Human understanding of the bible

September 29, 2006

This is from a post of mine on a Facebook group talking about taking the bible literally, with a few additions for this blog post:

Neither the human mind or languages allow for complete understanding. I admittedly have not done a lot of bible reading for myself, but in church small groups we have done some bible study. Most passages that we study have a good amount of ambiguity and are open to multiple interpretations. It is not humanly possible to have perfect understanding of such a complex thing as the bible. With every human idea and with humans interpretation of the bible, we are always subject to differences in what we place the most importance on, how deeply we go into a subject (the surface level interpretation may not always be correct), how we translate from one language to another, how much you build upon what you read, etc. How else do you explain all the many different denominations of Christianity, with many different ideas, all claiming to be grounded in scripture? Even if, for the sake of argument, the bible was infallible, our understanding of it is not and never can be infallible, because we are human. For that reason, we should never have unquestioned acceptance of what we read in the bible because we very likely could be misinterpreting it or reading a bad translation.


Illegal immigrants

September 9, 2006

Today I was walking out of Jester and a Hispanic man asked me where the cafeteria was.  After trying to give him directions he didn’t seem to comprehend, I decided to walk him to it.  When I asked him which floor he wanted, he didn’t seem to no what I was talking about (their are two different cafeterias in Jester each on a different floor), he just kept asking where the “cafeteria” was.  I asked him what exactly he was trying to do, and he said the word “job.”  It was pretty clear to me that he didn’t speak English.  I guided him to the entrance to Jester City Limits and left.

After reflecting on it, my guess is that he was an illegal immigrant who doesn’t speak English and was trying to find a job.  I felt really bad for him and how scary it must be to try to be looking for a job in a new country where you don’t speak the language.  I wonder what it must be like to be constantly worrying about being caught by the authorities and what the desperation is like that would make someone do such a thing.  Given his apparent confusion, my guess it that he most likely wasn’t able to get a job by just walking in like that.  I wonder at how he is feeding himself and how he is doing.

He is not alone; their are millions of other desperate illegal immigrants in America looking for any job they can get to feed themselves and their families.