Friday, October 30, 2009

Spark? Fire? or just Polemics

For the record, I have enjoyed some of Bruggemann's writing though I certainly have not read much more than a few of his books. I do not know any Waltke. Should I read him? Why would I want to critique the thoughts of another person? Why would I read a theologian? John Anderson has written a few extracts of Waltke's critique of Bruggemann here.

There are additional posts on translation also - Making sense isn't enough, says Joel Hoffman (and I concur). Language as proposition and imposition by Kurk Gayle in three parts and more to come here, here, and here. (And I am not sure what to think at the moment.)

And this nice quote on Job relayed from, appropriately, Adam, here

The satan has uncovered an ideological contradiction in the religious discourse that, when brought to light, threatens to render meaningless the fundamental category of that discourse.
The accuser is a vital character in this tale, whether he has a pitchfork and horns or is simply a bunch of beni elohim like us throwing accusations and judgments around.

So given this tale and its fundamental nature as parable, does Hashem, Elohim, Eloah, or El Shaddai actually have a solution? What do you mean you are not interested! It is the foundation of creation that is at stake. The root of the matter is in Job himself as he notes.

Here we are 'making sense' of the Bible and translating 'with meaning' - and all the while we don't notice that the meaning of the discourse is undermined. Making sense - yes but not primarily. Making justice, healing the broken, being recreated, recognizing love. These 'matter'. Perhaps this is how the written word 'makes sense' in us.

How does G-d by any name restore the meaning of the discourse in the parable that is Job? Or is it something else that we need from God that we refuse to name or identify with in our broken state? I wonder if I am beginning to ask the right questions.


J. K. Gayle said...

Thanks again for the links, also the links to John's, Joel's, and Adam's posts. Bob, I'd be very interested, if/ when you find the time, to know what you think.

(I almost made part 4, Language as Love. I think love regards the other and is both changed by and changes the other when love is true. Love is the fourth reason Gorgias gives as a possible excuse for Helen's leaving. It's just very difficult to use "love" as a metaphor for language, if a little easier to talk about translation - between languages - as love. So to rhyme with proposition, imposition, and transposition -- instead of love -- a(p)position is the metaphor.)

(([[ I think I should post again sometime on Willis Barnstone's translation registers. In his Restored New Testament, he's come back to that and describes his translating as in the large, middle register. The three are: "interlinear or Benjamin's word-by-word; Horace's and Cicero's sense-by-sense middle ground; and Dryden's imitation." If I remember, I put some of that in this post some time ago. ]]))

Bob MacDonald said...

Kurk - your posts have been intriguing for me. Thanks for them all. Making us aware of what we do with language reveals to us how less than humble we are with our opinions. On the other side - as I learn from how I and others respond even to email, it is easy to be offended with other's usage of language unless by apposite transposition we overcome the tendency to propose and impose and find a little repose.

Bob MacDonald said...

JK - after your own story concerning imposition, I thought how much love may come to be known through its opposite. Language as opposition is also a possibility - for the extremes of love and bitterness occur with great regularity. So my prayer for all fellow bloggers - and especially for those who have been opposed whether from their youth or in the present. For there is One who suffered such great opposition on our behalf, who does not impose himself, but invited exposes in us his image and likeness, a superimposition greatly to be desired.

J. K. Gayle said...

Bob - Thank you! Your playing with words gets me thinking again about the importance, the serious need for, wordplay.
J.K. (Kurk)