Sunday, December 04, 2005

fides precedit intellectum and fides quaerens intellectum
or The Suckage of the English language

Faith Precedes Understanding and Faith Seeking Understanding
In these phrases can be found the life long journey of the believer.

This afternoon I was feeling pretty blue, not blue in the face, not smurf blue, but just a bit down. I quickly determined the reason. I've been living in Texas for over 3 years now and I have yet to have my own Christmas decorations in my place of living. So I went out brought some ornaments and a small tree and a short string of lights. I spent the afternoon decorating the little tree, just a step above the Charlie Brown tree, but mine none the less. Yes, I got an artificial tree, because hey...I'm an engineer not a botanist.

While I was decorating the tree, I began pondering and contemplating "The Lord's Prayer." Particularly the different English translations used by various denominations. The problem in this case fairly straight forward, the English language sucks. There exist two prominent translations of "The Lord's Prayer". One uses the concept of tresspass and other uses the concept of debt. The problem is English has only one word for sin, Greek has several which can be translated as, or derivations of, tresspass and debt. I don't know Greek, but I did quick little bit of scholoarship on the internet when thinking on this.

So perhaps we should evaluate how we view "The Lord's Prayer." Perhaps a better understanding could be found in that our debt is the debt we owe to God for His love and how often we mess up (i.e. pretty much all the time). Our tresspasses being how much we continually violate God's boundaries. Sin in our culture is often looked upon with a two blindfolded eyes, everyone wants to see it in others (though easier to do) or in themselves (you mean we aren't perfect?).

So with an imperfect translation thanks to the nature of English, perhaps the translations could be revisited. Is it not the object of the Christian life to ask God "to forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us." Such a wonderful concept and example of the Christian life, marred only by the suckage of the English language.

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