Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lost In Translation: This Week's Gospel

The story of the pharisee and the publican is one of those bits of the bible that is so familiar you could paraphrase it pretty easily on request. Indeed, I had a very specific line in my head in regards to it: "O Lord, I thank you that I am not like other men."

Thus, it was with mild surprise that I heard our deacon read out yesterday:
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --
greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ (Lk 18:11-12)
Yep, even the self-satisfied old pharisee, though he has no problem with accusing everyone else of being greedy, dishonest and adulterous, apparently doesn't want to be caught using non-inclusive language.

So what's the actual text? The Vatican provides the neo Vulgate (the official Bible of the Church) text as follows:
11 Pharisaeus stans haec apud se orabat: “Deus, gratias ago tibi, quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum, raptores, iniusti, adulteri, velut etiam hic publicanus;
12 ieiuno bis in sabbato, decimas do omnium, quae possideo”.
A fairly literal translation of this would be:
The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: "God, I give thanks to you that I am not like the rest of men: greedy, unjust, adulterous -- just like this publican. I fast twice in a week, and I give a tenth of all I possess."
I find myself kind of curious: Where does my specific memory of the Pharisee's prayer come from? I tried checking the KJB (as the most likely to hear in literature) and the Douay Rheims, but both have slightly different formulations (though of course they use the m-word). I've no idea, though I must admit I find "the rest of humanity" from the NAB rather lame.

2 comments:

Jay Anderson said...

"... I must admit I find "the rest of humanity" from the NAB rather lame."


I must admit I find the whole NAB rather lame.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

I'd guess a different version of the KJB-- I have the same memory, from many horribly mis-done "Christian" shows.

(Jesus was not boring and lame. Children are not brain-dead little sheep. Producers, please adjust accordingly.)