May 31, 2011
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God and also believe in me. In my Father’s house there are many permanent residences. If it were not so, I would have told you, for I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you then I will also return and take you with me, so that you will be where I am. You already know the way to go to where I am going.”
But Thomas said, “Lord, if we don’t know where you’re going, how can we know the way?”
Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
April 11, 2011
A quote from translation work this morning:
Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop
Within a yard of hell. – C. T. Studd
កៀកនឹងច្រកចូលស្ថាននរក។ – លោកស្ទិដ ស៊ី.ធី.
November 29, 2010
I started doing some study for a teaching time on patience with the youth at my church this coming Saturday and came across this verse in Ecclesiastes: “Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8b, NAS). I looked up the verse in the Old Khmer Bible and found it to be pretty similar. But as I thought more about the verse, it didn’t really make sense to compare patience with pride outright…I mean, wouldn’t a comparison with patience and a quick temper or something be a better match?
So I looked the verse up in Hebrew and found something interesting – if you were to translate it literally it would read: “It is better to be long of spirit than to be high of spirit.” That kind of makes sense, but then again, it doesn’t really make any sense – only this: we see a play on words.
So part of the reason for the comparison is a play on words in the Hebrew language – and possibly it isn’t a comparison at all, just a bare fact.
Translation is really a hard task (it is part of what I do everyday here in Cambodia, so it is on my mind a lot) – how do you convey Solomon’s play on words in English, or Khmer for that matter? The NET Bible translation tries to capture it a bit: “patience is better than pride” (matching “p’s” to give some sense of unity). In Khmer I looked around a little bit to try and match the Hebrew. It turns out it can be matched pretty well, literally, “A small heart is better than a big heart” – a small heart meaning patience, and a big heart meaning pride («ចិត្តតិច នោះវិសេសជាងចិត្តធំ។» ឬ «ចិត្តធ្ងន់ នោះវិសេសជាងចិត្តធំ។»).
But in the end, the cool thing is that even though the play on words might not be able to be fully conveyed in a translation – the lack thereof doesn’t confuse the meaning, or the message of what God through Solomon was trying to say – for it is true, patience is better than pride! And that was his point.
So, do you have a long or a high spirit?