The first Bible, or compilation of texts was authored toward the end of the 4th century ad. There are since 95 translations of the Bible. Of those 19 predate the 1900’s. The first complete compiled English translation of the Bible was created in 1388 AD, Wycliff’s Bible. It was widely censored and criticized by Henry IV and the Catholic Church for being heretical given it was not authorized and commissioned specifically by the King and the Church. There are two versions of the Wycliff Bible, the first translated from the Latin by Wycliff as a literal word for word was later considered rigid. The second version written by John Purvey was said to be more coherent as it gave interpretation to words.
At the time of Wycliff’s writing, a peasants revolt was brewing against the English Parliament and the wealthier classes. Having access to an English Bible was deemed to be core to the revolt given only the Church could know what the Bible said. A power tool. The Archbishop of Canterbury was able to stop the rebellion by claiming that Wycliff was a heretic and banned by the Church and subsequently called for all his books to be burned.
Each subsequent translation was considered the correct and inerrant one and today churches tend to favor one or two translations for their usage. But are these multiple translations the same? Logically, if they were there would have been no need for a subsequent translation, therefore it is fair to say that each version was modified to support a changed society, a specific view, and/or an ideology that may have altered.
Within that context ancient history has been either ignored or scrapped entirely when considering a translation and instead modern society values, rules, and customs have superseded.
For example; the term ’homosexual’ was first coined in the mid to late 1800’s and wasn’t inserted into the Bible until 1952 with the Revised Standard Version, specifically, in reference to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah which takes place roughly 2000 BC. For reference, Noah and the flood were believed to have occurred sometime around 2350 BC.
As the story goes, after conversing with Abraham, 2 messengers were sent to these villages to find good men. These villages were under Elamite rule and were subjugated to Elam and the five kings who ruled along the Jordan River. The people had fallen into dire wickedness including; incest, rape, prostitution, greed, sloven behavior, adultery, orgies, arrogance, cruelty, lack of hospitality, unrighteousness and bestiality. Sodomy was defined as a form of rape imposed on both genders to leverage power over another not unlike what is perpetrated in rape cultures today.
Sexuality in terms of marriage did not yet exist in the manner we define today. People had no purpose, no reason, there were no books, and wickedness seemed to consume like a black cloud descending over them. And they succumbed.
When the messengers came to Lot, Abraham’s nephew, and asked for him to present 10 good people he could not. When the en of the Sodom beat on Lot’s door demanding the messengers, strangers, reveal themselves, Lot offered his 2 virgin daughters as replacement. The men didn’t want the young girls and so were blinded by God so they could not escape the fate that would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, leave the land worthless for all eternity, and kill all inhabitants – men, women and children.
Simultaneously, another civilization existed on the island of Crete, the Minoans, who flourished from 2700 to 1100 BC when they were ultimately slaughtered by the Mycenaeans, the first Greeks.
On Crete they flourished in over 100 cities including Knossos which has a history dating from 7000 BC.
By comparison to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Minoans had indoor plumbing, architecture, military infrastructure, irrigation systems, trade, writing, art and agriculture. The also held the first ‘Games’ which were later adopted by the Romans. Their Linear A language still can not be deciphered despite advanced computer technology. Gender equality was the norm and there is evidence that both matriarchal and patriarchal rulers existed.
These two diametrically opposed civilizations were roughly 600 miles apart across the Mediterranean. The Minoans thrived for about 1600 years and yet they are never mentioned in the Old Testament. In the New Testament after the Mycenaean Greeks took over the island they are mentioned by Titus after as evil beasts and lazy glutons.
But isn’t it fascinating that an entire civilization that existed for 1600 years and was clearly quite modern and rich in art, culture, trade and wealth lived in near proximity to chaos and Biblical wickedness. The notion that women have always been treated as chattel can clearly be seen to be a variant of ‘where’ and by what civilization.
It would also seem that these variants may have been misinterpreted in Bible translations and a history created to fit a narrow narrative more closely aligned to the rise of British monarchies and the Papal power of rule and order. Certainly, Lot offering his teen virgin daughters as fare to be raped and assaulted to protect the Messengers is wicked as well.