There are many religions in the world today. These religions are made up of different fundamental beliefs which distinguish each one of them from one another. Different people give different interpretation of the beliefs that make up their religion. This can be said about the religious books that they use because they have documented and given their own versions of some aspects such as faith and practice (Brunn 2013). There could be similarities in all them, a good example is that of same subject matter involving the same people and history but then, the difference comes in on not everything but just a few aspects of the religions. The same can be said about Islam, Christianity and Buddhism and the way the interpretations that they have given their Holy Scriptures too vary depending on so many reasons some of which are going to be discussed in this paper.
Very many interpretations of the same religious traditions have always come up over time. This is so because different groups within a religion have come up and all of them have always wanted to give their independent minds according to how they understand their religious beliefs (Brunn 2013). A good example can be seen on the day of worship and the practices that make up worship in Christianity. It is for a fact that different denominations within Christianity have come up with different sets of fundamental beliefs that govern their religious beliefs one outstanding one being the day of worship. There are Christians who worship on Sundays and others on Saturdays. This can be said about Catholics and other Protestants worshiping on Sunday while Seventh Day Adventists worship on Saturday. The reason behind this is the different meanings given to the Sabbath day. The different denominations within a religious group rally their own men and women who they give the powers to interpret the message gotten from religious books and whatever they arrive at and define as true, that is what their people will believe and hold as sacred.
The religious books can have also undergone interpretation that has led to the rise of many versions of the same tradition and even scripture verses. There sprung different groups who commanded a huge following of people within the religious groups. These groups then chose to interpret the bible to suit their beliefs. This was common among Christians but the same cannot be said about Islam. Religion is universal and everyone is entitled to look at it differently and give their distinct interpretation of how they see and understand it. When this is the case, the end result will definitely be a different interpretation of a tradition because different people see things differently. This notwithstanding, the reading and studying of the Holy Scriptures has taken place for a very long time. Different times have been faced with different challenges (Livingston 2009).
In the quest to use a clear language that can be easily understood, more elaborate and less complex, easily understood language is used. If for instance the Bible was to be translated from the original Greek or Hebrew, it will a lot harder for it to make sense at all. This is so because of the complexity that is encountered when a religious book is to be translated from one language to the next. This could maybe highlight the reason why there is no translation of the Koran because there could have been very many versions of it and this would mean that the followers of Islam could have found it difficult to choose the correct version from the rest. Even though this cannot be said about Christianity and Buddhism, the truth is that several versions give variety and makes it easier to understand. Different audiences therefore dictate the way in which information is to be delivered. The audience is normally made up of people with different levels of education and this means that the levels of understanding do differ. The writers or translators can therefore be forgiven for giving different accounts of the same tradition.
The diversity seen in the different religious texts is a manifestation of how religion is open to different interpretations as long as the intended objective is met. As long as the truth and the right information are put forth, religion will be done religious justice if different versions that give a similar account but with different language are used. Different people will see things differently; religious books are not any different more especially when that is done over a very long period of time. Whenever these religious doctrines are updated, one can be sure that they undergo several changes in order for them to fit into the times when they are read by their intended audience or readers. Secularization of religion has stolen the show in recent times and when this is the case, nothing different or far from this reality could be truer (Fieser & Powers 2011). Many different interpretive approaches are healthy anyway if everyone is to be accommodated.
Brunn, D. (2013). One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal. Nottingham: InterVarsity Press.
Fieser, J. & Powers, J. (2011). Scriptures of the World’s Religions. New York: McGraw Hill.
Livingston, J. C. (2009). Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion, 6/E. New York: Pearson