Leah for Rachel

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 24, 2004

Dom cites a BBC story on the latest updating of the Bible, this by a former Baptist minister. The quotes given in the article -- clearly chosen to be provocative -- are patently goofy. Thus 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 is rendered

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.

Goodbye, St. Paul. Hello Doctor Ruth.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams is quoted as fervidly enthusiastic about the version -- in fact the story is framed in terms of his approval: "Canterbury backs updated Bible." It's hard to know how seriously to take this. On one hand, Williams has been under considerable stress and may not be entirely master of himself -- cf. the weirdly-expressed wish that the translation "spread in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike". On the other hand, he is notorious for assuming flagrantly contradictory poses from one day to the next, depending on the exigencies of the moment, and is no stranger to academic hyperbole. Next week -- who knows? -- he may be defending the perpetual virginity of the Authorised Version.

Catholics are in no position to look on in smug detachment as the Church of England goes Bahai-bye. We're walking more slowly down the same path. The Irish (Catholic) bishops have effectively censored by Bible by providing "pastoral" alternative lectionary readings that omit the tough bits of St. Paul; and the Revised New American Bible, especially the Psalms, is a rad-fem makeover of the sacred text.

Most forward-thinking ecclesiastics, of course, smile at the notion of a "sacred text." For them the books of Scripture communicate not God's word, but man's evolving experience of himself. The texts serve as a series of Rorschach ink-blots at which each successive generation stares and comes to find transiently meaningful shapes that express its own unconscious desires. Where the viewer retains some lingering piety, he finds traces of God; where he doesn't, he finds ... Doctor Ruth. You want to know why the Church got this rendering of Galatians? Don't study the use of the ingressive aorist in St. Paul, ask Bishop O'Brien's parole officer.

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 26, 2004 6:09 PM ET USA

    I took "altarboy's" advice and looked up the web-site. They have re-written the Nicene Creed also!. I say that their claimed aim of introducing non-sexist language is a lie. In order not to say husband or wife they introduce "partner" but a partner is not a husband etc. ,however a "spouse" is both a husband or a wife according to context. "Partner" cuts out the implication of marriage, "spouse" implies it. Thus their real aim to deny marriage is apparent. Inclusive language is a curse only on the English language. Its idiocy is there for all to see. The Church really must fight this. She has two options 1) be politically incorrect on every occasion 2)go back to Latin.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 26, 2004 1:26 PM ET USA

    Good Lord! I just read the Touchstone piece (above) and read that this "Good as New" Bible includes the gospel of Thomas!!! Is this correct information? If so, why has nobody picked up on it? Adding to the canon of Scripture is significantly worse than translating it poorly or with an agenda. The so-called "Gospel of Thomas" is gnostic and heretical. If the Anglicans are promoting it, then they've completely broken with the faith (not that their recent ways left much doubt about it).

  • Posted by: Gertrude - Jun. 26, 2004 12:55 PM ET USA

    A photocopy of the 1582 Rheims says thus, "But I say to the unmarried and to widows, it is good for them if they so abide even as I also. But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt." A single word can change the meaning of the verse, much less all of the words. Burnt implies hellfire, frustrated implies some emotional discomfort. The above translation is not God's Word. How many innocents will be led astray? Mother Most Holy, Pray for us!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 25, 2004 10:14 AM ET USA

    Gulls and prating knaves flock to "scripture studies" with abandon. Thus I cherish my original copy of Haydock's Douay-Reims Bible with its "genuine" Catholic commentary. Ladies and gentlemen, if you are educated at all, you don't need a new translation in "modern" language every 10 years. Once again, you can always judge a tree by its fruit - in this case the fruitcake from England that recommends it! To think that the Pope kissed this knuckle-head's pectoral cross (or was it his ring?).

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 10:30 PM ET USA

    "Instead of being taken into a specialised religious frame of reference... we have here a vehicle for thinking and worshiping that is fully earthed, recognisably about our humanity,"... Fully earthed humanity makes it sound like a cemetary or spring time on the farm at the manure pile. A large part of the problem is that he considers "a religious frame of reference" specialised. A revised Christianity often loses the teaching of the whole man and emphasizes parts. Usually the genitals.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 24, 2004 10:23 PM ET USA

    The Scripture as written above is basically rendered correctly, but to use it as an excuse to fulfill ANY passionate desire is a mutilation. Within the Letter to the Romans St. Paul makes it clear that because they "abandoned the knowledge of God" that is of the TRUE God and practice "idolatry..." "worshipping created things instead of the Creator He gave them over to disorderly passions so that they burned with lust for one another..." Homosexuality is a punishment, an illicit desire...

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2004 5:28 PM ET USA

    Go to the source of this goofy "Bible" at http://one.gn.apc.org/Translation.htm