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Inspired Correspondent
utopian
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎04-13-2009
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Re: Qu'ran translations

This is a very interesting explanation Choisya.  Thank you.  I wonder, however, about the Latin Mass.  Would that have the same effect?  Psalms?  Or the Greek Orthodox service?  Christian hymns and the extraordinarily beautiful music written for the church?  Of course there's no way to know if it's all exactly equivalent but it seems to me that music and recitation of prayer has always been used to this effect.  "Onward Christian Soldier" comes to mind, at the end of Mrs. Miniver!  "Ave Maria" was sung at the last mass I attended and it was transporting.  

 

I think that all faiths are grounded in the heart and music and group prayer are  direct lines  to the heart.  It's interesting that Armstrong sees a difference though, with Islam.  The Catholic Church is so steeped in ritual that draws people into a different state of mind.   

Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009

Re: Qu'ran translations

[ Edited ]

While this is certainly true, Choisya, there is another aspect to the holiness of the language which is important to note. While recitation and the aural aspect is important in both Judaism and Islam, the holy text is still very much a text. It is less the sounds and more the letters and even every minor dot that is holy (the phrase often used with the Hebrew text is "every jot and tiddle" ). These are people of the book, after all, and the book itself, as the written Word, is the truly sacred object. The spoken Word is only a manifestation of the original text.

 

The reason this is an important distinction, is that in Hinduism the situation is exactly reversed. Hindu texts are primarily spoken texts, and where the basic unit of the Torah and the Qu'ran is the letter, the basic unit of the Vedas is the spoken syllable. The Vedas are, to this day, entirely memorized by people who memorize it literally forwards and backwards so as to not lose a single sound. The written texts are only records of the sacred spoken text, and researchers have found that the written versions are often far less accurate than the spoken versions which have been passed down exactly for centuries.

 

So there is this interesting situation, where Jews and Muslims (and to a much lesser extent Christians) worship primarily through text, even down to individual letters, while Hindus worship through the spoken word, down to the individual sound.


Choisya wrote:

utopian wrote: 

'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.' 


 

Message Edited by Joseph_F on 04-20-2009 10:55 AM
Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009
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Re: Qu'ran translations

 Music certainly has a powerful effect on human beings, whether religious or not. Music we love (not even the lyrics, but the music itself) can make us feel transported, lifted, energized, or lulled to sleep.

 

Because of this, it is even possible to have music that is religious without any words at all. There is a form of Jewish music called a "nign" which is a wordless prayer where the singer only sings some form of "la la la" but the music itself is considered the prayer.

 

utopian wrote:

This is a very interesting explanation Choisya.  Thank you.  I wonder, however, about the Latin Mass.  Would that have the same effect?  Psalms?  Or the Greek Orthodox service?  Christian hymns and the extraordinarily beautiful music written for the church?  Of course there's no way to know if it's all exactly equivalent but it seems to me that music and recitation of prayer has always been used to this effect.  "Onward Christian Soldier" comes to mind, at the end of Mrs. Miniver!  "Ave Maria" was sung at the last mass I attended and it was transporting.  

 

I think that all faiths are grounded in the heart and music and group prayer are  direct lines  to the heart.  It's interesting that Armstrong sees a difference though, with Islam.  The Catholic Church is so steeped in ritual that draws people into a different state of mind.   


 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Qu'ran translations

[ Edited ]

I love 'nign' Joseph and have CD of it.  I also love the music of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Not understanding the lyrics somehow makes the music more powerful - I feel the same about Italian opera.  

 

 


Joseph_F wrote:

 Music certainly has a powerful effect on human beings, whether religious or not. Music we love (not even the lyrics, but the music itself) can make us feel transported, lifted, energized, or lulled to sleep.

 

Because of this, it is even possible to have music that is religious without any words at all. There is a form of Jewish music called a "nign" which is a wordless prayer where the singer only sings some form of "la la la" but the music itself is considered the prayer.


utopian wrote:

This is a very interesting explanation Choisya.  Thank you.  I wonder, however, about the Latin Mass.  Would that have the same effect?  Psalms?  Or the Greek Orthodox service?  Christian hymns and the extraordinarily beautiful music written for the church?  Of course there's no way to know if it's all exactly equivalent but it seems to me that music and recitation of prayer has always been used to this effect.  "Onward Christian Soldier" comes to mind, at the end of Mrs. Miniver!  "Ave Maria" was sung at the last mass I attended and it was transporting.  

 

I think that all faiths are grounded in the heart and music and group prayer are  direct lines  to the heart.  It's interesting that Armstrong sees a difference though, with Islam.  The Catholic Church is so steeped in ritual that draws people into a different state of mind.   


