Thursday, November 03, 2005

bible bashing

Ok, I need to find a new bible... I've been trying really hard to get into the habit of reading it to get a better understanding of where so many of those at WGYF were coming from and after having had various 'good starting points' recommended to me.

However there are only so many doths, untos, wherefores and verilys I can read without expecting the Patrician or the City Watch to make an appearance along with the Temple of Offler and various Small Gods - Terry Pratchett has a lot to answer for.

I know I found the Message Bible almost cringeworthily American at first but I'm rapidly warming to the concept, altho' I still find it hard to get my head around the bible including words like 'cute'.

Hmmm, wonder what I can find in the Meeting House, the one in the house is no better than my own. I'm remembering fast why I found it all such hard going at school....


flurble said...

surely there's something in between the doths and verilys, without "cute"! Just a regular "you" and "yours"?

Anna Dunford said...

I found the Good News Bible (in the children's section!) which has dispensed with the saiths and untos but also lost half the poetry.

For example Matthew 5, 3-11 (Sermon on the Mount) In my little pocket bible it says -

Blessed are the poor in Spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful:for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Whereas the GNB says -

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!
Happy are those who are humble; they will recieve what God has promised!
Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!
Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them!
Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!
Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!
Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.

Happy? Not convinced, I prefer Blessed (and it can be just blessed rather than as in Brian!) Those who mourn are obviously not happy and presumably neither are those who are persecuted. Also I prefer chldren of God (no gender specified!) to 'his children' altho I'll happily accept the substitution of people for men in the last bit.

Ho hum, I guess I'll just end up reading both versions for a while until I can find an edition that 'speaks to my condition' more - one for the poetry and one to work out what on earth it is about!

flurble said...

ah well, at least that inspired me to pull *my* bible off the shelf and take a look (it's a GNB I've had since I was about ten - a version with some really lovely pictures in, text the same as yours). May even read a bit now it's out!

Peter said...

The New International Version is a bit of a mix. The people from the mount are still blessed rather than happy, and the poetry is nicely preserved. There are no "thees", "thous", "only begottens" or "whosoevers".

Sadly though, I notice that the peacemakers will be called sons of God; although a good many of them are women.

Psalms is replete with promises for the man who fears the lord, and God is always "He".

I'm sure there's a version of the NIV that has that presumption of maleness worked out though, and the notes, diagrams, explanations and alternative translations in the Study version are very helpful in placing things in context.

Anna Dunford said...

Thanks - 'sons' and 'man' I can translate in my head - I'll see if I can find one. Anyone else got any suggestions?! I know Nancy Irving has this great four translations across a double page version so you can 'compare & contrast' (and presumably write your essay ready for next Tuesday) but it's hardly bedtime reading size!

Anonymous said...

When I first flipped through the Mesage, the first verse I read was Matthew 7,6, which I thought fantastically appropriate. When I bought a copy I noted that in the front of it to remind me.