Friday, February 20, 2009

You surely will not die / 你們決不會死

Though hard, the more I studied Hebrew, the more I enjoyed it. Especially enjoy the insights and discussions with friends (classmates) from reading the bible from its original language, without any massage from interpretations etc.

Here to share with you my finding from two verses, they are both out of Genesis.

Gen 2:18: Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." (NASB)
A very familiar passage yet also with many controversies. Some feminists would suggest since God use "helper" to describe woman, whom God created after He said this, and that "helper" is a term commonly used to describe God being a helper of man throughout Psalms, women are actually superior to men!

Reading this passage in Hebrew is actually interesting. We noted that there is one word in Hebrew that's not being translated in any of the English version bible - kenegdo, which literally means "like/as his opposite". From our discussion, we believed it is best translated as "like his counterpart", which emphasizes the equalness of the two genders, no one is superior than the other or subordinate to the other. Of course, we also was wondering how come this never got translated in the bible ... I wonder if it were translated in the first place, would it not help diminished the many arguments between men and women to be the superior?

The second passage I came across lately is from Gen 3:4, which have couple translations, or I should say interpretations.
Interpretation #1 - You will not die
NASB - The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!"
新譯本 - 蛇 對 女 人 說 : 你 們 決 不 會 死
Interpretation #2 - You may not die
KJV - And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die
NIV - "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.
和合本 - 蛇 對 女 人 說 : 你 們 不 一 定 死 ;

In Interpretation #1, the serpent is giving a clear message to the woman that she will not die from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whereas in #2, the serpent is only giving a suggestion that may be she won't die from eating.

From the Hebrew text, there is a "no/not" word in the phrase, and then the rest of the phase is a strong emphasis expressing that one will die. Based on the Hebrew grammar, it should really mean that the serpent is confidently saying to the woman that they will not die. The whole discussion was brought up as many in class had heard sermons about the serpent tempted the woman by suggesting that they may not die from eating instead of the serpent telling the woman that they will not die.

The above also attested to something that I was looking into earlier regarding the origin of the 和合本 Bible. This translation was being translated by missionaries to China in the 18th C, and its translation of Gen3:4 coincides with that of the KJV and NIV somehow attesting to that the translation was highly influenced by the English translation verses the original language. Of course, we cannot draw conclusion from one evidence, yet it is interesting to note.

Both of the above are very good discussions, and they give me joy and encouragement to continue to learn the original languages of the Bible~~

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lecture in the Dark

As usual we had our class tonight at 6:30pm ... at around 7:20/25pm, the light suddenly went out. When we look out of the building, the neighborhood was out of light and so were street lights. Given that everyone was eager to continue on the discussion and to hear the insights from the professor on the topic, we all agreed to continue on despite there was only very limited lighting - from emergency lights out at the hallway, and some classmates' laptop screen.

Amazingly, we continued studying like that for another half an hour patiently and hoping that electricity will be back again. Unfortunately, there was still no electricity in school and the surrounding neighborhood that we had to cut our class short and ended at 8pm.

It was quite an experience having a lecture in almost complete darkness, and fun to continue pressing on my cell phone for some lighting to help me make more organized notes. What I found was really amazing is that despite the severe learning continue, everyone was still very eager to learn, and the professor was diligently teaching and giving all that he had. That is a beautiful picture - very comparable to one of my favorites "glow in the dark".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Extra caution needed on weekend/holiday driving!!

I was on the road very early today to drop my brother off at the airport. Weather was nice ... traffic was good as it wasn't too busy, was able to drive max speed. Yet while I was enjoying my ride on my way back home, within 10 min, I witnessed couple EXTREMELY dangerous "ACTS" on the highway. First, a car was trying to get into the highway from a ramp, obviously couple cars in front of me had slowed down for him/her to get out from the ramp .. yet the driver still hesitated and ended up staying in the soon-ended lane. As a result, it came to a full stop at the little "triangular" space between the right lane and the lane from the ramp; everyone drove by it slowly and cautiously. Witnessing that, I fear for him/her ... wondering how he/she is ever going to get into the highway safely? All the cars passing by is at a speed of close to 80km/h if not 100km/h or more, while it needs to accelerate from 0km/h.

Then shortly after, when I was about to take the ramp off to Yonge St, I saw a car with white light slowly BACKING out from the ramp!! It scared me BIG time!! It did safely reached the "triangular" area where the lanes split as I drove passed it .. but it was extremely scary. What if I didn't see it and didn't get to slow down/ stop in time??

Really not sure what to say ... other than ... Drive with extra caution on weekends and holidays, my friends!! Though traffic is less, the road might be more dangerous than driving on weekday rush hours!! *sigh*