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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hen Scratches: Jan. 13, 2008

I haven't gone away - just trying to have a life, as they say. I have noticed a few blog posts, nothing new, just the same old chestnuts, but for what its worth ...

1. Jews, Judeans, Israelites?

Michael Bird discusses Jesus the Israelite by John H. Elliot, who wants a word with us,
    It is time finally for interpreters, Bible Translators, and commentators to cease and desist. Jesus and the Jesus movement (with all its various movement groups) have their roots in Israel, not ‘Judaism’. They were , in the nascent period, predominantly ‘Israelites’, not ‘Jews’; 'Galileans,' not 'Judeans; 'Nazoreans' not ‘Christians’. They belonged to the House of Israel, not ‘Christianity’ (p. 148).
But before we get too worked up and inspired by all this, let's see what someone else has to say about Elliot's article. Gervatoshav, (sorry, didn't feel like keyboarding Hebrew today) is a blog by David Miller, of Briercrest. David has built up quite a bibliography on the topic.

2. On another topic which has had too much exposure already, sorry, I read a comment about how women are weaker than men. 1 Peter 3:7. Funny, I couldn't remember that being in the Bible. I tried to find the translation which stated this "fact." Ah, the NASB.
    You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman;
Oh, la, la. So much for that literal version. The rest aren't much better,
    the weaker partner TNIV
    their weaker nature HSCB
But, thankfully,
    the weaker vessel ESV
σκευος - equipment. instrument or container, therefore your body or even a certain part of your body, as in your equipment. (my paraphrase) Well, it sounds better from the French dictionary, (le corps, les parties sexuelles)

So, it has a slightly different meaning in three different contexts,
    showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel 1 Peter 3:7 ESV

    that each one of you know how to control his own body 1 Thess. 4:4 ESV

    for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name Acts 9:15 ESV
In the KJV each one of these was translated with "vessel." That was useful, but I don't think that the lack of concordance in the ESV bothers me. It seems to make perfect sense, even if it fudges a tiny bit. However, it is immeasurably better than the choices of other translations - oh, let's just leave that word out!

How does this sound for literal sense, if not literary sense,
    showing honor to the woman as the weaker instrument 1 Peter 3:7

    that each one of you know how to control his own instrument 1 Thess. 4:4

    for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name Acts 9:15
Of course, there are some things that we just don't want to read from the pulpit, so we say "body" instead of "instrument." I don't have any quibble with that. But I do protest a translation which declares that women have the "weaker nature" rather than the "weaker body."
    showing honor to the woman as [having] the weaker body

    that each one of you know how to control his own body
3. On a far cheerier note,

John has a birthday, and Kevin has a new baby. Beautiful pictures, Kevin! I almost forgot to ask Dave to say "hi" to the penguins for me.

1 Comments:

At Mon Jan 14, 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

On 1 Peter 3:

It's the summer holiday season down here, so last Sunday we found ourselves with no musicians in church. The worship leader decided to read through 1 Peter, and asked for volunteers. I got chapter 3. While careful translation may help, as you suggest above. I suspect that the underlying cultural hierarchy between men and women the text assumes will still be audible. I think that is why it is important we explain to people that texts always "come from somewhere" and that "somewhere" impacts how things are said. We need to pay attention to both the "somewhere" the text comes from and our "somewhere" in interpreting, and not pretend that there is no strangeness in the Bible!

 

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