Monthly Archives: May 2015

Modern Translations

Last week, during my vacation, I made it over to Alleluia! Catholic Book Store in Kent and bought a little hand held Bible. As I’ve stated before I am turning into a little bit of a collector of Bibles. This one is the NAB translation. I also purchased one of those “read it in a year programs” that breaks down reading voluminous works as the Bible into small, daily pieces. I got as far as Joshua before in the OT (and through Acts in the NT) but life (if it be called) comes in, stirs it around, and three weeks later I’ve lost what I was doing. Companion to reading the Bible in a year in this thingamabob is, parallel, reading the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

So I’m reading Genesis (4:1) in the NAB translation and came across this verse:

The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain,

which, in the past was more commonly, probably universally, worded thusly in the English,

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain,

What is the next translational iteration of this verse?

Adam mounted Eve and ejaculated, and she…

or

Adam fucked Eve…

or

Adam got it on with his bitch… [this would be the hip version, for those that want a little urban mix in their Book]

or

Adam performed the act of coitus on Eve…

The man had intercourse with his wife…

Who did this translation? James Patterson? John Grisham? Such ugly language. I don’t mean offensive, but non-poetic, sterile. The television show The Big Bang Theory commonly has one of its characters refer to sex as “coitus” a clinical word lacking entirely in expression. The show has the character using that word as a joke because he is the type of character that would use such a word to refer to sex (a phenomena the character has not any interest in).

I brought this sort of thing up before when I saw that the expression “… the quick and the dead..” had been rendered “… the living and the dead…” That was the Douay-Rheims translation, and it is shared by most of the others.

But this is even worse. Intercourse is equally a clinical word, sterile in its physical description. It takes the subtly of the old translation away and replaces it with a compound word no poet would use unless under the greatest duress.

So why? Because people don’t understand what “knew” means? Learn. It is quite easy to infer what “knew” meant in the old translations. It is not the case the “knew” was a cover up because it is quite easy to infer as I said.

It seems only the KJV version is, so far, immune to such modern butchery of the language.

I also notice in Matthew 1, the NAB manages to not use the same language,

He had no relations with her until she bore a son,[l] and he named him Jesus.

It has a sort of “Clinton-esque” feel to it, “…I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” I suppose perhaps they thought using the word intercourse in regards to Mary would be in bad taste. I mean, I guess. Why wouldn’t they use the same ugly word as they used for Adam and Eve?

Also note that “relations” does not denote sexual relations specifically, so it is not even a good substitute. Did Joseph also not speak to her? No relations.

 

The KJV uses the term “knew” for both Adam and Eve and Mary and Joseph. One of affirmation of the act, the other denying the act. But it has a consistency of language that the newer translations violate.

 

 

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They Might Need a Little Pushing?

So, R.A. Lafferty has a new agent. At least since August of last year over at JABberwocky Literary Agency. I know things don’t happen overnight in the publishing world unless you are James Patterson and his merciless robots of bad writing. BUT I AM AN IMPATIENT MAN! All they did was add him to their authors page. I got a vague hint from them when I inquired several months ago, but I haven’t heard anything else anywhere.

I want to read The Elliptical Grave! I want to read The Devil is Dead series!

So if you are out there Lafferty fans (and I know you are) I suggest some pressure, some organized pressure. Well, at least semi-organized pressure. In that vein, I post here the contact page for JABberwocky.

Let them know there is interest for his material.

Now it could be there is already something going on. Hell, maybe it is already in the works (someone there kinda said there was but…) but consumer pressure for a product never hurts.

But at the least perhaps they could throw us a bone, some news maybe.

Oh, and I forgot to show off my new acquisition! I was waiting until I could afford the stand alone book and not the paperback one that has some novel called Pity About Earth as its second half (and not written by Lafferty either).

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I still say pressure whoever is in charge of getting his stuff out, but its not like I’m going to be waiting for them!


How is it Wrong with God, but Alright Without?

It seems to me that if there is a God who puts an immortal soul into a human being at the moment of conception, intending the resulting person to be born and live a life in “this world,” then abortion is wrong.

I pilfered this quote from a discussion on abortion over at Strange Notions. I don’t participate over there as my days are only 24 hours long while everyone else seems to have upgraded to the 48 hour day.

Here is what I do not get about such an argument. On the one hand one of its unstated premises is: if doesn’t have a soul, you can kill it. Apparently it loses an innate right once deprived of this soul. If the whole of this creature is mortal, then it is licit to kill it. But, if God made a part of us immortal, then it becomes an evil to end its life.

It is one of those “ironic” positions (at least to me) where if I were a creature from a different realm altogether and I learned of this debate, I would be perplexed that those who deny eternal life propose the ending of lives. But those that believe in eternal life hold the killing of the mortal part of life to be a black crime.

I would, coming from another realm, expect the unbeliever to wail out, “no! you’ll end its life forever, you are wiping it out of existence before it even has a chance!” Surely if this life is it, if there is nothing beyond the cessation of organic processes that start at the moment of conception to death, one would (coming from this other realm) expect the unbelievers to react with horror at such a thing.

Instead you see doctors calmly snipping spinal cords and amputating limbs, you see “mothers” calmly putting Friday night behind them as they would the recycling.

You’d expect, again coming from that other realm, the believers to, perhaps, lament such a thing but not have it cause them too much grief. After all, the victims are immortal children of God, not all is lost. It is a tragedy, but not too much. If you took it far enough, coming from that other realm, you could reason that perhaps these young children were being done a favor – they got to go home to their heavenly father that much sooner. Indeed upon looking at much of this Earth that is strange and frightening, full of pain and evil and tragedy, you can’t say for sure whether or not a favor isn’t being done for them.

But then you see that the believers are actually where you expected the unbelievers to be. They, that believe in the ultimate transitory nature of this life and the eternity of the next, they are the ones bewailing the black evil of this deed.

Now, I did snip this comment out of its entire context, but it does illustrate the base set. No God, no immortal soul – why not? How does it become right sans God and an immortal soul? Where comes the right and dignity of man if it is bestowed on us as a litmus test, a state of function to get to and maintain (by death’s grip lest they pull your plug) and not from our existence in a certain class? Where comes it if it’s bestowed by the State as such an argument must reduce to?

You see, it makes perfect sense to me that it should be twice the evil in an atheist light. But when I say Man, and they say Man, I don’t think we are talking about the same referent. I don’t think the modern atheist (and I am not merely picking on atheists because I think modern man in general is affected by the same mental parasite) means anything more significant than a chicken when he’s having this conversation – perhaps less than a chicken – perhaps an egg – unless, of course, it becomes about his life, then the false abstraction would break.


Great C.S. Lewis Quote

I was replying to someone in a theological debate and looking up a C.S. Lewis quote that I remembered reading awhile back. It is from an essay collection called God in the Dock. It is in chapter four, Answers to Questions on Christianity.

Question 11

Which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness?

Lewis:

Which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness? While it lasts, the religion of worshipping oneself is the best.

I doubt this is true. I have seen many a self-satisfied idolators of self (hell, I was one, I probably still am) they never look very happy to me. Drunk, maybe, not happy.