Sunday, 14 December 2008

Bethke on manuscript history

Bruce Bethke writes an interesting post titled Relevance. Expanding how a simple question can have so many underlying assumptions.
Some days you can ask what seems like a simple question, and find that instead of plucking off a loose thread, you've started unraveling the entire sweater. For example, this morning I asked my wife one simple question, and before I knew it, we were deeply into a wide-ranging discussion of Old Testament history, subtext, context, and translation issues.

...To begin comprehending her answer, then, we should first examine the embedded subtext of the question I didn't even know I'd asked: does a book written 2,000 years ago really have any relevance to our lives today?

...It was the Septuagint that was widely read and circulated in the early Christian Era and used as the basis for the Latin translation (the Vulgate) written by St. Jerome in the 4th century CE,... The King James version in turn became the basis for almost all subsequent English-language Protestant Bibles except the Lutheran version, which is based on Luther's German translation, and a careful reader will note many subtle differences between the English-language Catholic, Lutheran, and other Protestant versions of the Bible. (For example, even today the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments omits the prohibition against worshiping graven images, while the Episcopalian version has been shortened to the Nine Suggestions.)
It is worth reading for his conclusion, a modern application of an ancient biblical passage.

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