~~ Original Languages ~~
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. It has since been translated into hundreds of different languages over the years. When this happens, original meanings/intent can get lost in translation. Many of the stories contain idioms that are not easily translated. Scholars still debate today whether there is more merit in translating these stories word for word or providing a parallel idiom using the target language. Etymology, wishful theological thinking, and misinterpreted metaphors have influenced many of these translations.
For example, when the original Hebrew word "almah" was used to describe Jesus' mother Mary, most translations refer to a virgin, however most scholars today believe that it more accurately translates to "maiden" or "young woman". In fact many scholars believe that Mary was not meant to be portrayed as a virgin at all but rather a young woman. The gospels of Mark and John never mention Mary as a virgin nor do they portray her as a virgin. It has always struck me as odd that a significant detail like the virgin birth wasn't deemed important enough to appear in all four gospels. Perhaps this is due to either the virgin birth being a mistranslation or the fact that it didn't really break new ground. Just as resurrections were apparently no big deal, virgin births were no big deal either. In fact, divine conception has been asserted historically numerous times with Alexander the Great being the son of Zeus, Krishna being the divine offspring of Vishnu and Devaki, Kabir born unto a virgin, Houji born of the virgin Jiang Yuan, and many of the Egyptian kings claimed lineal descent from Ra. The problem is not just the fact that two of the gospels omit the virgin birth portion of the Jesus narrative, but that Mary is largely absent in all four of the gospels. This would be much more understandable if the translated word of "virgin" was supposed to be the more plausible maiden or young woman.
When we look at the tenth commandment which tells us "thou shalt not covet", we are made to think that the act of wanting something that our neighbor has is somehow immoral. If Biblical scholar Dr. Joel Hoffman is correct, this was a mistranslation. He believes that translators misunderstood the word "desirable" and "take" because they use the same Hebrew root - similar to the way "host" and "hostile" have a similar root but vastly different meanings. Thou shalt not covet might have actually meant thou shalt not take. In any event, it's worth recognizing the fact that the Bible we take literal meaning from may not mean what we literally think it does.