Love Got Lost in Translation_Featured_, Love, Spirituality Thursday, October 25th, 2012
I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep when I saw a small blue light descend upon me. This light then splintered off into several others which began to take the shape of symbols which translated back and forth from English to some other form of writing I was unfamiliar with but even with it going back and forth I was unable to gather any message from the letters and words presented to me before it inevitably faded away as tends to happen with this type of thing. That does not mean this experience did not have a message I eventually found, as I did feel it was a message regarding the difficulties of translations. Inspired by this I undertook some degree of laymen’s research into the anthropological findings regarding translations of the Judeo Christian bible. There became just a few key concepts I became obsessed with when it came to the understanding of this bible.
Such concepts and thought brings into question the inerrancy and infallibility theory of the bible… that the bible is perfect. These are not the same concepts. Saying the bible is infallible is stronger… it means that it has no error. Some believe this, a larger portion believes in inerrancy… in that any error is a result of translation error. For example, the timeline of days the world was created in is not necessarily days but could be a larger period of time… days being mistranslated. I find it interesting that this distinction has been made.
The first… the name of God can completely change the way you read the bible. YHVH/YHWH, which we come to say Jehova or Yaweh, has a translation of I AM THAT I AM… of Existence… of being without regard to time. Just about anywhere you see the word Lord in the bible you can substitute this meaning in place and you will see that it drastically changes the meaning (in particular regarding the first 3 commandments). In addition to that, holy is interpreted as “separate”, the word for Worship means the same thing as Work.
Redefining the first commandment…. “I am EXISTENCE thy God; you shall have no other Gods before me. You shall not make yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not work for them or serve them; For I, Existence your god, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate Existence but showing loving kindness to thousands who Love me and keep My commandments.”
The Second… “You shall not take the name of Existence Your God in vain, for Existence will not leave him unpunished who takes his name in vain.”
The Third… “Remember the Sabbath Day (day of Rest) to keep it Separate. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest of the existence; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in Six days the Existence made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day. Therefore Existence blessed the day of rest and made it separate.”
There is a decent amount of difference between the traditional translation of these commandments and how they look after you morph them. Considering these words had dual meanings, it makes you wonder how much had been wrong. Further examination shows that the story of the Ten Commandments was passed on verbally before it had been written down. How much had language changed before it was written? Even a story carefully handed down could be slightly changed due to language change.
The bible being infallible… this is an interesting concept. It claims that in spite of free will and the very obvious fallibility of the men that wrote it… that it has no flaws. This is also in spite of clearly contradictory passages in the bible… it is then argued that one passage corrects the other and that the bible as a whole is infallible even though one passage may need to be clarified later. It‘s an entirely Christian concept and was brought to light by doctrine. Doctrine was invented not by Jesus but by an apostle… so named by himself as he never knew Jesus.
The Point… the things lost in translation get carried on as time goes on. Mistakes… entirely human mistakes… get passed down while the truth gets lost in translation AND time. To suggest correcting what could be a mistake is to state heresy… another part of doctrine.
Doctrine… the idea of doctrine… was started by Paul the Apostle. Doctrine is based on history and it assumes that those in the past got things right. One thing I don’t think they got right was their opinion on Paul the Apostle… the person who spread Doctrine. In many ways Paul fit the definition of a psychopath and that can be well illustrated in the following link.
“The body of Christ, the body of believers, God incarnate, the pre-existence of Jesus, that Jesus is human yet divine, that his spilled blood is the means of our salvation, all of this is from Paul. To admit to this fraud at such a late date would be disastrous. So in order to defend its indefensible position, the ministry, the priesthood, does not teach those portions of Paul’s letters that we have critiqued. Their inept response is that if Paul wrote a letter addressed as an apostle, then he was an apostle.
Has any Christian ever heard a sermon preached on any of the subjects we have mentioned herein? Has any Christian ever heard a position taken by the clergy which would openly force a decision between, Jesus and Paul? Paul and the Apostles? Paul or God?
The results of Paul’s activities on this earth have caused the disappearance of the Jerusalem Church and the religion practiced by Jesus’ chosen Apostles. It has led to a religion based on false precepts and a faulty doctrine. It is a house built on sand.
