I remember waking up one morning from the piercing noise of chirping birds. As I opened my young eyes, I saw the crucifix of Jesus Christ that was hung in our old wooden wall. My eyebrows met midway.
“Ma, why does Jesus cry?”
My mother was perplexed. She had just finished her first morning stretch and yawn. She doesn’t recall mentioning anything about Jesus crying. But I insisted.
“Ma, I hear it every time. Jesus cries. So, why is he crying?”
And that’s just as far as I can remember. The thing is, I wasn’t old enough to understand. Now I just laugh at the idea. I still grin whenever I recall how I mistakenly thought of the word “cries” whenever I heard “Christ”.
Young people just have so many questions. And just like the force of water from a collapsed dam, children’s queries just go on and on once you let them in. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t wonder about so much when I was a child. I did. But I kept them to myself.
I would try answering things for myself. When I fail, that was the time for me to consult the adults. But as a child, I learned that most of the things that bothered me didn’t actually have straightforward answers.
I think you know those kinds of questions.
“Why are we here?”
“It’s because God created us.”
“But who, then, created God? And how can we be so sure?”
“You know, there are things that should just be taken as they are. Things that should not be questioned. Just learn to accept them. There are things that the human mind could not comprehend. We do have limitations.”
Such kinds of answers are not really enlightening. But when I was young, I would just nod and say, “Okay”.
Questions related to religion and faith are quite sensitive. This is because they are also quite numerous. Even those who belong to the same, say, religion could have contradicting beliefs. And one big question is, are we supposed to question the beliefs taught to us?
As a Roman Catholic, I learned that we should not doubt the Word of God. And so, whatever is written in the Holy Bible should be taken as an absolute Truth.
But wait a minute!
Then again, no one can really say that what’s in the Bible is God’s Word. Okay, that just sounds pretty BLASPHEMOUS.
My point is, it is possible to not doubt God’s Words while doubting what is written in the Bible. Why?
Personally, I think that a lot of information do change via translation. And I don’t see why anyone would think otherwise. Also, the meanings of statements change from person to person. We can think of rumors as a very suitable example of such.
Even if individuals try to stick to the original story, the small changes in a message could result to a totally different message when these changes pile up.
Try to picture a game of Pass the Message. In this game, some five or more people line up with perhaps a meter of distance from one another. There should be at least two teams comprised of such. To start off, the person in front is given a message, this person relays the message to the one next to him. This goes on until the last person gets the message. In the end, the team with a message that is closest to the original wins.
The game would probably give us a sense of how information gets distorted as it is passed along. However, I can’t say that God’s message to us could be reflected by this.
Why? First of all, it is not just about the statement as it is. It’s not about memorizing the message word for word, which is true for a game of Pass the Message. It’s about understanding the message itself. And as we know, misinterpretations are inevitable. From there, we already observe two dilemmas: one is that the exact statements could have been compromised already; the other is that the message is still subject to misinterpretations. And then, we have a bonus, which is the combination of the two.
I think the context could be thought of as the primary culprit in creating misunderstandings. The year of our Lord Jesus Christ had been long time over. So much of what transpired during that era are gone. Or perhaps are in museums.
Different contexts. Different meanings.
Also, the interpretations of the Holy Scriptures are not passed along linearly. So it is definitely much more complicated than the said game. Just try to imagine how many channels there are, possibilities for distortions. That, plus the fact that the context keeps on changing as time passes by.
I know a lot of us may not be open to this. Since some of us are told that we should fully trust what is written in the Holy Bible. I am not saying that we should totally just disregard the information in the Bible. All I am saying is that we should be open to the fact that NOT ALL statements in the Bible are ABSOLUTELY true. And that we should consider that there is some degree of distortion in what has been written there. Plus, let us be open to different interpretations as well. That way, we learn to process what we know and contemplate on what we believe in.
Anyway, without an open mind, Copernicus would not question the then-reality that the Earth is the center of our solar system.
Before I forget, I just want to share this information. Some scholars believe and assert that there are sections of the Holy Bible that were actually omitted. I don’t know how true that is. But if that’s the case, then I can’t help but wonder why.
That’s all for now.