Does the scripture contradict itself, or can it simply be interpreted to one's liking?If words, intentions, and meanings are undependable (even the words of scripture) what good are bonds and...

Does the scripture contradict itself, or can it simply be interpreted to one's liking?

If words, intentions, and meanings are undependable (even the words of scripture) what good are bonds and contracts, professions of love, the laws? Will any discourse bend to one's will?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm assuming undependable means variable. If so, then yes, words, intentions, and meanings can vary, because humans interpret differently, and sadly, humans can speak and intentionally distort context and meanings.  Words, despite human alterations, can have multiple meanings to begin with, and meanings can alter in context. ("Polish Polish shoes!"  -- does it mean shine your shoes vigorously, (verb-verb) shine your shoes made in Poland, (verb-adjective) or shoes that are extremely Polish (adjective-adjective) ? The meaning is clearer if the statement is read, because of capitalization, or if spoken, because of pronunciation, but the meanings are different!

Can any discourse bend to one's will?  Certainly.  But there's a direct correlation between how much bending one does and how much intellectual honesty one preserves; the more bending, the more dishonest, the extreme example being word usage in George Orwell's 1984, where words and therefore arguments can mean exactly opposite what is proffered, to the point where a word can mean anything the speaker wants it to.

Socially there's an implicit agreement in context and meaning of words and intentions; that's a good thing; otherwise communication and then culture devolve into a Tower of Babel.

What good are the things you mention? They're the glue that keeps society functioning.  Laws and contracts imply obligations and privileges upon parties; violations of such when previously agreed to weaken the agreement, and discredit the violator.

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