It seemed strange to this student that even the gospels could be corrupted by Paul’s touch, as indeed they have. But to see two thousand years of the generations of mankind who have suffered due to the results of his work, is devastating. “
The work also describes him as vindictive, deceitful, domineering, covetous and jealous. It proposes a very strong case indicating that Paul and the disciple were enemies and also shows Paul as vain. We also know that he previously persecuted the early Christians and ended up changing his name. He often directly contradicted Jesus and did not teach based on his works. Many hateful verses came from Paul, not surprising as he was an admitted murderer who never showed remorse.
If it is true that Paul was indeed a psychopath, as killing without remorse indicates, it would explain how so much of Jesus’ work got lost in translation. In particular, Jesus’ views on love were lost. In fact if you were to break down the Christian bible, under the assumption of infallibility, you could probably point to two lines which ended up in all four gospels that could override any other verse in the bible. That is to Love your Lord (Existence) God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind… and You shall Love your neighbor as yourself.
Such concepts are unfathomable to a psychopath. Psychopaths lack the capacity for love. They usually worship no God as they view themselves as God (although they can certainly put on a great show as many a cult leader has been psychopathic). They view no brothers as other humans are seen as mere objects… they cannot relate to brethren and they certainly cannot love them. They lack empathy, understanding others feelings but in no way feeling or relating to this. Their existence is usually filled with contempt for others and love only for themselves.
Somehow this concept of Love got lost amongst religious doctrine. In several parts of the bible the feeling God has towards humans is described as Love. It should also be noted that the ancient Hebrew language had several words for love; 11 words for love to be exact. What does this say about our developed society that this number has decreased to but 1 word? In this case… what did Jesus then mean when he said we should Love? Per John Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible…
“It may not be unnecessary to inquire into the literal meaning of the word love. Αγαπη, from αγαπαω, I love, is supposed to be compounded either of αγαν and ποιειν, to act vehemently or intensely; or, from αγειν κατα παν, because love is always active, and will act in every possible way; for he who loves is, with all his affection and desire, carried forward to the beloved object, in order to possess and enjoy it. Some derive it from αγαν and παυεσθαι, to be completely at rest, or, to be intensely satisfied; because he who loves is supremely contented with, and rests completely satisfied in, that which he loves. Others, from αγαν and παω, because a person eagerly embraces, and vigorously holds fast, that which is the object of his love. Lastly, others suppose it to be compounded of αγαω, I admire, and παυομαι, I rest, because that which a man loves intensely he rests in, with fixed admiration and contemplation. So that genuine love changes not, but always abides steadily attached to that which is loved.”
Wow… what an interpretation. There seems to be an underlying theme of active work combined with holding something dear. The part regarding the heart means essentially all of your focus and work. To say your soul means your life. To say your mind means your intellect… or to give your thoughts to him. In other words… you should be immersed in… uhm… existence? The interpretation of this one line could probably be the subject for an entirely different article. I leave you with the information to interpret as you see fit.
The second statement… to love your neighbor as yourself has much simpler interpretation. It refers to brotherly love. Raham… to have compassion. Compassion is often interpreted as empathy… to feel as someone else feels. Were we commanded to have empathy?
This is an interesting question as this second commandment of Jesus is a variation of the golden rule. The golden rule is seen 18 times in different religions and ancient philosophies worldwide and is sometimes known as the rule of reciprocity. However, if Brotherly love was the intention of Jesus then it would have a different meaning. Of course if one has true empathy then the rule of reciprocity would follow in kind… but the rule of reciprocity does not necessarily mean that you need to actually feel as others feel. It instead implies a lesser meaning of just understanding. However, Christianity (and this same version of Love is mentioned in the older Jewish Torah) and other religions do also have this element of empathy.
If you have read the other things I’ve written you’ll know that I often leave you with more questions than answers. I don’t write to persuade you nor do I have fore-drawn conclusions. I write to encourage the spread of a few key concepts that I hope will get you to think more and spread a discussion as often the discussion on a mass scale will reach a conclusion better than I, as just one person, ever could. The discussion is what is valuable… not the conclusion. I want to leave you with this…
Translation is something we struggle with every day. We don’t understand the connotations behind a statement and take it the wrong way… it’s that simple… as losing something in translation is simply a miscommunication. It seems that for a long time some of the teachings of Jesus may have had a lot lost in translation. We still struggle to get it right. Because they were lost in translation some have discarded these teachings (in particular because of possibly flawed doctrine)… others cling to the wrong aspect of these teachings. I do know that when someone teaches about love and compassion, as after all compassion implies proper translation, than this is a teaching that is worthwhile and advances the human race.