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Friday, November 25, 2005

This is the Word of the errh...

Changing the subject completely, Mr Grumpy read one of the lessons in church on Sunday. This is a verse from it:-

'As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.' (Ezekiel 34:12)

But not quite, because we have long since ditched the sublime King James Version. Here's what we got in the New Reviled Standard Version:-

'As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.'

Leaving aside the literary merits of the changes, why has the shepherd gone forth and multiplied? You're there before me, but just in case you need a hint, here's an extract from the preface to the New Despised Standard Version, by Bruce M. Metzger on behalf of the Committee of translators:-

'The mandates from the Division [of Education and Ministry of the National Council of Churches of Christ] specified that, in references to men and women, masculine-oriented language should be eliminated as far as this can be done without altering passages that reflect the historical situation of ancient patriarchal culture. As can be appreciated, the Committee found that the several mandates stood in tension and even in conflict.'

Which is being interpreted, we wanted to translate accurately but we were told we had to be PC.

The high point of this idiocy is reached in the story of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, where the quote from Psalm 118 with which the crowds hail Jesus is no longer 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord' (as it still is in the liturgy - how much longer?) but 'Blessed is the one...' (see Matthew 21:9 and Mark 11:9). In Luke's version (ch. 19:38) we still have 'Blessed is the king who comes..'. Doubtless we must await the next revision to see this corrected to 'monarch'.

By the way, Grumpy re-singularized the shepherd, and hasn't had any complaints so far.

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