Thursday, 26 September 2013

He's Ever So Good, You Know

I just came across the New Living Translation's version of Psalm 139, verses 13 to 14. First, here is the King James version:

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

You wouldn't think that needed any fixing up, would you? Perhaps just a gloss for the term 'reins', meaning 'kidneys', which were believed to be the centre of human emotions. It gives a visceral, bloody, fleshy feel to that first clause, abetted then by the use of 'fearfully' to invoke wonder and awe. It seems the translators of the NLT thought it might be rather strong meat, though, so they've made the two verses into a polite thank-you note. Guess which bit I added.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous. How well I know it. I'll definitely be using you again. Highly recommended!


CJB said...

I believe that the translation of the KJB, has contributed to the demise of the beauty of the language. When we were at school and heard the beautifully poetic rhythms of the Lord's Prayer and the perfectly structured rhetoric of the Gospels or the Book of Common Prayer (irregardless of the rather weird meanings of all of them) we kind of absorbed the language, the vocabulary and the phrasing and the mellifluousness and spoke better - and understood better.

Vilges Suola said...

Wonder to what extent exposure to the Book of Common Prayer might have helped the person who sent me this on You Tube:

'if your asking about sexual orientation i am obsessed with homosexuality because the gay science confuses peoples beliefs enough to turn people to atheism but it still CAN'T proove god false nor the bible while others without searching for the truth just claim god accepts homosexuality i blame homosexuality for the cause of atheism just as i blame evolution big bang stephan hawkings and ufo aliens its not somthing worth believing matter wat side you choose it will not make sence at all'


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