Too Fictionized?

Use this forum to discuss the August 2019 Book of the month, "I Will Make of Thee a Great Nation: Old Testament Stories" by Val D. Greenwood.
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Kelyn
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Re: Too Fictionized?

Post by Kelyn »

Prisallen wrote:
17 Aug 2019, 14:05
Jsovermyer wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 06:18

There are many versions of the Bible. Even the King James version that so many use is just a translation from the original languages that the scrolls were written in. King James decided what to put in and what to leave out. The Catholic Bible has a different number of books from the Protestant one. Who's to say if the translators in his time didn't add their own spin on the stories.
I absolutely agree. It makes you wonder how much of it is still true to the original version of the Bible.
This is a conversation I've had several times with several different people, especially my children. I've found that many aren't open to even considering this concept. Even those who purport to be Bible 'experts' avoid this conversation like the plage, falling back on the "everything in the Bible is correct because it's God's word" truism. They don't seem to get that it's not the correctness of the original Bible we're wondering about, it's the result of all the translations through time. Ever played the game "telephone" when you were a kid? What came out at the end of the line with the last child rarely bore any resemblance to what the first child said. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!

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Kelyn
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Post by Kelyn »

Wanjugush wrote:
17 Aug 2019, 14:41
Not too fictionized. I loved how the author filled the gaps between the Bible stories.
skindrukas wrote:
17 Aug 2019, 16:07
As a nonbeliever, I don't mind that the author filled in the "gaps" in the stories. It's interesting to experience how other people understand the events. If I was a believer, I'd probably just read the original texts and leave this book aside.
I very much agree that experiencing the author's additions to the Bible stories address was interesting. I did, in fact, enjoy his "fill-ins." It just got me wondering how much of it could actually have been true, besides what was actually in the Bible I mean. Thank you both for stopping by and commenting!

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Philip Chepsingil
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Post by Philip Chepsingil »

The Biblical stories through time has been recreated and written by multitudes of writers. The only way a writer can make a known story interesting is through creativity. Therefore, to me it is not too fictionized.

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Kelyn
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Post by Kelyn »

Philip Chepsingil wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 09:45
The Biblical stories through time has been recreated and written by multitudes of writers. The only way a writer can make a known story interesting is through creativity. Therefore, to me it is not too fictionized.
That's an interesting way of looking at it. So, do you think that each writer just re-wrote the stories in his own style but kept to the basics of what the previous person had written/translated or literally used 'creative license' to try and make them more understandable/interesting for the people of his time period? I really hadn't considered that concept before. Something to think about. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!

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Post by Philip Chepsingil »

Kelyn wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 17:09
Philip Chepsingil wrote:
18 Aug 2019, 09:45
The Biblical stories through time has been recreated and written by multitudes of writers. The only way a writer can make a known story interesting is through creativity. Therefore, to me it is not too fictionized.
That's an interesting way of looking at it. So, do you think that each writer just re-wrote the stories in his own style but kept to the basics of what the previous person had written/translated or literally used 'creative license' to try and make them more understandable/interesting for the people of his time period? I really hadn't considered that concept before. Something to think about. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!
Yes, I think so. As long as the source which is The Holy Bible remains canonical.

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Post by LyorBoone »

This is a unique question. It strikes me as odd, since there is debate on how much of the Bible is supposed to be parables and how much is supposed to be history. I would of phrased the question as: “Do you feel the author took too many creative liberties?” And that all depends on how well these biblical figures are understood with the additions. A piece that seems to come out of nowhere is not the ideal addition. But a worthy reflection to contemplate on can definitely add to a bible study discussion.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme” - Mark Twain. Dare we say the same thing about every story that gets told in the world?

