an apostle) state plainly that Mary was a virgin who became pregnant by means of holy spirit, and apply this to the same scripture in Isaiah 7:14 shows that she was indeed a virgin. Otherwise, how else could God's seed be sinless from the stain of man?
As for the parthenos explanation, have you heard of parthenogenesis? It's worth looking up, because it shows that certain creatures who are not widows are having children...they are virgins...and not hermaphrodites. So Mary was no widow, at least not until the births of all of Christ's brothers and sisters.
Also, to say "the original bible says"... If you have a copy of this original bible, it would be a precious treasure, as last I knew, we only have translations.
My response therefore isn't in defence of fundamentalists, as I don't know these paralegal terminologies of church and universities (which aren't important according to Jesus), but as for the argument about Mary not being a virgin, I disagree with you. The holiness of Jesus depended on him being born of a virgin.