October 9, 2016
From the Hewer of Wood
More on Translation Integrity
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God [Theé], my God [Theé], why have you forsaken me?" (Matt 27:46)
At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God [Ó Theos], my God [ó Theos], why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34)
A Psalm of David (Ps 22:1):
My God [El], my God [El], why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
the last line is the spiritual portion of the couplet
Picking up where the previous Teaching left off and continuing to ignore for a little longer the head citations of this piece and the previous piece, permit me to return to Paul:
Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. (1 Cor 11:4–15)
Her hair is given to her for a covering—a Mennonite website put forth the simple challenge: every place the passage says <cover> put in <hair> and see if Paul is really talking about a woman’s longish hair being her covering. And you will find what others have found, Paul is talking about the tradition of a woman covering her hair with another “covering,” a second covering that is in addition to her longish hair which is her first, or natural covering.
But what Paul indirectly addresses is the circumcision covenant made with Abraham when he was 99 years old; for Paul writes elsewhere, “If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal 3:29). And if you are of Abraham’s promised offspring, Isaac, then you are also of Sarah. And in his tour-de-force allegory, Paul writes, “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. … So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman” (Gal 4:28, 31).
If born of God Christians are “like Isaac,” then Christ Jesus is like Abraham and the Body of Christ collectively is like Sarah; for Christ Jesus was not “made” from the Body of Christ, but the Body of Christ was/is made from the indwelling of Christ in individual disciples … Christ Jesus was not created for the Body of Christ, which is why the Body has a symbol of authority covering it: grace, the covering of Christ Jesus’ righteousness.
Christ consists of its “uncovered Head,” Christ Jesus, and the “covered Body,” the Body of Christ. The relationship between the glorified Jesus and born of God disciples is represented by the marriage between Abraham and his half-sister, Sarah, after aspiration is added to both of their names, this aspiration representing the addition of the spirit of God [pneuma Theou], a second breath of life, to the man Jesus when the spirit descended and entered into Him (Mark 1:10), and to Jesus’ half-brothers (because His mother was of Eve as are the mothers of all human persons), those disciples foreknown and predestined by God the Father to be glorified as fruit borne out of season.
I don’t know whether Paul actually gives enough information for modern Christians to understand why Christian men are NOT to cover their heads and why Christian women are to cover theirs; for Paul relies upon tradition as support for Christian women continuing to do what was then being done by most all modest women; i.e., covering their hair with an additional covering. So because of the abandonment of this tradition and because of the general ignorance of why Paul introduced the subject just before addressing how the holy ones at Corinth were keeping the Passover—Paul’s juxtaposition of headcoverings with the Passover has been virtually ignored even within Sabbatarian Christendom—a differing aspect of translation integrity emerges.
Again, Paul wrote, “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman” (1 Cor 11:8–12)—and let us take these words and this concept to the Passover sacraments:
But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. (1 Cor 11:17–34 emphasis added)
Long citation, but I wanted to keep its parts in their context, that of covering the Body of Christ—about the broken unleavened bread, Paul reports Jesus saying, This is my body which is for you … if the broken unleavened bread represents the body/Body of Christ, then the first thing that should be realized is that on the First Unleavened (from Matt 26:17), leavening [technically, bread yeast] represents Egypt, sin, and Sin, the demonic King of the South, and the Body of Christ is to be without sin, without unbelief of God (from Rom 14:23), without transgression of the Law (from 1 John 3:4). Disciples should also realize that they are part of one whole sheet of unleavened bread; for the bread Jesus broke wasn’t baked in fragments but as one piece—and now we return to the first emphasized lines of the long citation: For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized (1 Cor 11:18–19).
What would divisions in the Body of Christ do to a whole sheet of unleavened bread as baked? Really nothing until stress is placed on the thin sheet of bread. Then the sheet would break along the stress lines. One sheet of bread would become many divisions, many fragments, a concept that needs to be kept in mind when remembering Jesus feeding the five thousand and the four thousand. So when Paul says that there must be factions in the Body of Christ so that genuine disciples are recognized, Paul also implies that it is impossible to keep out those disciples who are not genuine.
