Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just a Few More Things

Courtesy of Happy Catholic, you can read this pdf which juxtaposes old and new versions of Eucharistic Prayer #1. This is probably enough of a sample to give us a pretty good idea of how the new translations are going to shape up. Personally I vote for them.

The question of how much theological difference is communicated by verbal subtleties (or not-so-subtleties) is the subject of this really fine essay by Anthony Esolen, who as you may know is a translator and has given a lot of thought to these things.

A commenter on the Open Book thread referenced earlier makes a point which has often occurred to me but which I'd more or less given up on as a lost cause: the degree to which shifting scripture translations have damaged our ability to read our own literature or even understand many aphorisms, because scriptural allusions aren't recognized. He or she wishes we could start with the classic translations and update where necessary. I could certainly get on board that train, but I don't suppose it's a possibility.

Speaking of Open Book, by the way, I noticed a comment from Amy that she had forgotten about approving comments for the the past day or so, so that probably explains the apparent non-approval mentioned by Dave G.

Finally, the point was raised in the comments that we are sometimes excessively suspicious and therefore excessively sensitive to little things which we take as confirmation of our suspicions. That's very true, and something we (I) certainly need to be on guard against. Still, it's a fact that small signs can be indicators of big things, and some of what seems like hyper-sensitivity is not totally irrational. There really are some serious and significant theological divisions within the Church, with some progressives espousing something much closer to liberal Anglicanism than to the Catholic faith. Charity and generosity are always in order, but not blindness.