Monday, April 07, 2008

7 miles?

Listening to the gospel reading (from Luke 24) yesterday gave me a vivid example of my own foolishness.

Let me just say that while I love modern life, I hate modern English Bible translations. My complaints are many, but can be summed up by bad language, bad translations, and bad manuscript families.

So I use the Authorized version, usually called the King James Version. I've used it exclusively since 1984, when I began realizing that I wasn't memorizing the Bible because I was using a different translation every few years. No more. But sometimes it comes back to bite me. : )

Luke 24 was read in the English Standard Version. And Luke 24.13 in that translation says that Cleopas and his companion went "seven miles." And when I heard it, I mentally blew my top. I just knew that the Greek text was properly translated "a Sabbath's day journey." And so I steamed (sinfully, no doubt) throughout the rest of the service, through the sermon, and through the Eucharist. And after the benediction I practically raced to my Bible, flipping open to Luke 24, ready to triumphantly find the correct phrase.

Only to find 24.13. Which gives the 2 travelers' distance as "threescore furlongs." In the Greek, it's 60 stadia. Or, about 7 miles.

Such realizations are helpful. They keep us humble. Or at least for a few minutes.

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