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Post by Kelyn »

LyorBoone wrote:
19 Aug 2019, 20:06
This is a unique question. It strikes me as odd, since there is debate on how much of the Bible is supposed to be parables and how much is supposed to be history. I would of phrased the question as: “Do you feel the author took too many creative liberties?” And that all depends on how well these biblical figures are understood with the additions. A piece that seems to come out of nowhere is not the ideal addition. But a worthy reflection to contemplate on can definitely add to a bible study discussion.
To me, in order for anything to be considered 'history,' it must be verified by more than one source. For instance, from what I've read, there are mentions of the great flood in other cultures. Thus, the Bible is not the only source telling us of the event. We know that Herod was an actual king because he, also, is mentioned elsewhere. I do like the way you re-phrased my question. It would have changed my meaning slightly but would have been along the same lines. And yes, it probably would make an interesting bible study discussion! I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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Post by Everydayadventure15 »

I thought of this book as the bible with commentary or narration added to it. Greenwood follows the scriptures and simply adds an explanation to what was happening in the stories. No human interpretation of the bible is perfect, but I think we can learn from seeing things from another person's perspective. Kinda like reading reviews about the same book from different people. Each person will see something different in the book or bring something different to the discussion, but you can still learn something.

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Post by Kelyn »

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
22 Aug 2019, 12:33
I thought of this book as the bible with commentary or narration added to it. Greenwood follows the scriptures and simply adds an explanation to what was happening in the stories. No human interpretation of the bible is perfect, but I think we can learn from seeing things from another person's perspective. Kinda like reading reviews about the same book from different people. Each person will see something different in the book or bring something different to the discussion, but you can still learn something.
That's an interesting and very positive way of looking at it! I could see it as having narration added to it. Commentary, to me, is more like someone being there and telling what they see, like the 'commentators' for parades or sports games. Either way, thanks for your 'perspective!"

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Post by reneelu1998 »

Kelyn wrote:
09 Aug 2019, 01:05
Jsovermyer wrote:
08 Aug 2019, 19:58
I don't think this book is too fictionalized. I appreciate that the author has tried to make the Old Testament stories more understandable using modern wording.
I appreciate that as well. It has (kind of) been done before, putting it in modern language that is. One of the Bibles I had as an undergrad had been 'translated' into modern language. I used it for years because it made it so much easier to understand. This author went the extra step of inserting content to cover the 'holes' in the stories. I can't help but think of those parts as fiction. I appreciate you stopping in and sharing your thoughts!
I think anytime something like the Bible is "translated" into modern language there is going to be some liberties taken with the content, but I don't think it would be extremely far off from the original meaning. That being said I don't tend to read modern or new age translations of the Bible because I like to interpret my own meanings from the original English translation.

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Post by Jade1692 »

I don't think that reworded tales are any less valid than the original, as long as the truth is not lost.

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Post by Kelyn »

Jade1692 wrote:
25 Aug 2019, 18:08
I don't think that reworded tales are any less valid than the original, as long as the truth is not lost.
Hmmm...that's an interesting way to look at it, as 'reworded' rather than having had the gaps filled in. I don't think I saw any of the stories as having lost their 'truth' or meaning. Good point! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!

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Post by KojoGH »

I don't think this book is too fictionalised. Religious stories are not cooked up stories, neither are they imaginary nor myths. They are things that our ancestors have actually experienced.The author just tried to put them in summarise them in simple terms to make understanding easier for the reader. Thank you!

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Post by Kelyn »

KojoGH wrote:
27 Aug 2019, 04:12
I don't think this book is too fictionalised. Religious stories are not cooked up stories, neither are they imaginary nor myths. They are things that our ancestors have actually experienced.The author just tried to put them in summarise them in simple terms to make understanding easier for the reader. Thank you!
It's not the stories themselves that I was referring to as fictionalized, but rather the content he added to turn biblical text into a story. He was "filling in the gaps" so to speak. I suppose you could look at it as summarization. Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts with us!

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Post by Heatholt »

For me, the Fictionazation was necessary. This would not be a book I would normally read but the way the author filled in the gaps kept my attention and didn't make me feel like a sunday school lecture.
"We're all born naked and the rest is drag." - RuPaul Charles
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