Not Saussure

September 20, 2006

The Guardian sets the Pope straight

Filed under: Catholicism, press — notsaussure @ 10:30 am

Jonathan Freedland, ticking off the Pope:

The Pope seems unaware that, for hundreds of millions of people, religious affiliation is not a matter of intellectual adherence to a set of abstract principles, but a question of identity

You know, despite what Mr Freedland says, I rather think that idea may have crossed His Holiness’ mind. I could be wrong, though.

Freedland then tries his hand at Biblical translation:

“Note how his weekend apology to Muslims quoted St Paul to describe the crucifixion as a “scandal for the Jews”. There must be a hundred lines the Pope could have cited without evoking the two blood-soaked millennia during which Christians blamed the Jews for the death of Jesus.”

One poster comments:

You idiot Freedland – the Pope spoke in Italian, not English: “Ma noi predichiamo Cristo crocifisso, che per i Giudei scandalo, e per i Gentili, pazzia” (1 Cor 1:23).

The Italian ‘scandalo’, from NT Greek ‘skandalon’, means ‘obstacle’. That is why English Bible translators have translated the verse as follows: “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and folly to Gentiles” (RSV, but compare any other English version).


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