Friday, June 25, 2004

Bible Maaaadness

So, according to this article from the BBC, there's another whopper of a new Bible "translation" which retro-fits Holy Writ to better match our modern-day predilections. This is a major trend, and a big business too, I think: There are special Bibles for new mothers, special Bibles for teenagers, special Bibles for joggers, blah blah blah. Often the "translation" process involves copying an earlier work and rewriting the words to fit a niche - or agenda, as is often the case with the inclusive language folks.

This "Good as New" Version appears to be a real doozy. For example, our super-nice family Bible - the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition - has Chapter Seven, Verses 8-9 of the First Letter to the Corinthians as the following:

8.To the unmarried and the widowers I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. 9. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

The New American Bible, to my tastes a rather uninspiring translation which I nevertheless believe is the standard current Bible for Catholics, relates the same passage as:

8.Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: It is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, 9.but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire.

This is how John Benson, the former Baptist minister who wrote the new version, renders the above:

"There's nothing wrong with remaining single, like me. But if you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated."

Ah. I'm sure that's a faithful translation of the Ancient Greek ;)

He also substitutes "God's new world" for the words, "Kingdom of God." Oh, the theological implications. I could go on and on, but I will not since I prefer to bore you at least one iota less than I otherwise would ;) I'm just this freak who gets worked up about this stuff :)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is very much lovey-dovey with Mr. Benson's nonsense. Among other things, he says that the Good as New translation is "fully earthed." Goody. If I knew what that meant, I'm sure I would be pleased as punch.

For once I'm quite glad the Church of England is separate from the Catholic Church - we haven't got this bad yet! :) Well, rather, I should say that the ill effects of England's 16th century disobedience have at long last come to fruition. By their fruits ye shall know them, etc, etc, you know the drill.

PS: Check out the photo of the Archbishop that comes alongside the article. I don't like to judge people's looks, but ... Whoa, he creeps me out. It's his eyebrows. Sorry.

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