A Mighty Deliverer of Mail?

As my blogging moratorium for Burma has just ended, by British time, I will now post this snippet which I found in “The Month”, the newspaper of the Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford, October 2007, p.5:

‘DYNAMIC equivalence’ is a wonderful thing. It’s when Bible translators use a term which conveys the significance of a word rather than its literal meaning. For example, ‘blood’ may be rendered ‘life’. But it doesn’t always work. When children at the Cathedral School were invited to write their own psalm, in place of ‘Mighty Deliverer’ they unanimously proposed ‘Postman’.

Well, at least our heavenly Mighty Deliverer doesn’t go on strike!

Also this one on the same page:

ASSISTANT Organist at Llandaff Cathedral, David Geoffrey-Thomas, tells me their organ has been struck by lightning and all the electronics fused on ‘loud’. How frustrating to have been the organist when what they really needed was a conductor.

I will point this one out to the PA operators in our church who like to turn the music up really loud. They might find this a useful excuse when people complain about the volume.

Following the Wild Goose

I just discovered an interesting post from Sally Coleman about Celtic Christianity. She manages to present this in a very attractive light. I’m not quite sure about how she uses it to build bridges to the pagan or neo-pagan community – but then I don’t think there are many of them around here, although there may be where Sally lives, nearly 100 miles north of me.

But I was especially struck by her picture of the Holy Spirit as a wild goose:

Continue reading

Good news in the Bible for British drinkers

I found the following interesting Bible verse:

No longer do they drink wine with a song;
the beer is bitter to its drinkers.

(Isaiah 24:9, TNIV = NIV, American and British editions)

Good news for British drinkers: when songs are sung, there is no longer wine on offer but beer, and better still none of that continental lager but best bitter!

Of course it isn’t actually supposed to mean this in the context, which is a very negative one. But I wonder if the translators realised that at least here in Britain “bitter” is a positive attribute when applied to beer. So this is an illustration of just how careful Bible translators have to be.

Prof Charlie Moule

I just received news of the death of Prof C.F.D. Moule, “Known to all as ‘Charlie'”. He passed away yesterday, aged 98. I knew him when I was an undergraduate at Clare College, Cambridge, and he was a famous professor near to retiring age. Nevertheless, he was an outstanding example of Christian humility and gentle wisdom, so much so that it was impossible for me to get him to walk through a narrow doorway ahead of me. He regularly served breakfast to us students in his rooms after services in the college chapel.

There is already a short obituary on the college website. I have pointed out to the college a couple of minor errors (which may be corrected later): he was still supporting the Dean in the time (also my time at the college) when Arthur Peacocke was his successor; and when he retired from his university post he moved initially to nearby Ridley Hall, Cambridge, where I remember visiting him, and presumably only later to Pevensey. The obituary notes his scholarship and particularly his important role in translating the New English Bible. It does not mention his 1959 book “An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek”, which remains influential – I still see it referred to from time to time, and it is still in print from Cambridge University Press.

Although I had had no personal contact with Prof Moule for nearly 30 years, I was sad to hear of the loss of a man who was in many little ways a role model to me of the Christian life.