Saturday, April 24, 2010

page 28 "The Case for God" Karen Armstrong

in Chapter 2:
Some Western Christians read the [Biblical creation] story as a factual account of the Original Sin that condemned the human race to everlasting perdition.  But this is a peculiarly Western Christian interpretation and was introduced controversially by Saint Augustine of Hippo only in the early fifth century.  The Eden story has never been understood in this way in either the Jewish or the Orthodox Christian traditions.  However, we all tend to see these ancient tales through the filter of subsequent history and project current beliefs onto texts that originally meant something quite different.   Today, because the modern West is a society of logos, some people read the Bible literally, assuming that its intention is to give us the kind of accurate information that we expect from any other supposedly historical text and that this is the way these stories have always been understood.   In fact, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, until well into the modern period, Jews and Christians both insisted that it was neither possible nor desirable to read the Bible in this way, that it gives us no single, orthodox message and demands constant reinterpretation.

No comments: