Sunday, April 26, 2009

Matthew Chapter 1

Here's my translation of the first chapter of the Gospel According to St. Matthew. Please critique.

The book of the origin of Jesus: Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham.

2 Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram, 4 and Ram begot Amminadab, and Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon, 5 and Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, and Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa, 8 and Asa begot Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah begot Jotham, and Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah begot Manasseh, and Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah, 11 and Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers, in the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 And after the deportation to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel begot Abiud, and Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor, 14 and Azor begot Zadok, and Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud, 15 and Eliud begot Eleazar, and Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob, 16 and Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus Who is called the Christ.

17 Therefore, all the generations from Abraham until David are fourteen generations, and from David until the deportation to Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.

18 Now Jesus Christ's birth was of this sort. For after His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant (from the Holy Spirit). 19 But Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wishing to disgrace her publicly, wanted to divorce her secretly. 20 But after he had reflected on these things, look, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take into your home Mary, your wife, for that which has been begotten in her is from the Holy Spirit; 21 and she will give birth to a Son and you will call His name Jesus; for He Himself will save His people from their sins." 22 And this whole thing has happened in order to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Look, the virgin will give birth to a son, and they will call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." 24 And Joseph, having been awakened from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife into his home, 25 but he continued not knowing her until she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and he called His name Jesus. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

2 Peter Chapter 3

Here is chapter 3. Please critique my translation work.

3This is now, beloved, the second letter that I am writing to y o u, in which I wake up y o ur pure mind with a reminder, 2 to recall the sayings which were proclaimed beforehand by the holy prophets and of the commandment of y o ur apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first of all, that mockers will come in the last days, walking according to their own impious desires 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things remain as they were from the beginning of the creation." 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that long ago there were heavens and an earth, formed out of water and by means of water by the Word of God, 6 by means of which the world at that time having been flooded with water was destroyed; 7 but by His Word the heavens and the earth which now exist have been held in store for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the impious people. 8 But do not let this one thing escape y o ur notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill the promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient toward us, not wanting any to be destroyed, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will be broken apart by burning heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be consumed by fire. 11 Therefore, since all these things are being broken apart, what sort of persons ought y o u to be in holy behavior and piety, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens, being set on fire, will be broken apart and the elements will be melted by burning heat! 13 But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

14 Therefore, beloved, waiting for these things, make all the more effort to be found by Him in peace, spotless and unblemished, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our beloved brother Paul, in accordance with the wisdom given to him, wrote to y o u, 16 as also in all his letters when he speaks in them about these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the uninstructed and unstable twist, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Y o u therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on y o ur guard lest, being led away by the error of the lawless, y o u fall from y o ur own stable position, 18 but grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him is the glory both now and into the day of eternity. Amen. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My favorite Easter hymn

Recently, Issues etc. had a program on my favorite Easter hymn. It's a simple hymn that narrates the Easter story. The style fits within the tradition of the church but also the people of Tanzania. Each line of the hymn is played through with commentary on the program and at the end the entire song is played. Here are the lyrics:

Christ Has Risen, Alleluia 

Let us sing praise to him with endless joy.
Death’s fearful sting he has come to destroy.
Our sin forgiving, alleluia!
Jesus is living, alleluia!

Verse 1
Christ has arisen, alleluia.
Rejoice and praise him, alleluia.
For our redeemer burst from the tomb,
even from death, dispelling its gloom.

Verse 2
For three long days the grave did its worst,
until its strength by God was dispersed.
He who gives live did death undergo,
and in its conquest his might did show.

Verse 3
The angel said to them, “Do not fear.
You look for Jesus who is not here.
See for yourselves the tomb is all bare.
Only the grave cloths are lying there.”

Verse 4
“Go spread the news: he’s not in the grave.
He has arisen this world to save.
Jesus’ redeeming labors are done.
Even the battle with sin is won.”

