Interpreting any holy text to fit today's world is the rough equivalent of saying the authors screwed up.
No necessarily. I don't know enough about Islam to comment on Skiddie's interpretations, but I do know that some passages in the Bible were written specifically to address the culture of the time and place in which it was written. I'm thinking largely of the letters in the New Testament, some parts of which are giving specific advice to the churches they're being written to.
Some of the passages in the New Testament specifying what women should and shouldn't wear, when taken in the context of the culture of that time and place, boil down to, "Don't dress like a hooker." The specific guidelines given are only really important in the culture the letters were written to.
Like I said above, I don't know if Skiddie's interpretation of the Qur-an is anything like this. But it is possible that passages of a religious text can be written in the context of the culture they were written in.
Well that basically in the New Testament is speaking about how Paul said the various congregations, that to follow Jesus' example, you had to be all things to all people. Which is turn if your going to try your best to do that, you need to try and stay as neutral as possible. Hence women adorning themselves like the other nations at the time, didn't fit into the christian model that Jesus had left the rest of people to follow.
Your right with the certain letter being written to certain congregations at the time, each congregation had it's own problems and the letters were advice given to each of the individual congregations, generally at least. However take that today, an you should still be all things to all people. Same rule applies today.
Personally I just to follow the Bible as closely as possible, but since I'm imperfect I'm going to fail at doing it all the time. No harm in trying. Like Goatboy said there alot of religous people that do what they think is alright. Personally I think thats crap. If the bible says for instance don't kill anyone. Don't kill anyone. Doesn't matter with circumstance. I havn't found a principle/commandment thats been to my detriment yet in the bible. I just read what it says, and don't contradict myself to the best of my imperfect ability.
Although there are alot of faiths out there that do...take The Roman Catholic Church......the bible says in plain black and white homosexuality is wrong. But the church lets people who are homosexual become members of the Clergy? How in the hell does that work? If any of you are homosexual thats your choice, not judging not my place, just pointing out a fault in the church. Roman Catholic Church - hell is real your going to burn blah blah............it's not in the bible...........Christmas yea blah blah..........it's not in the bible..........trinity, WHY would Jesus, (try to keep up it gets confusing) the night before he was arrested go and pray in the garden of gethsaneme (cnt spell it) to HIMSELF? Again something else not in the bible...........Jesus wasn't cruicified.....the Jews had Jesus killed, Jews didn't crucify, the romans did, they stuck him on a stake, even the Bible says the Pilote (roman govenor at the time, can't spell it) washed his hands of it.............Saints are a load of twoddle aswell......the bible says that God is a God exacting exclusive devotion so why would he want you to worship/revere someone else?..........Death when you die you go to heaven? Not entirely true, book of revelation says otherwise, Romans 6 : something, says the Wages sin pays is death....compelling argument for no hell.
Basically I'm saying in a nutshell, people need to read the bible if there going to believe in it, and read it for themselves, without some priest etc saying "Jesus loves you" - "Why?" - "Because he does" - "Yea but why?".......an the reasons as to why god permits suffering is in the bible. read the first 3 Chapters of the book of Job and Genesis 1-4. Sums it up pretty well.