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Inspired Correspondent
utopian
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Re: Bible Translations

Thanks Laurel.  This may be a stupid question but which language is the" original"?  Latin?  Greek? English?  Hebrew?  
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Laurel
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Re: Bible Translations

The Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) is Hebrew.

 

The New Testament is Greek.

 

There is a sprinkling of Aramaic, also.


utopian wrote:
Thanks Laurel.  This may be a stupid question but which language is the" original"?  Latin?  Greek? English?  Hebrew?  

 

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Inspired Correspondent
utopian
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Re: Bible Translations

Question:

 

All my life I've known the l0 commandments in English.

 

Recently I was told that the original Hebrew was not "Thou shalt not kill" but "Don't murder".

 

The meanings are different.  I always wondered , why eating meat was not forbidden if we're not supposed to kill.  The first sounds like a commandment for Hindus or Jains.  But Don't murder means something entirely different.   Reactions?

 

 

Also, another stupid question.  Why is Greek the original language of the New Testament?

 

I realize I'm revealing an encyclopedia of ignorance and I'll stop now!   

Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
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Re: Bible Translations

Even though it's called the Hebrew Bible, a few of the Prophets, as Laurel pointed out, are written in Aramaic.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: Bible Translations

Also, another stupid question.  Why is Greek the original language of the New Testament?

 

I don't accept that any question legitimately asked is stupid.   

 

Laurel will probably have a better answer than this, but realize that this is the time of the Roman Empire, which extended to the area of Jesus's travels and to most or all of the areas that Paul traveled to.  Rome exported Latin along with everything else. 

 

 

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Laurel
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Re: Bible Translations

I don't know any Hebrew, but I've always supposed it meant 'murder,' or 'kill a human wrongfully and willfully.'

utopian wrote:

Question:

 

All my life I've known the l0 commandments in English.

 

Recently I was told that the original Hebrew was not "Thou shalt not kill" but "Don't murder".

 

The meanings are different.  I always wondered , why eating meat was not forbidden if we're not supposed to kill.  The first sounds like a commandment for Hindus or Jains.  But Don't murder means something entirely different.   Reactions?

 

 

Also, another stupid question.  Why is Greek the original language of the New Testament?

 

I realize I'm revealing an encyclopedia of ignorance and I'll stop now!   


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
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Re: Bible Translations

I studied two years of Biblical Hebrew in college, and actually I forget this one. But both NRSV and JPS translations, which I trust the most, translate it as "murder".
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Laurel
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Re: Bible Translations

But why Greek and not Latin? I guess Greek civilization was still so highly esteemed that Greek became the official or at least scholarly written language of the Roman Empire. I'm not sure, though. The common people in Israel spoke Aramaic, I believe. And I think Aramaic was a form of Hebrew. Here's something about it. Not a dumb question by any means!

Everyman wrote:

Also, another stupid question.  Why is Greek the original language of the New Testament?

 

I don't accept that any question legitimately asked is stupid.   

 

Laurel will probably have a better answer than this, but realize that this is the time of the Roman Empire, which extended to the area of Jesus's travels and to most or all of the areas that Paul traveled to.  Rome exported Latin along with everything else. 

 

 


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
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Why Greek?

There's some information about the spread of the Greek language here.

"After the conquests of Alexander the Great(roughly 336-323 BCE) the language underwent far-reaching changes. Alexander carried the Attic-Ionic form of the language, along with Greek culture more generally, far into the Near East where it became the standard language of commerce and government, existing along side many local languages. Greek was adopted as a second language by the native people of these regions and was ultimately transformed into what has come to be called the Hellenistic Koiné or common Greek."

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
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Re: Bible Translations

Good point.  I spaced there.

 


Laurel wrote:
But why Greek and not Latin? I guess Greek civilization was still so highly esteemed that Greek became the official or at least scholarly written language of the Roman Empire. I'm not sure, though. The common people in Israel spoke Aramaic, I believe. And I think Aramaic was a form of Hebrew. Here's something about it. Not a dumb question by any means!

Everyman wrote:

Also, another stupid question.  Why is Greek the original language of the New Testament?

 

I don't accept that any question legitimately asked is stupid.   

 

Laurel will probably have a better answer than this, but realize that this is the time of the Roman Empire, which extended to the area of Jesus's travels and to most or all of the areas that Paul traveled to.  Rome exported Latin along with everything else. 

 

 


 


 

 

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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Slightly off topic

We don't have a Community Room or equivalent here (the Bible Belt Bar?), so I'll slip this in here since it has sort of vaguely to do with the Bible.  Or not.

 

Anyhow:  saw some photos of tax protestors wearing T-shirts saying  "Mad as Hell," and I wondered, in a theological sense, just how mad IS Hell, anyhow?  And why is Hell mad in the first place???

