Friday, August 03, 2007

Bonkers

"Yes, I am well aware that the he/she/it interpretation of Shem,Ham and Iapheth only works in English. I think that English is God's language, which is why, in my view, it is prevailing everywhere in the world. I think that the romance languages (French, Italian and Spanish) are "of the adversary": he/she/it, which is why "he" and "she" tend to sound phonetically similar and the nouns all have gender connotations."

Dave Sim, Collected Letters p512

10 comments:

Chestertonian Rambler said...

This time, I can't help but have a mixed feeling about this. I've heard so many people obsessing over details of the Bible that only apply in English--in one sense, it's refreshing to hear someone admit that insanity.

On the other hand, his statement is still delusional and insane, and not in a good way.

Andrew Rilstone said...

It's pretty common among self-identified fundamentalists, isn't it? God would obviously have provided us with a book that was infallible; different versions of the same book in different words say slightly different things, so they can't all be infallible; the Greek and Latin versions can't be the infallible ones, because they were written and edited by Roman Catholics who are worse than pagans; ergo, the infallible one must be the one used by the protestant reformers (apart from Martin Luther and Calvin); taken up by the protestant missionaries; and brought to America by the pilgrim fathers. Any change to that text is therefore sacreligous and results in a "New Age" Bible. For example, God's Bible says "And he spake unto them, saying" where the New Age Bible says "And he said..." "And he said" is less than half as many words as "And he spake unto them saying", so we have been deprived for 50% of God's truth. (See, e.g http://www.chick.com/
reading/books/
158/158_07.asp)

Dave Sim is no less barking, but considerably more entertaining.

John M. said...

I don't think infallibility requires identical translations. It's infallibility of MESSAGE, not grammar.

Andrew Rilstone said...

That's crazy talk. In God's original Bible Jesus says "I go not yet up unto the feast." But the non-infallible Greek text doesn't have the word "yet." And since Jesus did go to the fest in the end, the non-infallible Greek text says that Jesus is a liar. And some of the New Age Bible follow the Greek. So French people have got to learn English before they can be Christians, just like Muslims have to know Arabic and Tolkien geeks have to know Sindarin.

Louise H said...

i have to admit that as a incredibly reluctant student of three foreign languages at school, I tend to think that giving nouns genders is the work of the Adversary too.

Tpolg said...

It is the corrupt Greek text that the “New Age” Bibles are based on, that is the problem, not so much the bad English they are usually translated with. The Authorized Version is translated from the Received Text. But then of course, you knew that. And why use your blog for serious intellectual discussion, when you can make a silly joke instead?

Andrew Rilstone said...

I say what it occurs to me to say.

The New International Version has "I am not yet going to the feast", but a footnote to the effect that the word "yet" is missing in some early MSS. The New English Bible has "I am not going to this festival", but footnotes "some witnesses read "not yet" " and the Good News Bible has "I am not going" but "I am not yet going" as a footnote. I believe that most scholars think that the "yet" was a scribal addition to deal with the problem of Jesus either lying or changing his mind; but since I haven't read most critics, I could be wrong on this. The fundementalists problem with the GNB, NIV and NEB is not so much that they prefer the "I do not go..." reading, but that they acknowledge multiple manuscripts and difficulties in translation in the first place. The UCCF, it will be remembered, believes in the textual infallbility of scripture "as originally given"; Christian Union types often objected to the whole idea of footnotes: they imply that either we didn't know how the Bible was originally "given", or else that it wasn't, in the required sense, "originally given" at all. This is, I assume, why the more extreme fundies (and until I started to read Dave Sim, I would have said that you couldn't get more extreme than Jack Chick) have, in the last century or so, invented the fantasy that the King James Version is a textually infallible text.

Tpolg said...

Well at least now you are being serious. Of course volumes could be, and in fact have been, written on the precise theological definition of “infallible”. I personally do not think that either the Authorized Bible, or the original autographs for that matter, are “infallible” in the highly technical since. I do agree that many “fundies” as you call them, often use the proposition of infallibility as a substitute for thinking, and even faith. Often acting as if believing some abstract proposition about the Creators timetable is more important then daily obedience to His revealed will. But there is still the matter of determining what that revealed will is. I find the Authorized Version generally renders a superior reading, it much better conveys the Hebrew thought forms throughout the Tanach and underlying much of the Greek in the Apostolic Writings. There is only one or two verses that I would go with the NIV on, and that is partly on the schoolgirls giggling factor.

Andrew Rilstone said...

If you think that "irony", "exaggeration", and "satire" are not compatible with being serious, then you probably aren't going to enjoy this blog very much.

" :) " as I believe the young people say.

Tpolg said...

Ironically, I was being sarcastic. ;)