When 'Foot' Means Something Else: Euphemisms in the Bible
There is no "Biblical" standing on cremation, but some more conservative Jews and Christians have objected to the burning on the body because of their belief in the resurrection of the body at the end of human history. There are, in addition, some who feel that since their individual bodies are gifts from God, they have no right to destroy them. However, the God who made the material universe out of nothing can certainly create a new body for those who are raised from the dead.
Gender-neutral translations are not attempts to falsify the Biblical data. Rather, they are attempts to make clear that when an ancient androcentric text spoke about men, most of the time what was meant was both men and women. In our own era terms like humankind rather than mankind are commonly used to refer to a mixed group of men and women, and there is no reason why such terminology shouldn't be used for translating. My own personal preference would be for the use of gender-inclusive language of a mixed group-so, for instance, if the Greek term "brothers" is used to refer to a group of men and women, it would be more helpful to render this "brothers and sisters"-as, in fact, the NRSV and other modern translations do.
I have become friends with a Native American Eskimo in another community and we have been discussing Christianity. She wants to know what happens to the souls of her ancestors who died before ever having been told of God. Please refer me to scriptures that will help answer this question for both of us. --Mary
According to Romans 1, there are no human beings who were totally ignorant of the reality or power of God due to their social location or the era in which they lived. God judges persons according to the light they have received and what they have done to respond to it. So Romans 1 says the problem with pagans in the past was not that they were completely in the dark about God, but rather that they had exchanged the truth they could know about God for a lie. In other words they were not totally ignorant, they simply chose to ignore the one true God who made them.