Are we ready to run?
I read it.
Then I lay on the floor and bled.
You’d think that if you’ve gotten to the age of 61, raised three children who are successful or well on their way to success in their chosen careers, if you are still married after 35 years, have served two three-year stints as church chairman (which in our church means you’ve been elected six times), and if you have served as an associate dean, and have been elected as the vice president/president elect of your professional society (SSILA) then maybe, just maybe, you’d score higher than emotional adolescent in some category.
According to Scazzero, I’m at best an emotional adolescent.
And the trouble is, he’s right. I’ve got so many dents and so many masks. The outside world — including my small group — doesn’t have clue to how insecure and emotionally needy I am. My wife only half knows.
About half of Scazzero’s measures of emotional maturity place me somewhere between adolescent and adult.
But the other half his measures reveal that there are things I just haven’t worked through. I'm still barely above child. He groups the aspects of emotional maturity together and shines an unrelenting klieg light on the fact that my partial maturity in one area is complemented by serious immaturity in a closely related area.
Now the new pastor wants all of us on the board to work on these things. Ouch. (Well, that’s a good ouch, but it’s an ouch nonetheless.)
Why all the confession? and what does this have to do with Bible translation?
You see, at the same time I was finishing The Emotionally Healthy Church, my wife started the new Anne Lamott book Grace (Eventually). It turns out the two books are about the very same thing — learning to come to maturity in Christ.
Mary didn’t make any connection at all. It was completely serendipitous. We both love Anne Lamott. Mary saw that her new book just came in at the library and took it out.
The difference between Scazzero and Lamott is that Scazzero is technical and analytical. Even when he includes anecdotes, they are spare and as much pointed as parabolic.
Lamott just tells stories about how God’s grace looks in her life. They’re all spang on truthful, and therefore sometimes painful. But they are deeply parabolic. You have to figure out how to connect them to your life.
Scazzero is Paul telling us: “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” (HCSB)
ἄρα ἡ πίστις ἐξ ἀκοῆς ἡ δὲ ἀκοὴ διὰ ῥήματος Χριστοῦ (Rom. 10:17)Lamott is Jesus telling us: “Still [other seeds] fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” (HCSB)
καὶ ἄλλα ἔπεσεν εἰς τὴν γῆν τὴν καλήν καὶ ἐδίδου καρπὸν ἀναβαίνοντα καὶ αὐξανόμενα καὶ ἔφερεν ἓν τριάκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν (Mark 4:8)
Part of the conversation about translation between J. K. Gayle and John Hobbins, on the one hand, and us (or at least me) on the other is that I’ve been mostly focused on getting analytical stuff right — the places where there isn’t much in the way of layered meaning and deep secondary meanings that depend on the form of the original, where there isn’t much poetry or literary flair, i.e., most of the NT.
I’m interested in getting translators to give equal treatment to οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ‘the [masculine] Jewish ones’ and ἡ Ἰουδαία ‘the [feminine] Jewish thing’, which means translate ‘the Jewish leaders’ on the same contextual principles that they use to translate ‘Judea/the province of Judea’. (See this post.)
I'm interested in getting a pre-theological rendering of ἄνθρωπος ‘human (being), person’, instead of “conveniently” translating it ‘man’ in just those places where it can be used in the complementarian debate. (See this post.) (In fact I’m interested in getting theologians to butt out of the translation process all together. The text is primary. Theology is derivative. I’m apparently not alone in this opinion. )
I’m interested in getting the unnecessary (and sometimes misleading) church-speak out of translations, like the use of ‘rebuke’ for ἐπιτιμάω, which really means ‘tell or ask someone to stop doing something’. (See these posts.)
John Hobbins says that Jobes (and I) are only half right to apply standards to Bible translation that are used for functional translations — simultaneous interpretation, EU document translation — because the Bible isn’t just a functional document.
And he’s right.
Our point ... well, my point is that these are minimal standards. This is the baseline. We should have translations that are at least as accurate as these measures demand.
I’m not ready to talk about getting suitable solutions for the literary stuff until we get the translations of the first order meanings up to the baseline. (Notice that the HCSB translations above, about the best of all the ones I looked at, are still pretty clunky.)
John and Kurk Gayle are saying we need to run. I’m thinking half the time we’re not even crawling all that well.