Nobody should have the slightest doubt that when a passage says “sword”, to a person in 1611 it meant sword and all the baggage that “sword” carried.
This seems like a very bold claim to make. On what basis do you make it? The 1611 reader had just as much intelligence and capacity to discern metaphor and use context as the modern reader I'd have thought.
Jesus with a sword is also referenced in Luke and Revelations. A literal interpretation of the Bible can be seen in history, and, unfortunately today. Today, there are more apologists than at any other time in history because science has informed us of reality and society has softened. The number of apologists in 1600s UK was nil. You were told what to think and you thought it. God was a bearded white man who lived above the sky. Why should Jesus not have a sword? What’s not to like?
We must be careful to keep to the topic here: we are not talking about "absurdities", we are talking about the softening of Christianity to fit in with more compassionate/thinking views in society.
That presumes a motive that hasn't actually been established.
I have established it. The answer is popular appeal and its side product is money.
The concordance with Luke, the metaphorical nature of the phrase in Matthew - already conceded by Nam
I’m not sure any longer how I should explain this to you. It is all very simple. The Bronze Age peasants see Jesus as a heavenly warrior – he has a sword. Nowadays we don’t see that, so Jesus no longer has a sword. Today it is “metaphorical -> then it was literal: God’s word changes.
and the fact that no-one in the contemporary English-speaking world goes around using swords anymore, makes such a change in translation understandable.
Please do not use words like “a change in translation” – it is not. It is simply a change from the word used in early manuscripts
If you want to perceive in it some diabolical master-plan to deceive the masses about the true nature of the Bible,
Your imagination does you credit. You are giving me motives I never even thought of. The OP speaks of the softening of Christianity. It is true, the world is filled with fluffy-bunny types who thinks that God loves everyone and you and your pet hamster will go to heaven – well, you won’t.
then knock yourselves out,
I am knocking myself out because, to be frank, this is like talking to a brick wall. You are completely close-minded. More to the point you are denying that various verses are interpreted differently today and that various verses have been changed since 1611. But the whole point, as I said, ws that each and every verse of the Bible is interpretable and, because no one knows exactly what the writer intended, each is as valid as the other.
Even you cannot deny that. I have even told you why and how it happened.
Such an effort, to "soften" the message by changing one word out of 750,000, would be futile anyway
Yes, but the question is not about “one word” is it? You only have to look at the NIV to see the amount that has been changed to fit in with someone’s idea of what was said, something that is obviously led by current understanding and society’s views.
unless there's some wholesale rewrite of much of the OT going on that the OP has somehow omitted to declare.
I cannot decide whether this is a strawman argument or misses the point of new versions of the Bible.
As I have explained, this is an alteration in the Word of God. This is embarrassing for how can something that changes be "unchanging"? And this is Nam's (and my) point.
AIUI, this notion that the Bible is the Word of God is essentially an idolatrous heresy.
Really, which sect taught you that? It certainly wasn’t the Baptists or a protestant sect. (I'm beginning to have suspicions about you.)
There's no reason for mainstream Christians to subscribe to it;
Yet Bible literalism is seen all around us. Why might that be? Seven Days, A flood, seas parting, Samson, Gideon, and then virgin births and people rising from the dead,
On the rest, yes, I'll grant that Protestantism (also heresy, of course) is ripe for SPAG in a bizarre variety of ways.
Ah! That explains it all! You are a servant of the Anti-Christ, the vicar of Rome and believe everything… as interpreted by men... many men… all with slightly different opinions of each and every verse!