who he?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 12, 2007

Did you catch the smooth, contemporary translation of this passage from the Gospel heard on Sunday (Luke 13: 6-7)?

There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener...

Just guessing, but I think this "person" was male, since "he" was searching in "his" orchard. Or is "he" being used in the generic sense-- which is, after all, acceptable English usage? But then again if "he" can be used generically, why can't "he" be a generic "man" rather than a "person?"

I'm confused. Still I'm reassured to know that the translations now in use are smooth and readable, and employ the language of everyday English usage. Bishop Trautperson told us so.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 14, 2007 12:38 PM ET USA

    Nope, I heard that Gospel, but I didn't hear that translation or read it in my hand Missal. ...oh, I get it... Our priest was reading the translation from the old St. Andrew Missal. What a relief to be an indulterer!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 4:41 PM ET USA

    Don't you see? "Person" could apply to a woman who had a transgendered operation and is now a man. Since, in that situation, one doesn't know whether to identify the particular individual as "she" or "he", the translators made the translation more compassionate to everyone. No one feels uncomfortable now, since "person" is a unisexual word that is inclusive of all diverse and/or combined/non-combined sexualities.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 8:53 AM ET USA

    I caught that before I read it from the pulpit so guess what I read? How about today's Gospel: to forgive "... not seven times, but seventy times seven? No. Seventy-seven times. I am totally confused!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 13, 2007 8:17 AM ET USA

    Shouldn't 'gardener' be 'gardeneress'?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2007 4:51 PM ET USA

    Gee, uncle Di, do you think that the RSV, KJV, Vulgate et. al. have "There once was a man..." because the parable's warning shot (i.e. the imminent cutting down of the unfruitful tree on the last day) WILL BE THE WORK OF THE JUST JUDGE = JESUS CHRIST? I'm awful glad that the folks at the USCCB who own the copyright to the Bible aren't afraid to neuter Jesus. I hope the Pope applies lots of fertilizer ("manure") to the roots of their tree.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 12, 2007 4:46 PM ET USA

    If you like that one, here's a BETTER one (from the same folks at the USCCB that tell us that, after Vatican II and the N.O., people get more "scripture" in their lives... Check out the first lectionary reading from March 1... (http://www.usccb.org/nab/030107.shtml) ...and then compare it to the same outfit's NAB translation of where that lectionary reading allegedly comes from (http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/esther/estherc.htm#v12) Compare and contrast. We are an Easter people.