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View Diary: Why do so many folks here use the term "Old Testament" as code for barbarism? (265 comments)

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  •  Why the King James? (3+ / 0-)
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    librarisingnsf, ExStr8, Diamond Mind

    It is a translation written by Protestants, Jewish people would not likely be using that version. Plus it is terrible.

    •  Of course Jewish people wouldn't be using (1+ / 0-)
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      that version.  Your local megachurch and the rest of the more extreme evangelical Christians on the other hand are using that version and in fact will claim that it is superior to the original texts in the original language.  Guess which one is growing considerably in numbers as of recently.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:53:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not bad as early 17th century English (1+ / 0-)
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      Deward Hastings

      Unfortunately, we no longer speak Jacobean English, but King James' committee did a descent job.  Phrases like

      I have been a stranger in a strange land.
      from Shemot (Exodus) actually improve on the Hebrew original
      Ki ger hayiti be'eretz nochriyah
      which means something more like "For I was foreign in an unknown land".

      One thing that's true of the original is that the language in the more narrative portions of the Torah is pretty clear and simple, bordering on sparse.  Even wonderfully so, when you get to the account of Creation in the opening of the Torah.  Very few traditional English translations capture that, unfortunately.

      [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

      by mbayrob on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 01:05:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The KJV is more poetic and quotable (1+ / 0-)
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        in the instance you mention (Exodus 2:22), because of the fact that derivatives of "strange" can be used both for "ger" and "nochriyah".  That makes the phrase sound more poetic, and easier to remember.

        But, on the other hand, the literal "I was a sojourner in a foreign land" works just as well, and "I was an alien resident (or immigrant) in a foreign land" would capture some of the modern connotations of ger.

        One of the reasons that I dislike the hostility to the OT in a place like DailyKos is that the contrast between the treatment by the Egyptians, by the Sodomites, etc., of gerim and the treatment of gerim that God mandates for Israel is a repeated motif through the Torah.  Other nations hate gerim, fear gerim, enslave gerim, but we are to treat them with respect.  The Messiah himself will be descended from an immigrant (Ruth) from the hated Moabite tribe, about which a whole book is written.  

        The Dream Act (for the most part) is legislation that Democrats support and Republicans oppose.  The debates over it reflect precisely the contrasts that the Old Testament brings out between Sodomite principles and Torah principles.

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