Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 18 October 2017

Sir Mark Hedley Ecclesiastical Law Society Practical Aspects of the Clergy Discipline Measure
Sir Mark is Deputy Chair and Deputy President of Tribunals.

The Babylon Bee The Bee Explains: Main Differences Between Popular Bible Translations

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David RowettRod GillisStanley MonkhouseDavid GibsonHenry Morton Recent comment authors
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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: The Babylon Bee article on translations, funny.

Speaking of funny and biblical translation folks may be interested in this CBC interview with Sarah Ruden, “the author of The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible. She has published acclaimed translations of Virgil’s Aeneid, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, and St. Augustine’s Confessions, among others. She’s also translating the New Testament Gospels for the Modern Library.”

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/tapestry/new-meanings-1.4279045

Stanley Monkhouse
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Bibles. OT scholar Dr Margaret Barker has a rule of thumb to take the temperature, as it were, of a translation. Look at Psalm 1, verse 1. If it begins “Blessed” you’re probably on to a good thing. If not, you’re not. Of Babylon Bee’s selection, a fair number pass the Barker test: NIV, KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV. NRSV (not one of Bee’s Bibles) does not, and neither does The Message, but I forgive Dr Peterson anything since his work is quite marvellous.

Henry Morton
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Henry Morton

Mark Hedley’s paper is just one side of the coin. How many clergy are finding themselves on the wrong side of the CDM as a consequence of ill health generally, and mental health issues more specifically? The lawyers can easily pontificate about WHAT constitutes an offence under the CDM, and what the penalties should be. The question of WHY gets very little coverage or consideration – as an integral part of the Measure. OK, you could argue that this is what a bishop does after representations have been made by the cleric who is the subject of a complaint. But… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Re: Stanley Monkhouse, interesting post. When I was an undergrad (forty-five years ago), I used the Jerusalem Bible. The orginal JB, if memory serves (?), was a “second hand” translation based on the French and produced by the good fathers from l’École Biblique. During Divinity school I used the old N.E.B. which one of my profs at the time said had some “very odd translations”. ( : In parish ministry I would look at several versions for comparison purposes, which most preachers and teachers probably do. However,The RSV and then the NRSV was the translation of choice. These days I… Read more »

David Gibson
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David Gibson

Yes, exactly, Henry Morton. Of course, we need a CDM – not least to deal with those who abuse their trust and prey on the vulnerable. But I live and worship in a diocese that seems only too keen to deploy the provisions of the CDM, with little regard for the stress it causes the cleric concerned, particularly when it is a relatively minor matter. It encourages complaints from vindictive parishioners (and that IS a blunt weapon when there are no parallel processes to deal with toxic churchwardens and the like). Reading Sir Mark Hedley’s paper, you would think that… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
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CDM. As a Church of Ireland Rector 2011-2014 I found myself in the midst of conflict between diocese and parish over a merger of two Select Vestries (PCCs in CoE). Parishioners were split into those willing to cooperate, and those unwilling. There was bullying, intimidation, solicitors’ letters flying between one group and the other, one to me, complaints about me to Diocesan Council to which I had to insist on responding. You can imagine the worry for my wife and me. Early on, as soon as I sensed that this could run and run (and it has: my successor lasted… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
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Rod Gillis, thanks for the Hengel recommendation. My eyesight is such that I’d like it on Kindle, which it isn’t, yet. As a late ordinand who studied on a part time non-residential course for two years, I know little Greek and no Hebrew. I feel the lack, so books like Hengel are a great blessing for me – as are unstuffy experts like Margaret Barker who lives close at hand.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

re: Stanley Monkhouse, “I know little Greek and no Hebrew. I feel the lack.” Everything is relative I suppose. I have often thought about becoming more proficient. But, every one to his/her trade. While in parish ministry I was always grateful for the specialists who wrote biblical commentaries, including giants like Dodd, Brown, Childs, and the like. In retirement, I have been trying to upgrade languages, ancient and modern, as a hobby. At Catholic school we began Latin in junior high and it continued into high school.I studied Greek and Hebrew in Divinity school where Greek was required for Anglican… Read more »

David Rowett
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David Rowett

Yup, I like Margaret Barker’s rule of thumb (though I regard the NRSV as one of the better translations, it still causeth me to wince from time to time – but mine does translate the Hebrew as ‘Blessed’).

My dodginess detector, honed over many years, is to be suspicious of any translation whose rendition of Isaiah 7.14 includes the word ‘virgin’…. Including, perhaps, the LXX!