 


 

Message Edited by Choisya on 04-20-2009 07:36 PM
Inspired Correspondent
utopian
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎04-13-2009
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Re: Qu'ran translations

I'm so glad  you said that C, I was thinking the same thing myself.  When they first started using subtitles for the opera I watched with my eldest daughter and we were so disappointed!  My daughter was about l6 at the time and she said "The words don't live up to the music!"  I thought that was a good description of the problem.  I'm used to it now and love knowing the words but it's a different experience.
Contributor
westroxel
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-11-2010
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Re: Bible Translations

As a pastor, I am used to using the Koine (Greek) and the Hebrew, but for an English Bible, I prefer the English Standard Version. I found that it is very literal live the NASB but is also very readable like the NIV. Then again, the ESV seems to be a preferred version for folks with a Reformed tradition - which is my tradition. I especially enjoy 2 study versions - RC Sproul's Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible and the recently released ESV Study Bible.
-----------------------
"The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough." - Bede Jarrett

"Be angry and do not sin." - David, quoted by Paul of Tarsus
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Bible Translations

Westrxel -- thank you for your comments.  My current edition of the English Standard Version is

The Literary Study Bible  edited by Ryken(s).  (I have an earlier edition of the ESV on my shelves, but seldom pull it any more.) It is a different twist from the other Bibles in my collection and I enjoy using it, although my particular Reformed tradition leans towards the NRSV, so that translation is my standby with the NRSV Harper Study Bible being my study Bible of choice (my edition is older),  But, I am not a pastor!

 

 

When you figure out how to use "Add Product" when creating a note, perhaps you will add links for the two you suggest!  It is really an easy feature to use, but sometimes it takes a bit of searching to find the wanted Bible listing -- at least in my experience.

 

One of my former pastors commended the ESV for the beauty of its language, especially in particular books of the Old Testament, but unfortunately I have forgotten which ones she specifically mentioned.


westroxel wrote:
As a pastor, I am used to using the Koine (Greek) and the Hebrew, but for an English Bible, I prefer the English Standard Version. I found that it is very literal live the NASB but is also very readable like the NIV. Then again, the ESV seems to be a preferred version for folks with a Reformed tradition - which is my tradition. I especially enjoy 2 study versions - RC Sproul's Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible and the recently released ESV Study Bible.
"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
Contributor
Kreggory
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎02-11-2010
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Re: Bible Translations

"Are all translations failures by definition because they cannot completely recreate the original "Word of God"?"

 

Did you know that there are Independent Baptist churches in the South that will use nothing but the original King James Version.  It is even anathema for their members to have any other version.  I've always thought this was quite amusing and very unnecessary.  Their preachers even waste time with sermons designed to prove that the NIV or any other version is unholy and blasphemnous to the Almighty. 

 

So much for my little anecdote now to the question posed by our moderator.  My position on the translation issue is of course from a Calvinistic point of view, a point of view that begins with an omnipotent God, a God so omnipotent that creation occured as He spoke it into existence from nothing.  The Bible is presented to the entire world as "The Word of God".  If you chose to believe this then great!  Keep reading.  If the God of all creation that spoke the universe into being wants mankind to have a written copy of "His" word, wouldn't it hold true that He can control the writing and translating of that word into however many languages are required, to get His message to "the uttermost parts of the earth".  I've read all these many different versions and yes there are variations of details and words and meaning but the Gospel, the good news of Gods plan and provision for mankind is still there in all translations.  My God is a BIG God! 

 

EVERY translation that calls itself a Holy Bible, that upholds that Jesus is the Son of God, who came in the flesh, lived and died and rose from the dead.  And this Jesus did this to save and redeem His "sheep" from their sins.  If any translation contains this Gospel, that will be preached to the whole world, every tongue and nation, then it is not a failure but it will accomplish what the Almighty God desired for it to do.

 

If this most important of books is at the mercy of fallen mankind and our salvation is based upon the ramblings and imaginations of authors and opinions of scholars and translators who are themselves fallen and sinful then are we not all lost and this salvation is impossible to obtain?  Remember it is when the word impossible surfaces that God shows up to answer the problem.  This Bible is God's Word and regardless of who HE inspires and uses and influences and directs and speaks to, His will be done.

Distinguished Correspondent
Joseph_F
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎03-05-2009
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Re: Bible Translations

 

Kreggory wrote:

Did you know that there are Independent Baptist churches in the South that will use nothing but the original King James Version.  It is even anathema for their members to have any other version.  I've always thought this was quite amusing and very unnecessary.  Their preachers even waste time with sermons designed to prove that the NIV or any other version is unholy and blasphemnous to the Almighty. 

 

 

 

I was aware of those groups. It has a certain logic to it. If you are going to use an English version of the Bible and take it as the non-negotiable word of God, then that translation better be the work of God too or a whole lot of human guess work and opinion just entered your divine text. It's impossible to take a text straight from another language, especially an ancient language, into English. A phrase might have several possible interpretations, none more definitively right than the other. So the translator either has to list all the possible variations within the text and pass the uncertainty onto the reader, or choose the one that seems right to him. So it makes a certain sense to declare a translation divine and as canon as the original text itself.