Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hebrew abuse!

One of the most endearing things about some postmodern theologians is the apparent claim that they know Hebrew better than those Alexandria (Egypt, not Virginia) rabbis who translated the Septuagint (Greek OT) from the original Hebrew/Aramaic. They were, of course, unqualified to translate from the language they used every day--and two millenia of other translators simply have no authority in this matter.

Example 1 is evangelical feminists who believe that God created Eve not as a "helper", but rather as a "warrior." The logic, apparently, is that when God is the "helper" ('ezer) of Israel in battle, He's clearly a warrior.

Now let's not get too wrapped up in the fact that 'ezrah is the verb meaning "to help," and that Hebrew already has words for soldier and warrior. It'll be more fun to take a look at the (IMO) hilarious contradictions required by this mis-translation.

1. Adam is given a companion whose job is to kill people and destroy things--in a world that knows no sin. Can't you imagine Adam asking "Lord, why is she going around destroying the garden You called good? Can You keep her from swinging that sharp piece of metal around me? Please?"

2. A woman is described as a warrior, while the prophets mock the (male) warriors of Asyrria and Babylon by calling them "women."

3. The reason for re-translating "helper" is because it is seen as a demeaning role. What then do we make of Christ's admonition that he who would be great must be the servant of all? Doesn't this motivation demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of service to Christ?

Finally, the most hilarious thing (IMO) is that a warrior is actually LOWER than a "helper." Think about it; except for the king, every warrior can be ordered at any time to throw his very life away in an attack on a fortified position. Not so with one's "helper" or "helpmeet."

And such is the most delicious irony of those who think they know Hebrew better than the Alexandria rabbis of the 1st century B.C. In mistranslating these words, they actually weaken their argument.


Anonymous said...

This is not uncommon among liberal scholars. "Progressives" often claim modern study must be superior to historical views simply through the passing of time. They appeal not to truth or rational thinking. To them those are dated as well. Modern scholastics revel in incoherence, irrational thought, contradiction and paradox. They are truly a sad bunch.

Bike Bubba said...

Truly sad, and by their contempt for sound exegesis and logic, they would seem to deny themselves the very opportunity for repentance. Thankfully the Counselor is bigger than that, but it's still scary!