Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Brush the Tips of Both Hands Up and Down...

I recently had the pleasure of dining with a gentleman named Art. He is a sprite of a fellow, the kind where age brings sparkly wisdom without seeming to decrease youthful vigor.

He spoke of a desire to translate the Bible into sign language, and the problems he has encountered. When in discussion with a theological scholar, it was pointed out that the language transition would raise perhaps too many questions.

You see, sign language is based on transmitting concepts and ideas, rather than words – so a literal translation would not work. The conversion would have to go back to the intended meaning of the author.

As an example, Arthur started translating John 3:16:

“Because G-d had such great love for the…”

First snag – does he love the planet, or the people? The people.

“…The people, therefore he gave his only baby boy so that whosoever believes…”

Hold on, big problem. How to translate the intention of “whosoever?”

The concept is: “It does not matter who.”

And now I get Art’s problem. What are we to do with that?

“It does not matter who.”

But what if they don’t dunk, or misinterpret what “the rock” is, or play music using electric guitars?

“It does not matter who.”

But what if they are sinners, and I mean with the sins that are my pet peeves, and not the okay sins that I regularly engage in?

“It does not matter who.”

But what if they are liberal, or conservative, or don’t vote how I want them to? Or aren’t pro-big business, or don’t recycle, or don’t hate the right people, or don’t love the right people, or are too accepting, or are too restrictive? Or smell, or don’t have a well paying job, or have irritating habits?

“It does not matter who.”

That’s fine and all, but what if they are a loud-mouthed jackbutt with a tv show and a large ministry? Or a loud-mouthed jackbutt with a radio show and a large secular audience?

“It does not matter who.”

Man, I’m glad I don’t have to read the sign language on the wall. It requires too much thought, and frankly, too much Christ. (And that isn't a joke so much as a confession.)

Just my thoughts,


1 comment:

Thany said...

I really really like this.
(Like that fancy language?)
Thank you....