Concerning the blessed cup, Paul uses a little different wording than does the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel, but the undergirding concept is similar: the Cup represents the blood of Christ by which Christ Jesus covers the unintentional transgressions of disciples. For if a disciple honestly judges him or herself, the disciple will eliminate intentional transgressions of the Law, leaving the blood of Christ to only cover unintentional transgressions, what were covered on Yom Kipporim by the sacrifice of the goat on the altar.
If it is impossible for other disciples to eliminate those who are not genuine, then Jesus will do this elimination through sickness and death of those who refuse to discern the Body of Christ—and here is where those disciples who are genuine have to be careful. How can you, being outside of another person, discern whether another disciple is genuine? You can observe the fruits of the disciple, but that is still not a reliable indicator of whether another disciple is genuine; for an infant son of God will not produce the fruits of a more mature son of God, with both being sons of God.
Over the years I have observed that little boys want to help their mothers when they are five years old and are really of no help. However, by the time the boy is twelve and could actually be of assistance to his mother, he’s not interested in helping; he wants to do “boy” things like scattering his father’s tools all over the backyard. If he still wants to help his mother, he never learns the things he needs to know to function in the adult male world. And so it is with infant sons of God: they will want to help Christ proclaim the good news that all who endure to the end shall be saved, but they are really of no help to Christ. Usually, they are a hindrance, offending other potential sons of God, dispersing wrong information, and in general someone who causes divisions within the Body of Christ. Yet, they are genuinely born of spirit, but too young to keep their mouths shut and only open their ears.
Spiritual growth, spiritual maturation is analogous to human maturation, but is not time linked as is physical maturation: a genuinely born of spirit son of God can be fifty years in the faith and still be a spiritual infant although that is not how this son of God will perceive himself. This son of God will inevitably believe that he is a mature Christian, and as such he will attempt to intervene in situations where a genuinely mature Christian would not. He will cause divisions in the Body of Christ because of his immaturity, which will only show in the things he does (male gender used because regardless of the gender of the fleshly body, the inner self born of spirit is a “son” of God). And it would ne nice if more mature sons of God did not have to humor spiritual infants, but it is the obligation of the mature to bear the immaturity of spiritual infants; for Christ Jesus bears the weakness and immaturity of the entirety of His Body.
How does this relate to headcoverings? If a wife of a son of God is also a son of God but a spiritual infant, it is unlikely that she will want to appear outwardly different from her neighbors and acquaintances. Unless she is an Anabaptist, it is unlikely that she has made a practice of covering her longish hair with a fabric covering (as opposed to a wig). It is more likely that she hasn’t, and initially, she won’t. And this is where the husband born of spirit has to employ Christ-like patience: he has to wait for his wife to come to the understanding that as Christ’s blood covers her sins, for the sake of angels, she needs to show that she is under the authority of both Christ and her husband. But her husband can only produce in her rebellion against God if he tries to “force” her to wear a headcovering. He then displays his spiritual immaturity. And the divisions in the Body of Christ grow farther and farther apart until it would seem that none are genuine.
