-- What is Hidden in Translation to English
Mat 27:46 My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?
Christ's last prayer was Psalm 22. He could only say that first line aloud (which fits the words perfectly). This Psalm was the best summary for his life. In Hebrew, like most ancient languages, it is very simple, very spare. The older the language, the more basic it is. Ancient Hebrew is simpler than the ancient Greek. This new translation tries to capture that simplicity.
Taking a break from our normal posts, a reader asks:
Why do we ask Gods forgiveness of our thoughts? If we have thoughts of evil but do not act on them,have we sinned? Because Christ rejected the tempations from the devil,does that in its self mean that Christ had evil thoughts, and if he did were the thoughts sinfull, if he did not act on them? In other words how did Christ know that the things that the devil tried to tempt him with were sins?
At the end of some chapters, we can often see how Christ's statements ties together into a larger pattern. Chapter 21 is particularly difficult of overviews because it contains the largest range of topics for Christ words so far in the Gospels. His statements in this chapter touch on:
- Getting an ass on which to ride into Jerusalem
- Chasing money lenders out of the temple
- That babies cries are the perfect form of prayer
- Faith can move mountains
- Refusing to address where his authority (and John's) comes from
Matthew 13:37-43: The Parable of the Good and Bad Sowers.
Another interesting theme of the chapter: in an earlier post about Jonah, I mentioned the Greek concept of people being motivated by the belly (physical desires), heart (feeling for others), and mind (mental desires, mostly money). In the beginning of this chapter, Christ adds another component to this triun of motivation: religion. The Greeks operated from the belly, heart, and mind, but the Jews were also driven by religion.
I spent a long time last night thinking about the lesson arc of this chapter and all its themes. For me, there is something almost miraculous how much is hidden in Christ’s words so I never feel like I have all their meanings. In the next chapter, Christ tells his apostles that everything he says is a symbol for something deeper. This chapter is a perfect example of symbols within symbols connected with symbols.
What would it have been like to hear Jesus speak? To view a pdf of an audio script where the characters describe the Sermon on the Mount, click here. For the stage play version, click here.