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Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
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Re: Slightly off topic -- "Mad as Hell"


Everyman wrote:

We don't have a Community Room or equivalent here (the Bible Belt Bar?), so I'll slip this in here since it has sort of vaguely to do with the Bible.  Or not.

 

Anyhow:  saw some photos of tax protestors wearing T-shirts saying  "Mad as Hell," and I wondered, in a theological sense, just how mad IS Hell, anyhow?  And why is Hell mad in the first place???


Have you been reading Dante's Inferno along with Laurel's board?

 

I don't get a sense its "citizens" are happy to be there, and the place doesn't seem exactly sane, to play on another possible implication of "mad".

 

And there are probably other (better) allusions/sources elsewhere.

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: Slightly off topic -- "Mad as Hell"

Sure, the inhabitants aren't happy. But Hell itself?  It should be happy to have so many people rushing the gates!


Peppermill wrote:

Everyman wrote:

We don't have a Community Room or equivalent here (the Bible Belt Bar?), so I'll slip this in here since it has sort of vaguely to do with the Bible.  Or not.

 

Anyhow:  saw some photos of tax protestors wearing T-shirts saying  "Mad as Hell," and I wondered, in a theological sense, just how mad IS Hell, anyhow?  And why is Hell mad in the first place???


Have you been reading Dante's Inferno along with Laurel's board?

 

I don't get a sense its "citizens" are happy to be there, and the place doesn't seem exactly sane, to play on another possible implication of "mad".

 

And there are probably other (better) allusions/sources elsewhere.

 


 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Laurel
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Re: Slightly off topic -- "Mad as Hell"

How much logic do you usually find in common expletives?

Everyman wrote:

Sure, the inhabitants aren't happy. But Hell itself?  It should be happy to have so many people rushing the gates!


Peppermill wrote:

Everyman wrote:

We don't have a Community Room or equivalent here (the Bible Belt Bar?), so I'll slip this in here since it has sort of vaguely to do with the Bible.  Or not.

 

Anyhow:  saw some photos of tax protestors wearing T-shirts saying  "Mad as Hell," and I wondered, in a theological sense, just how mad IS Hell, anyhow?  And why is Hell mad in the first place???


Have you been reading Dante's Inferno along with Laurel's board?

 

I don't get a sense its "citizens" are happy to be there, and the place doesn't seem exactly sane, to play on another possible implication of "mad".

 

And there are probably other (better) allusions/sources elsewhere.

 


 

 


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Slightly off topic -- "Mad as Hell"

It might even be that Dante's descriptions brought about the phrase since his Inferno is indeed an insane, 'mad' place - a 'bedlam'.  The first 3 definitions in Meriam-Webster certainly seem appropriate. 

 


Peppermill wrote:
Have you been reading Dante's Inferno along with Laurel's board?

 

I don't get a sense its "citizens" are happy to be there, and the place doesn't seem exactly sane, to play on another possible implication of "mad".

 

And there are probably other (better) allusions/sources elsewhere.

 


 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006

Re: Qu'ran translations

 Joseph wrote: 

This is actually not true, although I can see your point. Most Muslims are not offended by English translations of the Qu'ran, although they do not recognize them religiously as translations. That is why all English translations of the Qu'ran are referred to on their cover as "interpretations of the Qu'ran".

 

Over the past 10 years I have been friendly with a large number of devout Muslims, all of whom use Arabic trancripts of the Koran and would not read an English version because they consider them to be blasphemous or corrupt.  Mullahs in madrasses here tell children not to read English versions.  A few years ago I offered my English translation to one of my Muslim lodgers and he would not even touch it!

 

After 9/11 when arguments over the interpretation of the Koran were raging and Muslims  were protesting that Islam was a peaceful religion, I tried to get some of my friends to read the English translation, which of course shows that there are indeed a number of 'warlike' statements about Jews, infidels and so on.  But they had been told by their mullahs that this was not so and as none of them could understand Arabic they could not check for themselves so took the word of their mullahs over mine.

 

I have found it impossible to discuss Islam with my friends using my English translations and am only able to discuss their interpretations of their Arabic Koran, which quite often differs a great deal from what the Koran actually says.  To compound the problem, many Muslims here, in fact the majority, are taught by semi-literate Muslims from Pakistan who cannot read Arabic either but have learned via recitation, warts and all, in their own madrasses.  It seems a like a huge game of Chinese whispers although I am sure that the Bible used to be taught in the same way to a semi-literature population.  The UK government is so worried about the number of  fundamentalist Pakistani mullahs here that they are instituting a drive in the universities to get more English mullahs trained. 