Now, returning to Sarai/Sarah being both Abraham’s wife and his half sister: because of the typology that was already established and in play with Abraham, the Logos [ó Logos] entering His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary, a human woman, cemented a complicated relationship that translators have never understood and therefore have never been able to pull from the texts even when this relationship is expressed in words …
In Intro to Lit classes, I have used the first book of Don Quixote as one of the assigned texts. I don’t read Spanish; so I have only read Don Quixote in English translations, which means that I have missed half of the story … early 17th-Century Spanish was short on words (fewer words were in use than most high school students mumble), so most every word had to do double and triple duty. And I understand that the greatness of Cervantes was his ability to sustain two intriguing narratives with one set of words [signifiers], making meaningful translation impossible for translators can only translate one narrative into English which has available a thousand times more words than were available to Cervantes in Spanish. And this is also the problem with biblical Scripture; for John’s Jesus tells His disciples,
I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (John 16:25–27 emphasis added)
Human words represent the things of this world—with very few exceptions—and not the things of God. But when Paul wrote, “What can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:19–20), Paul laid the foundation for the entirety of this world serving as a metaphor for the things of God … as introduced in the concept of chirality, not just what Jesus said but also what He did functions as metaphorical speech, as Jesus speaking in figures of speech. So as English translators of Don Quixote have to pick the story the translator wants to covey to an English speaking audience—some of the poorer translations of Don Quixote fail because the translator waffles between the narratives that are the most catholic of all Catholic literature—English translators of Scripture have to pick their way through the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings they tend not to understand, and don’t understand well enough to spot redactions, spurious additions, and textual fraud. I can’t place any blame on them; for when I was called to reread prophecy in January 2002, I used Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts as reliable texts. I didn’t know that 1 Corinthians 14:34–35, first appeared as a scribbled 4th-Century marginal note (a sermon note) that somehow got inserted into the body of the epistle by later scribes. I should have known; for I was already thirty years in the faith. But for most of those thirty years I had been in cold storage in rural Alaska and therefore unable to participate in the politics of Sabbatarian Christian ministry. And for most of those thirty years, no spiritual growth had been permitted within the organizational structure of the former Worldwide Church of God (if Herbert Armstrong didn’t say it, it wasn’t true).
Armstrong prided himself on not being a scholar, and that attitude continues on in the slivers that remain of his once dynamic ministry. Thus, within the community of slivers, I am considered far out there, far from what Armstrong taught, and I know this is true, thankfully. For disciples are to grow in grace and knowledge—and a person cannot grow in forgiveness of sin, if that were a valid definition of grace but it isn’t. Grace is a euphemism for the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness; so as a person grows spiritually, the person needs a larger garment when putting on Christ (Gal 3:27). The person has grown in grace, with an accompanying growth in knowledge.
Again, the marital relationship between Abraham and Sarah, with Sarah being of the blood of Abraham, typifies (forms the chiral image of) the relationship between Christ Jesus and the Body of Christ that is of the same spirit as Christ Jesus: the spirit of God in the spirit of Christ. So while the fact that Sarah was Abraham’s sister (half-sister) as well as his wife complicates what can be said about Sarah, who as Sarai also had aspiration [the <ah> radical] added to her name, but at the end of her name as opposed to being added in the middle of Abram’s name: Abram going to Abraham. (The significance of where the addition of aspiration occurs is a subject for a future Teaching.)
Greater Christendom has “read” what Paul said about headcoverings, and not understanding why Paul wrote what he did, Christian women within greater Christendom have abandoned the Near and Middle Eastern tradition of covering their hair with a fabric covering. Hence, plain speech will have to prevail: circumcision removes the natural skin covering of a man’s head. Female circumcision isn’t “circumcision” but female mutilation; for females have no head other than atop their shoulders. Males also have a head atop their shoulders. And when the circumcision of importance isn’t circumcision of the flesh but of the heart, then a woman can be circumcised in a similar manner as a man, with both the inner self of a woman and the inner self of a man being a son of God.
Both a man and a woman naturally grow hair on their heads that sit atop their shoulders; so when the “head” of importance moves from being the head of man that is circumcised to being the head that sits atop shoulders, circumcision doesn’t go away but moves to being of the heart, with this circumcision of the male reflected by the man having short hair. The woman cannot be circumcised; so her uncut [longish] hair symbolically represents that in her fleshly body she cannot be circumcised. And this is as far as most Christian women ever get in understanding Paul.
The Christian woman in whom dwells a son of God that is neither male nor female but without gender, either will have a husband or will not have a husband. If she has no husband, she is under no other authority except that of Christ Jesus, her Head. And her longish hair serves as her covering indicating that this son of God is submissive to Christ Jesus; is covered by the righteousness of Christ; is covered by grace. This woman is as Eve was in the Garden, when Eve was covered by the first Adam’s belief of God.
If the married Christian woman is truly born of spirit, she will be covered by grace, by the righteousness of her Head, Christ Jesus. But she will also be covered by her husband’s belief of God as Eve was covered by the first Adam’s belief of God. This means that she has two coverings of “belief,” the first covering being that of Christ’s belief, the second covering being that of her husband’s belief. Therefore, for the sake of angels—showing that she understands spiritual matters, and in particular headcoverings—the married Christian woman will cover her longish hair with a second covering that by rights, she should make with her hands, thereby investing something of herself in this second covering.
