I was so busy putting weed barrier down for my landscaping this morning that I forgot to post about my book being released today. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who’s excited about this, but it doesn’t matter. Not many people want to read about the real possibility that our English translation of the Bible might have some flaws in it. I can only speak to the New Testament since that’s where I dig into the Greek translations. I’m not much for Hebrew. And Hebrew is far more susceptible to the whims of the person doing the translating than Greek.
Translation is more subjective than you might think. The bottom line for this book is that patriarchal men of the sixteenth century set the standard for the English translation. The problem is that no one has challenged their interpretations. New versions of the Bible have changed some of the language to make it sound a little more contemporary. But few have strayed from the tenor of the men who gave us the King James Version.
I think the texts about divorce and remarriage prove that biblical scholars need to give themselves permission to disagree with the decisions of a group of Englishmen in the sixteenth century. Jewish men of the first century could discard their wives for little or no good reason. Women had few ways to support themselves on their own. To suggest that Jesus believed a man shouldn’t marry a woman who had been discarded by her jerk husband is absurd.
Clearly the sixteenth century translators were influenced and conditioned by a thousand years of the church’s use of the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible, created by Jerome in the fourth century). I have to leave it up to Latin scholars to determine if the improper interpretations started with Jerome or with KJ translators.
But as I change the Greek into English today, I don’t come up with the same words as modern versions that replicate the KJV. Jesus was not a male chauvinist. He defended many groups of people who were treated unjustly. In the texts about divorce and remarriage, he was standing up for the fair treatment of women. It’s no wonder Jesus had devoted women who supported him and his ministry.
I self-publish most of my books to keep the price down. Since most of you who read this blog are probably Lutheran, that’s important. The nice thing about this book is that it’s short and to the point. You’ll spend more for a cup of coffee than to learn how Jesus was not enforcing Jewish law, but denouncing it.
So, if you go to Amazon you can order the book today!