[sword-devel] GNU and OS ideologies and indulgences

Michael Rempel sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 14 Dec 2001 14:14:37 -0800

>   I agree. :-) Just so long as it doesn't operate on too many GNU tools,
> RMS would want us to call it GNU/Bible. ;-)  Seriously though, if enough
> people who knew at least Greek and English or Hebrew and English signed
> you could produce a GNU translation in a very short amount of time.
>   That sure would be nice too!


I take it you have never been involved in a translation effort. Seminary
trainning in translation is a serious business. It is seldom enough to just
put the words down literally, we have lots of those kinds of translations
available. What is hard to translate in Paul for example are the Greek
idioms he uses in the context he meant them, and the interplay between Greek
and Jewish culture that he used so effectively to bring the two communities

Until you have enough scollarship to see the world through the eyes of the
author it is very difficult to come up with proper exogesis of a passage. It
is further more, nearly impossible to transmit the poetry and power of the
language and culture.

As a simple example, The phrase Living Water is evocative, but English is
not capiable of translating this idiom with anything like the power it
evokes in Hebrew. The Hebrew term is Mayim Chaim. To start with it rymes.
Then add the fact that Mayim Chaim is ment to be celebrated each year as one
of God's feasts. If you dont know the history of that feast and understand
it's significance to the Jewish community it is like trying to understand
modern Christianity without knowing anything about Christmas.

Just so readers are not completely in the dark about this, the festival is
marked by a parade of the living water from the pool of Salom to the temple.
The occasion starts solomly, but builds and builds as the procession winds
it's way through the streets with ever increasing enthusiasm. So much so
that the Rabbi's in those days said that if you have never seen it, then you
have never experienced joy in your life.

At the height of this cerimony, amongst all the jubilation is where Jesus
announced to his followers that he is The Mayim Chaim.

This might not be your idea of what translation means, but it is mine. This
is the fuel that the fires of faith are built on. We have enough cheap
translation out there. It is time to bring everything to the table and do it
so people really understand.

BTW, happy Hanuka. Did you know that early Christians celebrated it, and
Jesus did too? It is a celebration of religious freedom. More people ought
to learn about the eight day miracle.