But what is seen in Christian churches across America is a modern abomination, married Christian women with mannish haircuts and no other headcovering. Surely they attempt to appear before God in some manner of good faith; surely they don’t deliberately mock God. Yet how they read Paul’s epistle and mentally arrive at their spiritual coordinates is unexplainable; for Anabaptist woman have not neglected to cover their hair with caps and bonnets. Eastern European women of faith have, at least until recently, covered their hair with scarves.
Everything I have just written is in Paul’s epistle in a more condensed form, but modern English translations don’t seem to place the emphasis Paul placed in this tradition—modern Christendom, not understanding the tradition, minimizes traditional female headcoverings whereas Paul used the tradition to introduce a new teaching that overturns traditional understanding of circumcision.
In the citations of Psalm 22:1 used as the headpiece for this Teaching, the difference between Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s Gospel can be visually seen in how Jesus, speaking Aramaic, translated David’s use of <El> [God, singular] … Mark’s Gospel translates <El> as the Greek <ó Theos>; John Mark translates meaning [signified], not linguistic icon [signifier] whereas the author of Matthew’s Gospel translates the Aramaic icon to the Greek icon, with neither Jesus in speaking Aramaic or Matthew’s or Mark’s Gospels using the Tetragrammaton YHWH for the singular <El>.
What seems to be reasonably conclusive is that Mark’s Gospel—because of its grammar and style—was written before Matthew’s Gospel: when a person copies from a source text, the person doesn’t seek to produce a more poorly crafted text than the source. And too much of Mark’s Gospel has been copied virtually word for word into Matthew’s Gospel for the two Gospels to have been independently produced.
Matthew’s Gospel is grammatically superior to Mark’s Gospel, which suggests (is good evidence for) the author of Matthew’s Gospel copying from Mark’s Gospel, thereby producing a later Gospel than Mark’s Gospel.
Again, translation is more of a linguistic art than science; hence, translations of texts cannot be assumed to accurately represent what the text says in the language in which it was written. One example from the King James Version:
Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? (Matt 26:17)
In Greek [written in Latin letters], the first clause of the passage reads, Te de prote ton ázumon proselthon — in a literal word for word translation, On but first the unleavened approached … there is no mention of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; there is no word for “bread”; no word for “day.” And how the first clause should read is, As the First Unleavened approached, but translators, depending on rabbinical Judaism to help them understand the holy days, don’t know that Succoth [Feast of Tabernacles], an eight day festival (the seven days of Tabernacles plus the Last Great Day, an eighth day), forms the chiral image of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a seven day festival that should be preceded by a single day, the First Unleavened, or as John identified the day in his Gospel, the Preparation Day for the great Sabbath of the Sabbath, the day on which the Passover Lamb of God ate the Passover and was sacrificed as the Passover.
The mirror image of Succoth will have the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread representing in reverse order the seven days of Tabernacles (these days are to each other as fingers on the right and left hands). Then as Succoth has it eighth day following the seven days—as the thumb of the right hand, palm up, would appear—Unleavened Bread has its eighth day preceding the seven, as the thumb of the left hand, palm up, would appear.
So, should the Feast of Unleavened Bread be preceded by a First Unleavened? And here is where I will temporarily quit this Teaching, and pick it up next time.
A translator has to assign a meaning to a word (again, an art not a science), then swing that meaning into another language, find a word that is usually used to convey that meaning and insert that word into a new text, one that has not before existed. John Mark did not hear Jesus speak His last words when dying on the cross; Peter probably heard, but from a distance. Only John and the women were close enough to have actually heard what Jesus said. So both Matthew and John Mark are taking hearsay evidence as factual (which doesn’t mean that it isn’t), and using what they have been told Jesus said as Jesus’ last words. And what both agree upon is that Jesus did not speak Hebrew in His last utterance to God before dying, something that should cause those who hold the Sacred Names Heresy to rethink the premise for their belief.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."