Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bible Study with the Bishops ... and the Cats

Warning: Some pure silliness appears herein! So I'll be praying from the start.

I understand that the first Bible study the bishops did together in their retreat at Canterbury Cathedral used the prologue to John's Gospel, which is one of my very favorite passages in all of Scripture.

I wonder what translation they used. There are so many. Our church mostly uses the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). But our friends in the Sudanese diocese of Lui use a Moru translation from the Good News Bible. [Yes, I could write a whole 'nother essay about the implications of their using a "translation" of the Good News Bible as the basis of their study and preaching. But I don't have energy for that right now. Someday ....]

So here's how the NRSV puts it:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15(John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Sheer poetry. At one time, I could even recite verses 1-5 in classical Greek.

Now ... I think several of you readers are also fans of ICanHasCheezburger. But are you aware that there's a Web-based LOLCat Bible Translation project? Yes, not unlike the good folks building Wikipedia, an intrepid group is working to translate the entire Bible into LOLSpeak. Here's the LOLCat translation of John 1:1-18:

1 In teh beginz is teh mew, and teh mew sez "Oh hai Ceiling Cat" and teh mew iz teh Ceiling Cat.2 Teh mew an teh Ceiling Cat iz teh bests frenz in teh begins.
3 Him maeks alls teh cookies; no cookies iz maed wifout him.4 Him haz teh liefs, an becuz ov teh liefs teh doodz sez "Oh hay lite."5 Teh lite iz pwns teh darks, but teh darks iz liek "Wtf."
6 And teh Ceiling Cat haz dis otehr man; his naem iz John.7 He tellz teh ppl dat teh lites is tehre, so dat teh doodz mite bleev"8 Him wuz not teh lite; he jsut sez teh lites is tehre.9 Teh tru lite ov lotz of lite wuz comes, k?
10 He iz liek, "Oh hai, I mades u," but teh wurld duznt sees him.11 He iz comes to his stuffs, but his stuffs sez "Do not want!"12 And sum guyz did want, and sez "Teh Ceiling Cat pwns," and deez guyz iz liek his kidz—13 But not liek reel kidz, k? Iz liek teh Ceiling Cats kidz.
14 Teh cat macro is becomes Visible Man (omg) and he is lives wif us. We is sees teh glorie taht is frum teh one n only; him come from teh dad wif teh grace and teh truth.
15 John is liek "Oh hai" becuz uf him. He sez "OMG tihs guy iz teh one taht is comes after me him iz bettr becuz him comes frst, k?"16 Becuz is a lotz of grayce we can has cheezburgers.17 Moses is liek "Hay I has teh lawz"; Jebus is has teh grayce and teh trooth.18 Ceiling Cat is Invisible, but teh one n only (him is wif Ceiling Cat) is liek "Hay look." John teh Baptist Sez "I Iz Not teh Chozen Won!! No Wai!!11!!!1!!1!!

Read, mark, and inwardly digest.

And forgive me if my silliness crosses the lines. But amidst all the seriousness of Lambeth and the Anglican Communion, I really needed some silliness.


Blogger FranIAm said...

Oh, the Gospel of John. I love it. This year our pastor did a brilliant Scripture study with it. So now I am even more in love.

Before I even got to your thought upon it, when I read Good News translation, I had a moment. My first job (very short term for various reasons) after college was at The American Bible Society.

There are not enough thanks in the world for the Ceiling Cat translation!

A sense of humor must always be well honed.

7/19/2008 7:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I'm with you, FranIAm. John's gospel is my favorite, probably because I'm a student of literature and his is the most literary and the most rich in metaphor and symbol. I think he "got it" about Jesus, even if his account is less "historical" than the synoptic gospels.

And since you've made your confession, I'll make mine: While I was a struggling graduate student at Vanderbilt, I did editing for Thomas Nelson Pulishers.

I'm glad you liked the LOLCat Bible.

7/19/2008 8:24 PM  
Blogger ROBERTA said...

Love the Ceiling Cat translation - especially since i read it out loud in my office and then wondered if anyone else in the house had heard me :)

7/19/2008 9:20 PM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Holy crap! Srsly - as Lolzcat would say.

John's Gospel is so lyrical yes. I have truly come to love the symbolic elements and also that it was not about the big show, the miracles - but rather the signs. Which for me is about how I "get" it about Jesus as well.

Pax my sister!

7/19/2008 9:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Roberta, I am just cracking up at the notion of your reading it out loud ... and then worrying about who may have heard it!

May Ceiling Cat be prazed!

7/19/2008 9:37 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks, FranIAm. I'm with you about John's gospel. It's more poetry than the other (prosaic) ones.

I may have to post some other LOLCats Bible translations.

7/19/2008 9:40 PM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

I may have to link to all of this- it is too good to pass up.

7/19/2008 10:17 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Glad you think so, FranIAm. Link to your heart's content. ... Just be sure to keep all the sweet kitty photos which I so carefully selected.

7/19/2008 10:22 PM  

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