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09/14/2011

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In the KJV I know there is a forward written by the translators saying something to the effect of "there are some words in here that we don't have English translations for, so we pretty much made them up as we went along, or got as close as we could." One of those words being "birds". It could have also been translated as "flying creatures."

This isn't just a problem with ancient texts. Some words have a 'popular' defintion as well as a 'technical' definition. They are often somewhat related, but not exactly the same. So, one must interpret the word in context.

With regards to the comment by philwynk, one does not have to hold that scientific discoveries are more valid than the biblical text. Certainly, we may be understanding the biblical text incorrectly. But the science of today is not necessarily the science of tomorrow. New discoveries change our understanding of the world.

Today, the common view is that both bats and birds evolved in a specific way, and at different times, but both after animals had changed so as to live on land. The biblical text does not support this view. But that is because the Bible shows God creating things. (Of course, one can debate exactly what the text means.) Since God is not bound by Evolutionary considerations, He could have created all the flying animals at the same time, and out of the order required by Evolution. But, reading the Evolutionary order into the text is eisegesis, not exegesis.

The fact that the Hebrew, at least at that time, used the same word to describe different types of flying animals is not a problem in any respect. The modern classification system did not then exist. Also, the modern classification system is currently filled with Evolutionary assumptions that shouldn't be forced on a biblical text.

Please note: I am not trying to start an argument, especially on someone else's page. So, I will not respond further. Best regards.

You are correct, historical and anthropological context explains the use of "owph" to describe flying animals.

However, you should point out that this explanation cannot be used by Christians who claim that the Lord verbally inspired the scriptures in such a way as to predict scientific discoveries. If the Genesis account of creation, for example, is held to declare cosmological details that were not available to the Hebrews, then you can't use context to explain away "owph." If you DO use that argument, then the use of "owph" to describe both birds and bats really is an error.

Gotta stay consistent. Just sayin'.

Greg, good post. It definitely highlights a common (perhaps ignorant?) misconception of the bible.

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