Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Language Related (Non-Tolkien)

One on Vulgar Bible translations, one on Swedish.

First on Bibles in the Vernacular and on Laymen Reading:

The Eastern Orthodox Church Does NOT Want You to Read the Bible
Anthony Rogers | 1 Febr. 2023

1:19 You are lying.

The one country where RC were against Bible translations and would have burned Tyndale simply for being a translator, is England, and comes from the policies involved in the fight against Lollards.

In England, it was illegal to own a Bible in English, at least that's how the history is commonly presented, so, if that's not true, there has been some very major history faking.

In German, overall, including both High and Low, and the latter subdivides into Dutch and North German, Luther's translation was number 19.

Roman Catholic approved vulgar Bibles were 14 in High German and 4 in Low German, before Luther.

Now, the overall question (not the one literally read out) can actually be answered three ways:
  • no laymen should read the Bible
  • some laymen should read the Bible
  • all laymen should read the Bible.

What both the Council of Trent and the quote from the Confession of Dositheos on the Council of Jerusalem do is deny option 3.

Now the Protestants affirmed option 3.

And they didn't mean that a farm hand should save money and buy a cheap Bible from the Gideons, they meant he should hear the Bible, when the farmer, the landlord, read it out to all of his household. That's how expensive Bibles were. For the first 1500 centuries of the Church, and then some two or three centuries more, those who could afford Bibles were:
  • Churches and Monasteries and Universities and clergy of these
  • some rich laymen.

Luther was basically saying to farm hands "if you don't have a Bible reading every evening from the farmer, if you have to wait till Sunday, in Church, your employer is defrauding you, and you need to get a better one" ...

Catholics and Orthodox very sensibly denied this.
But basically only English Catholics actually forbade laymen to have the Bible in vulgar language.

In Wilvoorde, Tyndale was not burned for translating the Bible to a language no one in Belgium would have mastered back then (times have changed), he was burned for how he interpreted Romans 3.

2:02 "Rome did not want everybody to read the Bible for themselves."

Technically correct. Key word "everybody" ... but you make it sound as if that was misspeaking for "anybody" ....

We Roman Catholics do not ban all laymen from reading the Bible, but we also do not require us to all of us read the Bible.

By the way, the proper use of the Bible is mainly in Church.

2:08 Please note, it says "all" ... and obviously the answer is no.

That doesn't mean all are banned either.

3:02 How? You simply lead a Christian life under your father confessor, and he decides whether you should be encouraged to read the Bible for yourself or not. HE, on HIS part is reading the Scriptures daily, he's actually obliged under mortal sin to do so, and he is also capable of a) transmitting to you what you need to know for your Christian life and b) decide whether you should be reading or you are more likely to misuse them.

It's a bit as if a gun licence could only be issued by the people under whom you take a drill in the well ordered militia. After they've seen how you carry out orders, wield the bayonnette you borrowed and things like that, and also after they make sure you can hit the target decently well. If you can miss a barn on two feet's distance, that doesn't mean you should have no rights, but perhaps wielding a gun isn't one of them.

3:09 No, not apart from Scripture. Apart from your own access (not yet extant). Through the indirect access by your father confessor.

3:25 Nope, the access by the spiritual father is NOT outside the Spirit's words.

You recall the proof text for utility of all Scripture? It's not a sufficiency of Scripture without the Church, but it definitely is utility of all of it.

II Tim 3:14—17
But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

First of all, we know that Timothy had been studying the OT since infancy. He had not taken it on himself to snatch a Bible, without personal advice, or to grab one when Gideons pretend all should have one.

Second "man of God" is a technical term. It doesn't mean each and every believer, it means someone set apart for the things of God.

Third, this is doubly and trebly clear from the fact that the uses involve reproving and correcting and instructing. We are not all called to this. A farm hand usually doesn't go around correcting others on the farm. And its safer for him if the farmer who does, gets his own corrections from a father confessor with his reading of Scriptures, than if he makes his own reading, which can be twisted by greed.

By the way, in case anyone wonders what I, a layman, am doing speaking of Scriptures, both my mother prior to my conversion to Catholicism and my first and second father confessor after I converted, have encouraged me to read Scriptures, I haven't just grabbed a Bible on the advice of Gideons.

Fourth, obviously the sentence parts "those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them;" and "by the faith which is in Christ Jesus" refer to extra-Scriptural instruction.

3:39 Yeah. We Catholics agree.

I do so know, namely:

Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, It decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall,—in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, —wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,—whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,—hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published.

  • I must not be a petulant spirit
  • my own skills need suppletion from outside
  • I must not wrest or twist or distort Scripture
  • I must most definitely not presume to interpret it contrary to
    • a) what the Church has held and holds
    • b) what the Church Fathers agree on.

So, I do in this sense know how the Scriptures should be searched and read and thought.

Credits to Trent Session IV, Second Decree.

And while I meant "taught", obviously "thought" is also correct.

3:50 He doesn't say no one can get them from the Spirit's word. He says to begin with, in a normal Orthodox life, you shouldn't.

Or rather, the instructions of a father confessor are part of the Spirit's word to you.

4:10 But note. He never says the Bible should not be read literally. He says it should not be only read literally.

For instance, some instructions by Jesus use hyperbole, and some laws of the old testament no longer apply literally in the New Testament era.