 

The experience in the US may be different because your immigrants may be better educated than the poor Pakistani people from our former Commonwealth that we have absorbed over the years in the UK. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Joseph_F wrote:

utopian wrote:

Sorry, Choisya, I misread your post.  No translation is accurate or can be discussed.  So, really, there are no translations possible.  So, if I understand, there is no way to discuss Islam, in English, without offending.  I think I understand now.  Actually, I see the logic there.

 

 


This is actually not true, although I can see your point. Most Muslims are not offended by English translations of the Qu'ran, although they do not recognize them religiously as translations. That is why all English translations of the Qu'ran are referred to on their cover as "interpretations of the Qu'ran".


 

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Everyman
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Re: Qu'ran translations

I have found it impossible to discuss Islam with my friends using my English translations and am only able to discuss their interpretations of their Arabic Koran, which quite often differs a great deal from what the Koran actually says.

 

Since you said you don't know Arabic, and  therefore don't know firsthand what the Koran actually says, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that their interpretations differ from what English translations of the Koran say, or perhaps from what you have been told that the Arabic Koran says.

 

Given the precept that the Koran only says what it says in Arabic, not in any other language, there is a real challenge in non-Arabic readers, whether or they be Muslim, knowing what it actually says.  

 

It will be interesting to see how Armstrong handles this dilemma, if indeed she even recognizes it as a dilemma.  

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Inspired Correspondent
utopian
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎04-13-2009

Re: Qu'ran translations

Could it be that we're confusing the religion with the people?  I appreciate Choisya's reporting on the situation in Britain.  We don't get that information, I don't think, here.  But maybe we have to be clear when we're discussing any religion that there is a difference between the  people of the religion and the religion itself.  For instance, many Catholics practice birth control.  But the Catholic religion does not support the practice.  I think any two people will differ, even when they belong to the same religion.  But the religion has a POV, whether or not everyone abides by it. 
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: Qu'ran translations

Excellent point.

 

Almost every religion has a range of members not all of whom will agree with all the tenets of the religion, but who still consider themselves part of that religion.

 

Look at the extraordinary disparity between, for example, pacifist Christians and military Chaplains.  Between Jews who think their religion calls for them to live cooperatively with Palestinians, and hard right Zionists who contend that their religion calls for them to reoccupy the ancient Biblical lands of Judea.  Between Muslims who preach Islam as a religion of peace and those who call for holy war against the West.  

 


utopian wrote:
Could it be that we're confusing the religion with the people?  I appreciate Choisya's reporting on the situation in Britain.  We don't get that information, I don't think, here.  But maybe we have to be clear when we're discussing any religion that there is a difference between the  people of the religion and the religion itself.  For instance, many Catholics practice birth control.  But the Catholic religion does not support the practice.  I think any two people will differ, even when they belong to the same religion.  But the religion has a POV, whether or not everyone abides by it. 

 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
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Re: Qu'ran translations

utopian wrote: 
I appreciate Choisya's reporting on the situation in Britain.  We don't get that information, I don't think, here. 

 

Another thing I perhaps ought to have mentioned is that the word Qu'ran means 'recitation' and Muslims learn it by recitation and hear it recited in Arabic their madrasses and mosques.  It is reputedly very poetic. Karen Armstrong in Chapter 5 of the History of God writes:

 

'Muslims say that when they hear the Koran chanted in the mosque they feel enveloped in a divine dimension of sound, rather as Mohammed was enveloped in the embrace of Gabriel  on Mount Hira. It is not a book to be read simply to acquire information. It is meant to yield a sense of the divine...Reading the Koran is therefore a spiritual discripline which Christians may find difficult to understand because they do not have a sacred language in the way that Hebrew, Sanscrit and Arabic are sacred to the Jews, Hindus and Muslims.  It is Jesus who is the Word of God and there is nothing holy about the New Testament. Jews, however, have a similar attitude towards the Torah. When they study the first five books of the Bible they do not just run their eyes over the page. Frequently they recite the words aloud, savouring the words that God himself is supposed to have used when he revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Sometimes they sway backwards and forwards like a flame before the breath of the Spirit.  Obviously Jews who read their bible in this way are experiencing a very different book from the Christians who find most of the Pentateuch dull and obscure.' 

 

 

I am sure there are Christians, particularly those who believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, who experience a similar sense of the divine, whether or not it is written in a sacred language but as it is not (usually) memorised in childhood nor continually recited it must, I think, be an altogether different experience to that experienced by Muslims or Jews.  It is perhaps for this reason that Muslims are unwilling to 'hear' the words of any translation and why it is difficult to talk to them about the Qu'ran when you have not imbibed it in Arabic. 

 

It is common for Muslims to have a CD of the Qu'ran in their cars and to play it as we would hymns.  There are annual competitions for Qu'aranic reciters and Muslims listen to their favourites much as we would listen to a popular opera star.