Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Readings: Spin This

When I was in college, the translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey mandated for my Great Books course were those of Richmond Lattimore. I have for some time been meaning to check out his translation from the Greek of The New Testament. Having finally gotten around to borrowing this from the library, I thought I’d provide a sample of it here. Lattimore did not use any updated language in his translation. It doesn’t sound, or feel, much different than the Revised Standard Version. The major difference is that he doesn’t break up the narrative with the standard chapter and verse demarcations, so the story flows in a more natural way.

So, here is an excerpt from the Gospel of Mark that has some relevance to a discussion I’ve been having in the comments section of a previous post:

As he set forth on his way, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him: Good master, what must I do to inherit life everlasting? Jesus answered: Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and your mother. He said to him: Master, I have kept all these commandments from my youth. Jesus looked at him with affection and said: One thing you lack: go sell all you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have a treasury in heaven; and come and follow me. He was downcast at that saying and went sadly away; for he was one who had many possessions. Jesus looked around at this disciples and said: How hard it will be for those with money to enter the Kingdom of God. His disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus spoke forth again and said to them: My children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God; it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. They were very much astonished and asked him: Who then can be saved? Jesus looked at them and said: For men it is impossible, but not for God, since for God all things are possible.

So, go ahead: spin that.