Differing biblical interpretations have proven problematic for Christianity
LIAM Archibald (December 30), in his dissonant attempt to prove that abortion is against God’s law, may not be deliberately misleading us when he quotes Jeremiah 1:5: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”
However, his biblical hermeneutics, as indeed his interpretation of the 1916 Proclamation, leave a lot to be desired.
The actual chapter he quotes from had nothing to do with abortion, but was God calling Jeremiah to be a prophet: “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (KJV Bible).
It is a complete distortion of the intended meaning to attribute any nebulous connection to moral issues.
Of course, anyone is entitled to take whatever meaning they choose from biblical extracts, after all Christianity has been doing this for centuries.
But differing interpretations have proven problematic for Christianity, which considers the Bible to be the inerrant word of God.
St Anslem’s description of God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived” has not been bettered, so it seems reasonable to infer that such an omniscient, omnipotent being cannot be wrong or ambivalent, misunderstood or misinterpreted.
If any part of the Bible is proven false or ambivalent then its author cannot be St Anslem’s perfect being.
We now know that the creation of man as outlined in Genesis and the myth of Noah’s Ark have been disproven beyond any reasonable doubt, while it also seems trite to quote the many historical inaccuracies and contradictions contained therein.
By any stretch of the imagination, it is inconceivable that the Bible can be considered the work of a being
“than which no greater can be conceived”.
Exculpatory or metaphysical pirouetting by theologians regarding metaphor or allegory serve only to further call into question the divine nature of its origin.
If we are to have a 21st century debate on moral issues, it’s time we admitted that we should not be seeking guidance from discrepant sources, mostly unknown, grounded in the desert myths of the Middle East.
Templepatrick, Co Antrim
Facts are important
I agree with Maurice Fitzgerald (December 29) in regard to puppy cruelty. The law should come down hard on these so-called farms when discovered, remove and sell all assets of this illegal operation – problem solved.
On a much more serious subject (January 4) – as it involves human lives – for some reason Maurice has set himself up as some kind of expert regarding Northern Ireland and our so-called Troubles – which is easy living down there in Cork, which is thankfully independent from British rule. Maurice most likely was never accosted or shot by a British solider, B-man or RUC, unlike many nationalists who have suffered the above, plus having thousands of Union Jacks to remind us of that fact - and facts are important to anyone living in the British occupied six counties. Strangely Maurice blamed everyone for our (not his) Troubles, Libya, Europe and North and South America. But he missed the elephant in the room – his friend Britain.
British action in Ireland’s 32 counties, four provinces, is the sole cause of Ireland’s troubles this last 800 years.As Maurice mentions terrorism, I wish for him in his next letter to let readers know who in his mind is a terrorist.
Is it the country who by force invade another country as Britain did in Ireland, occupying, ethnically cleansing, planting with strangers of their chosen religion and partitioning our home land.
Or is it the group or individuals who fight back to rid their country of their invader?
No part of Ireland – north, south, east, or west – is in Britain or part of Britain, never was and never will be.
However, the occupied six counties are in a part of a country called Ireland, always were and always will be.
All the force in the world can never change that fact and again facts are important.
Banbridge, Co Down
Baroness Hoey writes that “There are very justified concerns that many professional vocations have become dominated by those of a nationalist persuasion, and this positioning of activists is then used to exert influence on those in power”, in a report on ‘Vetoing The Protocol’ by Jamie Bryson.
It truly is ‘shocking’ that an emergent Catholic majority should dominate student numbers and entry into professions previously dominated by unionists.
No doubt ‘Vetoing the Protocol’ is all about putting a stop to that sort of thing.
Blessington, Co Wicklow
The BBC was glaringly biased in favour of ‘loyalism’, violence and disruption, when in its TV reports on the Newsline news bulletins on the evening and on the late bulletins of January 3 it reported that the EU had threatened to invoke Article 16, and by its juxtaposition with the reporting of loyalist violence appeared to indicate that the two were connected and perhaps even that this violence was justified. This threat from the EU existed for less than six hours before being apologised for as an error but this complete, and exceptionally fast, retraction was not reported. We all now need to find other news sources unless the BBC immediately apologises.
East Lothian, Scotland
Expression of thanks
Six volunteers from Factor in Belfast took part in a street collection in the city centre of Belfast on November 20 2021 to raise funds for the Hygiene Bank and raised £207.80 thanks to the generosity of passers-by. The Hygiene Bank tackles hygiene poverty so the £207.80 raised will be used to buy hygiene products for its partners – local homeless shelters and schools.