Monday, October 08, 2007

mark ronson

I'm currently in the throes of writing a talk on John 11 for the university of Surrey CU. The story is of the death of Lazarus. In at least a couple of places in the text Jesus says that it was good that Lazarus died so that people would believe in Him. Thats why He lingered for two days where He was before going to see Lazarus, so that he would die, Jesus could raise Him, people would believe and God would be glorified. Nothing surprising there.

Verses 5 and 6 then seem to be integral to the whole story. Here they are in the ESV, NASB and the NKJV:
5Now(A) Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6So, when he heard that Lazarus[a] was ill,(B) he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

and here they are in NIV:
5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

And here in the NLT:
So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days.

Exchanging 'so' for 'yet' might seem like a tiny difference, but it changes the whole feel of the story. Did Jesus stay for two days because He love Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and wanted them to see God glorified, and wanted people to believe, as the rest of the passage would suggest, as the rest of John would suggest, or did He linger in spite of His love for them? Surely it's the first, surely thats more faithful to the original message John was trying to communicate? Surely this is another example in favour of the use of less dymanic, more literal translations...

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