August 24, 2007

The agenda of gender-inclusivity can cause stupid translations.

Here is something in today’s Gospel (John 1:45-51) in the U.S. lectionary for Mass.
Jesus saw
coming toward him and said of
“Here is a true
of Israel. There is no duplicity in

The original Greek for that has the word that means literally “Israelite”— but the lectionary renders that single word with three words: “child of Israel.”

Furthermore, since Nathanael is a MALE, it could have been an acceptable translation to interpret “Israelite” as “SON of Israel”— since all Israelites are descendants of the Patriarch Israel.

Instead, the translators chose to CASTRATE Nathanael: “CHILD of Israel”.

Neutered Scripture is proof of lobotomized translators.


Blogger gemoftheocean said...

Why didn't the pinheads just say "Israelite" to begin with? What was "confusing?" The "lite?"

Lord have mercy on us and save us from these stupid, stupid, STUPID people. If they had brains, they'd be dangerous.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Dim Bulb said...

The NAB at the Bishops website, which I thought was the text that was mandated for use in the liturgy, reads "a true Israelite." However, the lectionary reading, also found on the Bishops website, has "child of Israel." Any idea what is going on? Is the incompetent hand of ICEL at work here? How can the bishops mandate the atrocity that is the NAB for sole use in the liturgy while at the same time allowing further atrocities in the lectionary translation? And if the NAB mandate isn't written in stone then why can't use be made of the RSVCE?

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Dim Bulb said...

The first reading speaks of the children of Israel in verse 3, which reads anthropos in Greek. Though this word is a Masculine noun it is used throughout the bible to refer to both men and woman. Obviously, context would demand whether it should be translated as masculine or generic/inclusive; in the present instance, I think the generic rendering is called for. Apparently, the translators of the lectionary wanted to make a connection between the first reading and the Gospel reading. Ironically, in the responsorial psalm as found in the lectionary, the text speaks of God making known his truth to "men" (literally, "sons of men). When the Hebrew phrase "ben adam" is used in the plural, "ben" often should be rendered as inclusive (Children of men).

As I noted earlier, calling Nathanael a true child of israel is meant to draw a connection to the Revelation reading. I would note that the more literal rendering "a true Israelite" is itself inclusive, since "Israelite" includes both men and woman. In reversal of my first comment in this combox, I do not think this translation, for lectionary purpose, is all that bad. Were it to be put in the Gospel of John itself, then I would have some problems.

John 1:19-51 serves a number of inter-related purposes. One thing it does is foreshadow the future mission of the Church's leaders (magisterium). Andrew FINDS Simon and BRINGS him to our Lord. Our Lord FINDS Phillip; and Phillip FINDS Nathanael and BRINGS him to Jesus. PETER is promised something. What is being foreshadowed here comes to fruition in 20:19-21:25. Jesus commissions his disciples as they hide out from the JEWISH RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES. This is followed by the fishing episode which symbolizes the Church's mission. As our Lord FOUND Phillip, and as Andrew FOUND Peter and BROUGHT him to Jesus; and as Phillip FOUND Nathanael and BROUGHT him to Jesus, so too the disciples FIND fish because of Jesus and PETER BRINGS them to him.

The foreshadowing of the Chruch's mission and Peter's function within it is now explained. The foreshadowing and the fulfillment both take place within the context of the hostility of the Jewish religious authorities, who were all male. In this context (it seems to me), the fact that our Blessed Lord chose only men to lead his Church is not without meaning, for the Church is the continuation and fulfillment of Israel which, for theological reasons rooted in God's original plan for Adam, and his failure to perform his priestly duties, had a male priesthood.

It's after 2 in the morning and I can't sleep; I hope this post doesn't sound too confusing.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Please don't lump a term of treatment of the mentally ill with inclusive translators! Thankyou very much...

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

I recently read a criticism of the NAB which included a discouraging fact; the USCCB is the only "English-speaking" bishops conference that mandates a single translation for its lectionary.

If this is true (anyone? anyone?), what a sad statement about our bishops conference.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Mary Kathryn, hermit said...

I, too, am fed up with idiotic gender inclusive painful distortions of the Biblical Text. God didn't know what He was writing? Poor God was so determined (and so was his Prophet) that he had to use "He" instead of ??? Nonsense. Distorted theology, made in the image and likeness of feminists, is what has to go. Real Biblical exegesis respects what God wrote, why He wrote it, what it says, why it was written that way and not according to their agenda. Mary Kathryn, hermit

10:55 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

Dim Bulb,

I believe the NAB (New American Bible) represents the translation used in the pre-2000 Lectionary.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

I did not mean to denigrate the mentally ill.

I was trying to create a parallel between castration and lobotomy, both of which involve the removal of body parts.

9:03 AM  

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