Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Love is very patient and kind,

Love is very patient and kind,
never jealous or envious,
never boastful or proud,
never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable or touchy.
It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you love someone you will be loyal ... no matter what the cost.
You will always believe in that person, always expect the best of that one, and always stand your ground in defending that one.
All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end,
but love goes on forever..........

1 Corinthians 13:1-8,

Changed him to more universal language... above,

There is little this does not speak to, from how Friends should approach business meetings, business in the world... and the trials and pains and joys of friendship... eh?


At 8:14 AM, Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

Excellent point. This passage does speak to every issue you mentioned and many others besides.

The only nit I would pick is that I don't think you have actually "changed him to more universal language". The original is completely universal and more beautiful: why tamper with it? What you seem to have done instead is to omit verses 1-3 and make seemingly arbitrary changes in the rest.

I hope it is "fair use" to quote the original's translation in the New American Standard Version. I am sticking with verses 1-8 as these were the ones you cited, though of course the chapter continues after that. I would have used the King James translation except that it translates the Greek "agape" with the word "charity" in an archaic sense and I think the translation "love" is clearer to modern readers. Here goes:

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away."

At 3:42 AM, Blogger Lorcan said...

My Dear Brother and Friend:

I changed him to other words for the simple reason that if I were a woman reading this I would think at some point, where is love for me in this. At the time this was written given the need to say so and so is deserving, the male pronoun was always used.
That is long and short of it.
Thy friend and Friend

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

What a fascinating illustration of how the written word can be misunderstood. When you said "I changed him to more universal language." I thought "him" referred to Paul, the author of the passage and that you were saying you had altered the entire passage. That impression was reinforced when I saw other differences between what you wrote and the translations I had available. Instead what you really meant was 'I changed [the word] "him" to more universal language'.

I still favor leaving quotes to be verbatim as much as possible and adding our own comments separately to broaden the applicability of a passage if necessary. One reason for this preference is that when occasionally a writer from previous centuries actually does use gender-neutral language we can preserve the sense of surprise. For example, lots of folks have heard George Fox quoted re "that of God in every man." If you now hear him quoted as saying "that of God in every one" you may think that the PC police have altered his words. The fact is, though, that he really did write "that of God in every one" more often than he wrote "that of God in every man". By quoting him accurately in the language of his time we end up more strongly highlighting the occasions on which he was ahead of his time.


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