Verse 5
Christ has arisen to set us free.
Alleluia, to him praises be.
Jesus is living! Let us all sing;
he reigns triumphant, heavenly king. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Frequently Receiving the Body and the Blood of the Lamb

During Holy week my pastor has offered the body and blood of Christ every day of the week. This is truly a great blessing. I give thanks to God for my church and my pastor and to Christ for giving me His body and blood. I've grown accustomed to receiving the body and blood of the Lamb twice a week but this is even more wonderful. But it also confuses me.

I really can't imagine going a Sunday without receiving Christ's body and blood. I have attended mid-week vespers services without the Eucharist but it always seems like I've been reading a really good book only to find that the last chapter of the book is missing. It's really hard for me to imagine attending a church where the Lamb's body and blood is not offered at least every Sunday. The Reformed church I was previously a member of had the Lord's Supper only four times a year. It seems pretty clear from the book of Acts that early Christians met to "break bread" (receive the Lord's Supper). This was the purpose of the meeting. Preaching and prayers should not be neglected but they are never given as the reason for the assembling. If we can receive the body and blood only four times a year, why not just pray four times a year? Or preaching four times a year? Wouldn't that make preaching more special if we only heard it four times a year? Or praying more special if we only did it four times a year?

Who ever saw a bridegroom sacrificed at the marriage supper, or brides eating their betrothed? The Son of God has done a new thing in the world, which no man ever did but He alone. His Body and His Blood He has set forth at the feast before them that sit at table, that they may eat of Him, and live with Him without end. Meat and drink is our Lord at His marriage supper: blessed is He who has given us His Body and Blood, that in Him we may delight. -- Jacob of Serug, A Homily upon the Supper

Sunday, April 5, 2009

2 Peter Chapter 2

Here is my translation of 2 Peter Chapter 2. Please feel free to point out my errors.

2But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among y o u, who will bring in heresies of destruction, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upong themselves; 2 and many will follow their licentiousness, because of whom the way of the truth will be slandered; 3and in covetousness they will make merchandise of y o u with fabricated words, for whom the judgment pronounced long ago is not idle, and their destruction will not become drowsy. 4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but having cast them into Tartarus, He delivered them into bonds of darkness, being kept until the judgment, 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but kept Noah the eighth person, a herald of righteousness, having brought the flood upon the world of the impious, 6 and having reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, He sentenced them to total destruction, having placed them an example for those who are about to act impiously, 7 and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the licentious conduct of the unprincipled 8 (for when that righteous man was dwelling among them, his righteous soul was tormented day after day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)-- 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the pious from trial but to keep the unrighteous to be punished at the day of judgment, 10 but especially those who in defiling desire indulge the flesh and look down on Lordship. Bold, self-willed! They do not tremble as they slander the glorious ones, 11whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not bear a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these people, like unreasoning instinctual animals, having been born to be caught and destroyed, slandering those of whom they are ignorant, will be destroyed in their destruction, 13 receiving the wages of unrighteousness, considering it a pleasure to engage in self-indulgence in the broad daylight, spots and blemishes, indulging in their deceitful pleasures while feasting with you, 14 having eyes full of desire for an adulteress and unceasingly looking for sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in covetousness, children of a curse! 15Having forsaken the straight way, they were led astray, having followed the road of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 16 but he received a rebuke for his lawlessness; a speechless donkey which spoke with a human voice hindered the madness of the prophet. 17 These are waterless springs, clouds being driven by a furious gust of wind, for whom the gloom of the darkness has been kept forever. 18 For, speaking puffed up, empty words, they entice with desires of the flesh, by licentiousness, the ones who really escaped from those who live in error, 19 promising them freedom, they themselves being slaves of corruption; for "by whom anyone has been defeated, by the same he has also been enslaved." 20 For if, after having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they, having again been entangled in them, have been defeated, then "the last state has become worse for them than the first." 21 For it would have been better for them not to have come to know the way of righteousness than having come to know it to turn back from the holy commandment which was handed down to them. 22 But what has happened to them is in accordance with the true proverb: "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "The sow after washing herself returns to wallow in the mire."