Monday, April 5, 2010

Relevant Rendering

As English only has one word for love; it also only has one word for evil. We lose so much context by the limitations. Lk 11:13 has always been a challenging verse to me and others. I'm chiefly thankful that I took a chunk of my life doing school so I could learn how to break down the original language.

This is what the verse says. This is Jesus teaching.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Many are uncomfortable with Jesus saying that we are "evil" but that is created by our tiny understanding of what he really meant.

"Evil" in this passage comes from the word "poneros" (πονηρός). Its meaning suggests "hardship," "frustration," "annoyance." So how could we rephrase this to convey what is meant today? Here is what I suggest. Translate "poneros" with "pain in @$$." Now substitute "can be a..."  before it so that it reads: "If you then, though you can be a pain in the @$$, know how to give good gifts to your children..."

Now - doesn't that make more sense? It does to me, and I think it's a fair translation.

You're welcome to challenge me, but try not to be poneros.

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