WORD OF GOD IN SIRACH

2016 05 07 pray for peace gif

The author of John 1 seems to be saying that Jesus of Nazareth is the “Word” who is God.

The writers of the New Testament knew perhaps of the Book of Sirach, aka Ecclesiasticus, “The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments” (1:5 (DRA)).

But in the NRSV, Sirach 1:5 is omitted and is only a footnote to verse 1:4:

The footnote says, “Other ancient authorities add as verse 5, ‘The source of wisdom is God’s word in the highest heaven, and her ways are the eternal commandments.’”

The “word of God” becomes “God’s word.”

In the NABRE, the book is called “Ben Sira,” and verse 1:5 is also included only as a footnote:

“The wellspring of wisdom is the word of God in the heights, and its runlets are the ageless commandments.”

The feminine disappears.

These two translators take out verse 1:5 and put it into a footnote, but they do not renumber, so their text has a blank space.  So rip a verse out of a book and what do you get?  A big empty space where the verse used to be.  I can only imagine how offended these translators are to find the term “word of God” right there where they think it shouldn’t be.

The WYC is the only translation at Biblegateway besides the DRA??, that includes Sirach 1:5 and the WYC translates to wipe out the feminine and insert a “son” of God.  A son !!!

The well of wisdom is the son of God in high things; and the entering of that wisdom is (the) everlasting commandments. [The well of wisdom (is) the word of God in heights; and the in-going of it (is) everlasting commandments.]”

If the word “son” is not there, how can it possibly be justifiable to add it to a translation?

You examine the various translations and you just have to wonder if these are translations, or if the translators are just pushing their own agendas.

Another phrase from John 1:  In the beginning . . .

So similar to Sirach 24:14 (DRA): “From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be” — the context is Her (Wisdom).

Sirach 24:9 (NRSV)

“Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.”

A masculine creator is added.

Ben Sira (NABRE)

“Before all ages, from the beginning, he created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be.”

It would be nice to know if “he” is a correct translation.

In a footnote for 24:9, the NABRE acknowledges a link to John 1:  “As in Proverbs 8, Wisdom is personified as coming from God, yet distinct from him. This description is reflected in the Johannine logos, or Word (Jn 1:1–14).”

Re: numbering of verses.  Not clear how DRA’s 24:14 ends up as 24:9 in the other translations.

Amazing how the NABRE moves verse 24:18 to a footnote (leaving a gap).  It says in part, “I am the mother of fair love, of reverence, of knowledge, and of holy hope.”  Well heaven forbid that we have any expression of the divine feminine.

Another verse banished to a footnote is verse 24:24, “The Lord Almighty alone is God, and apart from him there is no savior.”  Well, I can see why that verse might be banished.  No other savior?  Not even the second person of the Trinity?  Let’s just move that one out to a footnote, too.  What happens if people read the footnotes?  At least these translators allow us to have footnotes.

Does it matter if Jesus of Nazareth is derived from Wisdom, word of God in the beginning?  Yeah, it’s interesting.

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Posted May 17, 2016

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