If He’s so perfect, why didn’t He do a better job of it? (See any masculine references here as traditional and object to them as you wish.)
Even in Hebrew, so I’m told, many key passages are unintelligible. As for the King James English, which many Protestant fundamentalists hold as inerrant (meaning flawless, perfect, unblemished), let me object. There’s a lot of clumsy translation – and outright mistranslation. Add to that the ways our own language has shifted in the centuries since. (To wit: I find myself having to retranslate many key Quaker writings from the mid-1600s on for modern readers, even those with PhD credentials. Those early Friends were conversant with the KJV lingo. Does thee understand?)
For perspective. When’s the last time you read Shakespeare? Without relying on footnotes?
More to the point. He (yes, He, in the current argument) certainly could have used a better editor, in any language. As for revisions? Let me contend that no work of language is ever perfect, it is ultimately a human artifact. Including the arcane collection known as The Bible.
For me, the best we have in those pages is all the more exalted because of that edge of imperfection and decay. It allows humanity to creep in. I’m thinking of some very cutting-edge contemporary poets, actually.
My fascination with that divine text has turned to the struggle to accurately record our own, very personal, experiences of the Holy One. Name it as best you can. And, from the other direction, the ways our own lives have reacted to the struggle from our own first-hand encounters with those haunting great mysteries.
I’ve come to see – and treasure – what we have in that book more as a set of deeply personal journals of individual and group experiences, including their failures, than as any set of how-to steps to eternity.