Saturday, March 16, 2013

1 Timothy 6: 6-10

Most probably, the Christian Right has an answer to the following, from 1 Timothy 6:6-10, but they are even more likely to be  not very forthcoming about it:

6.   But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7.   For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8.   And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9.   But they that will be rich fall into temptation and snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Luther's German translation of the same verses is as follows:

6.   Es ist aber ein grosser Gewinn, wer gottselig ist und lasset sich genuegen.

7.   Denn wir haben nichts in die Welt gebracht; darum werden wir auch nichts hinausbringen.

8.   Wenn wir aber Nahrung und Kleider haben, so lasset uns genuegen.

9.   Denn die da reich werden wollen, die fallen in Versuchung und Stricke und viel toerichte und schaedliche Lueste, welche die  Menschen versinken lassen in Verderben und Verdammnis.

10.  Denn Habsucht ist eine Wurzel alles Uebels; wie etliche geluestet hat und sind von Glauben abgeirrt und machen sich selbst viel Schmerzen.

Luther is cited here because his German translation of the Bible was consulted by those who prepared the King James Version.    Luther appears to say that a seeking to have things ("Habsucht") is a root ("eine Wurzel") of all evil.   Can it be rendered as "the one root" ?

The New International Version offers the following translation:  "For a love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."  That is a translation which will be more palatable to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Getting back to the Christian Right, they are most likely to seize upon this passage as justification for the poor to be content with their poverty.   Few of them, however, would be so bold as to say such today, most of them recognizing that open expression of such sentiments went out with the upper class of the age of Dickens.

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