(urth) Questions . . .
automatthew at gmail.com
Tue Nov 27 13:06:27 PST 2007
On Nov 27, 2007, at 2:26 PM, Chris wrote:
> If it's the Word of God then anything essential to know that's in
> it can be "understood" in any language.
Yikes. I can smell the brimstone fuming from Brunians's next missive
I can agree with this statement insofar as it parallels the idea of
Turing-completeness in programming languages. Anything you can do in
one Turing complete language can be done in another. But some things
that are easy to do in one language are extremely difficult in
others. Greenspun's Tenth Rule is the classic expression of this idea*.
Back to human languages, Modern English is ill-suited for discussions
hinging on the Greek words phileo, eros, and agape. This is an old
trope in the churches I've attended, but its hoariness doesn't
completely obscure my point, I think. The word "charity" used to be
a good analogue of agape, but we've somehow managed to conflate
charity with alms.
Another way I could agree with Chris's statement is to interpret it
as saying that God has caused the scriptures to be so constituted
that the important bits, what we humans need to know to get along
with Him, will survive the poorest honest translations.
More information about the Urth