How important is it to know the words of Jesus Christ? According to Christianity knowing about Jesus is the most important message anyone one of us could learn. It is believed that knowing about Jesus and accepting him as our personal savior is the only why we can make it into Heaven and avoid eternal suffering in a place called Hell. If that is the case, what happens when that important story is not available in a language you can read or understand?

We all know that the Old Testament scriptures were written in Hebrew and the New Testament scriptures were written in Greek but not everyone speaks those languages. How many people do you know that are fluent in both languages? Many centuries have passed before any recognition about the story of Jesus made it across the world, never the less translated. Did you know that Bible was not translated for a German audience until 1522? Did every non-bilingual German who died before 1522 get a one way ticket to Hell? They were never aware of the story about Jesus and thus never had a chance to accept him as a personal savior. Maybe none of them deserved to be saved prior to that year. What about those who speak English? It was another four years before the New Testament was printed in the English language, were none of the English worthy of Heaven prior to 1526? It wasn't even until 1535 that a completed version of the Bible with all 80* books was printed in English.

How about the Japanese? The New Testament was not published in Japanese until 1880, 1887 for the Old Testament. The Bible was also not translated for the Chinese audience until the nineteenth century but their translated version only became widely spread during the twentieth century. If the knowledge and teachings of Jesus Christ are so important for our alleged salvation then are all of these people burning in hell simply because Christianity was not yet available in their known language? Or did they somehow not need to know about Jesus to make it into Heaven? If that is the case why share the story at all, there is no importance in knowing it.

* 14 books were officially removed from the Bible in 1885 leaving only 66 books most people know of today.

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Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on June 21, 2009 at 10:15am
There is a very simple answer to this that is found in the trenches of dogma and enslaved the masses since the beginning of time to present date.
Prior to Martin Luther and the 1522 translation, all masses were done in Latin. It didn't matter that the vast, VAST majority of common folk didn't speak Latin or read Latin. The working class didn't read at all. Priests held the lofty position of being god's translator, and thus securing their necessity to the people. They, The Catholic Church was the only way to the savior, and thus to heaven. You still see remnants of that in today's teachings. Although most adults can read the Bible in their chosen language (give or take a few 'edits') the only way to heaven is by the Throne (church) Although it's not necessary to depend on the hierarchy of the Catholic priesthood for direct translation any longer, you still must have them for spiritual translation, i.e dogma.
Comment by Dave G on June 22, 2009 at 1:07pm
Dead spot on, Misty. One benefit of Latin, which I am sure was brought up a lot, is that being a dead language, it was less subject to change over the ages. But the major benefit was that only the educated could understand it, and thus the people had to take the word of the clergy as to what was and was not permitted by God.
Comment by James C on July 15, 2009 at 12:44am
It's all about knowledge -- what you know and don't know. If you ask a Christian about this, they will refer to a passage (or two) in Romans that implies that for those who never had KNOWLEDGE of Jesus/God, they will be judged by "what is written on their hearts" (or something similar) thus allowing good people to get into heaven.

But I have an ironic twist for you... Adam and Eve were punished/fallen for eating from the tree of knowledge, showing that KNOWLEDGE leads to death. So TELLING people about Jesus leads them to death, because they need to KNOW the message and reject it, to go to hell. If they never knew the message, they would have a much better chance to avoid hell. Thus, the very knowledge of Jesus leads them to death/hell!

Secondly, this is true on a simpler level in modern times.. religious knowledge leads many many people directly to death through war and martyrdom. Without this religious "knowledge" they would have no reason to kill themselves or others.
Comment by James C on July 15, 2009 at 12:48am
Note to self: re-read essay on "Satan has convinced us he is God." The more you read, the more apparent it becomes that everything "God" does is exactly what one would expect Satan to do.

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