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1/16/2009

Biblical Scholarship in Perspective

An English professor wrote the words. "A woman without her man is nothing" on the board and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.
All the male students in the class wrote: "A woman, without her man, is nothing."
All the female students in the class wrote: "A woman: without her, man is nothing."
Punctuation is powerful.
This story illustrates what has often happened in Biblical scholarship. In many sections of the scriptures where decisions like the one above had to be made the biases, prejudices, and views of the scholars became clear. In using "men", for one example, in text portions where the correct term would be instead "people" or "humans", the meaning of the text was subtly shifted.

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