Monday, 3 August 2009

What's in a translation II

Some of you may remember my original post "what's in a translation"?

Genesis 3:16 (New Living Translation)

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.

I have been turning this over a lot over the last couple of months: it sounds so right in the light of both human nature and other parts of the bible, yet why would only a single translation have this particular interpretation? This morning I was reading from Genesis 3 and on again, and came across this:

Gen 4v6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

In my NIV study bible the notes observe that the Hebrew word used for desire here is the same word used for the woman's desire for her husband. It would seem this is not a word of love or even lust, but is one of ownership, possession and control.

I do have some thoughts in mind about this, but unusually for me, I want to arrange them carefully instead of just bunging down onto the page whatever appears in my stream of consciousness. You may therefore need to be patient. It is also not necessarily what some will be expecting. Lets hope I can find the energy and enthusiasm for it.

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