The stories are literally, factually true, but have also a meaning beyond, like Eve and the Ark of the Covenant both point to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

4:19 Reading the Scriptures in certain ways is a source of mischief.

Scriptures agreeing would at least start with:

II Peter 3:14 — 16
Wherefore, dearly beloved, waiting for these things, be diligent that you may be found before him unspotted and blameless in peace. And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

I think you could also add some layer about how Samaritan priests were wrong to imagine the Torah was enough, and how this is pointed out in the description. Not looking it up for now.

4:42 Yeah, some have come up with doctrines like applying a hyperbole about hands and eyes to a limb which is even more usually involved in temptation.

Some have pretended turning the other cheek means soldiers can't be Christians unless they give up soldiering.

Some have pretended that the duty to give alms and the recommendation to sell ones belongings and give to the Church or to the poor means, a Communist Revolution is a duty for Christians.

Indeed, some have very clearly come up with doctrines meddlesome for Orthodoxy.

Including those who read an OT ban on images in the context of the ban on idolatry in the ten words, as if it made Iconodules idolaters. Iconodules have then been martyred.

4:52 No, not without their context.

The same priest who reads selected pericopes in Mass, is himself obliged to lectio continua. He has already read (unless he's very recently in priesthood) the passage he reads several times after the previous and before the next passage as the text continues in the book or between the Bible books.

Why are you presuming that the clergy will be dishonest? Would you be that?

5:03 The liturgies with some remakes (usually shortenings, down to 1 h or 45 min, note, I said or, not and) go back to the Apostles, and the ones doing the remakes have Apostolic tradition to go by on what they can or can't remake.

5:40 Yeah, indeed.

The Covenanters had a Reformation creed, and they read Joshua very literally, and unlike the genocide which was God's death penalty by men, the Covenanters committed genocides that absolutely weren't God's.

Lutherans in Sweden put disobedient sons to the scaffold.

Whatever Jean Calas killed his son for, whether the conversion or the unpaid money debt, he thought that Marc-Antoine Calas was disobedient. And that death penalty was his due. That's at least how the Capitoul of Toulouse saw the evidence in 1762. When Voltaire arranged for a retrial (after it was too late), the exoneration by the new Capitoul of Toulouse only involved "vice de procedure" ... vitiated court procedure ... not a reversal of the actual charges. Capitoul means chief justice or mayor of Toulouse.

All this based on too literal a reading of Joshua or of Deut. 21:21.

Credits to Marion Sigaut for the Calas case. [And to wiki, I had to recall some detail]

6:10 The part up to "are therefore authentical" is basically agreed, unless by OT in Hebrew it refers to the Masoretic. It's a text from 1000 AD. By Jews who rejected Christ.

6:15 What the Church can appeal to in controversies is a totally different question, that part is not very problematic.

Obviously, I definitely do defend using the Septuagint.

6:36 "and are commanded in the fear of God to read and search them"

May very definitely be part of the COLLECTIVE duties of the Church. Is however NOT part of the INDIVIDUAL duties of each Christian.

Especially not of laymen, and very most especially not by laymen who have big economic, military or judicial power.

Already "into every vulgar language" is unrealistic.

It is not a command to translate the Bible to languages that don't have words for shepherd, and if one came across an African language where you could translate soul as two different things, like Old Egyptian ba and ka, you'd need to wait with translating until things are a bit sorted out.

But note, even the quoted part of Westminster doesn't state each Christian is individually obliged to Bible reading.

The other video is basically about German, but a comment of mine makes a comparison with Swedish:

ONE language, FIVE dialects! German vs. Austrian vs. Swiss | Feli from Germany Feli from Germany | 31 Dec. 2023

Hans Georg Lundahl
31:53 To compare with Swedish. 1) When Leo ends it with "wa" it's literally how Swedes pronounce "hvad" in informal speech as question tags. The a is somewhat darker or longer when you deal with the regular question word "what" ... 2) Niklas says "schnacken" and Swedes say "snacka" (and Lithuanians say "Čia broliai artojai lietuviškai šneka" — "where ... brothers speak Lithuanian", forgot what "artojai" means).

Ivan Molero
"Va" is how Swedes pronounce "vad" in informal speech. "Hvad" is in Danish and Norwegian and in old Swedish before 1906.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Thanks for the date 1906 @ivanmolero7829. It's correct.

Before 1906 does not constitute "old Swedish" — the phrase can be translated "gammalsvenska" and means nothing or "fornsvenska" and means before 1500 or 1300.

Obviously the pronunciation "va" existed before 1906. Before 1700, it was "hvadh" and the final dh actually more typically fell away, like the gh in "vigtigh" though the respelling in 1700 was done so that th, dh and gh all simply lost the h, except when some pronouns beginning in th changed to d rather than t. 1700 is the limit between older modern Swedish (äldre nysvenska) and younger modern Swedish (yngre nysvenska). Informal speech was not invented as a byproduct of 1906.

I happen to make one of my hobbies to ignore 1906. It was a bad year for our language.

It's basically the equivalent of Germans being told to replace ß by ss, or Americans obliging schools to teach only Webster's spelling, which in itself was akin (in idea) to the ideologue Fridtjuv Bergh who was active that doleful year.

In case you wonder, ignoring 1906 is not the equivalent of going back to Yngre Fornsvenska or Medelsvenska (Younger Old Swedish / Middle Swedish) between 1300 and 1500.

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