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OT my only reply (was: Pater Noster (purely linguistically) & Re: OT, and religeous)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, December 3, 2004, 7:27
On Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 09:37 , Geoff Horswood wrote:
>> One thing I do often wonder is, given the fact that the bible has >> already been translated into english,
Yes, dozens of times over and over since the first complete translation in 1384. The 14th, 15th, 16th centuries saw many translations before the KJV of 1611.
>> why don't they retranslate it into >> modern english so everyone can easily understand it?
"they"? Who are they? A group os scholars in the UK and the US undertook a revision of the KJV in the 19th century, giving rise to the Revise Standard Version. In 1903 R.F. Weymouth produced his "New Testament in Modern Speech" and since then we have had a whole plethora of modern translations of the whole Bible.
>> At the moment it >> can be quite a dense and difficult text for the average person to >> follow. I guess actually I've answered my own question: no priesthood >> wants to make itself partly redundant,
The teaching of all Christians AFAIK is that all baptized Christians share a common priesthood. Those such as Catholics and Orthodox who believe also in a ministerial priesthood, or presbyterate, do _not_ regard the main function of such priests to be the interpretation of the Bible. The main function of such a priesthood is the offering of the Eucharist. The statement above shows an ignorance of what priesthood is and also runs counter to my own experience over very many years since I have found quite ordinary people able to understand much of the different texts of the Bible.
>> so the bible will stay difficult >> to follow so that priests are still needed to interpret it properly. I'm >> sorry for being so cynical. But anyway....
Yes, it is most certainly cynical - it is also completely untrue, grossly ill-informed and silly (to put it mildly).
> How many modern translations would you like? In the UK at least, the NIV > (New International Version) is pretty much the standard bible in almost > any > church you go into; we moved away from the old King James Bible years ago. > Try the Good News Bible, or the Living Bible (both paraphrases rather than > direct translations), or the Contemporary English Version, or the New > Century Translation, or...
...The Jerusalem Bible, The New Jerusalem Bible, The Christian Community Bible, or......
> There are literally _dozens_ of them!
..and that list is not exhaustive and does not include versions from the US. One can only wonder what planet Chris Bates inhabits. ============================================== On Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 12:10 , Steg Belsky wrote: On Dec 2, 2004, at 10:17 AM, Chris Bates wrote:
>> that you have to be far truer to the original than normal. I sometimes >> think that the Muslims and Jews were wise to just have their bibles >> written in one language and not do translations at all. > > I don't know about Muslims' relation to translation, but Jews have had > translations of the Tanakh - from Unqelos/Onkelos's and Yonatan ben > `Uziel's Aramaic translations (c.100-400? CE), and R' Sa`adya Gaon's > Arabic (c.900 CE), to medieval Judeo-Arabic, -German (Yiddish) and > -Spanish (Ladino), to the contemporary JPS translations into English.
Indeed so - and the Septuagint, a translation of the scriptures the made by the Jews of Alexandria in the 3rd BCE. Also I was under the impression that the original Jewish scriptures were not all the same language either. Many of them are in Hebrew obviously, but are not some of the scriptures, such Daniel, in Aramaic?
> Maybe the difference isn't the existence of translations, but the > attitude towards translation? Jews see translations as helpful but > essentially flawed intermediaries to the original text, which should > ideally be read, learned and studied in the original language(s).
Ye-e-e-s. Is that not true also of Christians? It has been among the Christians I've known over the past 65 years. Unfortunately, I cannot manage Hebrew or Aramaic, so have to make do with Septuagint & Vulgate versions. But at least I can get to grips with the New testament in the original. Surely the mere fact that churches update from time to time the version used in public worship is a sign that they are regarded as flawed intermediaries?
> At least some Christians seem to hold translations up to the same level > as > the original texts.
Not those that actually think. ============================================== On Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 01:11 , Philip Newton wrote:
> > On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 14:10:43 +0200, Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...> > wrote: >> At least some Christians seem to hold translations up to the > same level as the original texts. > > If not higher -- e.g. people who believe that "If English was good > enough for Jesus [since that's what he spoke, as his literal words > were recorded in the King James Version], then it's good enough for me > [and I don't need to learn foreign languages]!" I said, not by those people who actually use their brains! ======================================================= On Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 03:00 , Chris Bates wrote:
> This all raises an interesting point: a bible, a book
It is not *a* book - it is a whole load of different books written over quite a few centuries.
> given to > humankind by god (according to the religions concerned), should surely > be universally applicable?
Of course - as all major religions believe their scriptures to be universally applicable.
> So how can you have a universally applicable > book which contains concepts which can't be properly translated?
Why just pick on the Bible? Why not the Upanishads, Vedas & other scriptures of the Hindus? Why not the Buddhist Tripitaka, the Avesta of the Zoroastrians or the Guru Granth Sahib of the Sikhs? As John so rightly observed.... On Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 03:46 , John Cowan wrote: [snip]
> Poetry (broadly) is at once universally applicable and entirely local. > The best of it is the more applicable as it is the more local. This > is paradoxical, but the whole subject is paradoxical."
In my not inconsiderable experience, poetry has _far more_ difficulties when it comes to translation than most parts of the scriptures have. Indeed IMSHO true poetry is both universally applicable and impossible to translate properly. =============================================== On Thursday, December 2, 2004, at 05:32 , Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Quoting Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>: > >> Since the concensus seems to >> be that the universe is finite, > > Really?
Yep. What consensus?
> All popular cosmology works from recent years I've read have said it's > probably not.
I'm busily reading some of Stephen Hawking's stuff at the moment.
> But I think this thread would better die; it's OT, and potentially > inflammable.
Yes, it is certainly OT. When answering Henrik's original questions, I strove hard to keep on topic. Ill-informed stuff about priests keeping the Bible difficult and all the rest is quite IMO tantamount to trolling. I've confined my comments to what seemed to me the most glaring errors and intend to say no more on these threads.
> Instead of debating the biasedness of God, go reply to my post about > nasalized > fricatives! *impatient*
OK, I will. Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>OT my only reply
Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>