Hanging off of Jesus, listening (Luke 19:48)

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If bible translators would stop dumbing down the Scriptural text and just give us exactly what’s there we would all be a lot better off. I think that a lot of the lack of preaching about Jesus, the lack of friendship with Jesus among so many in the Church today is because we don’t know Jesus, because we have not been properly introduced to him. Ideology gets in the way. Lets take a look at Luke 19:48 for a good example:

  • From the Greek: ὁ λαoς γαρ ἅπας ἐξεκρέματο αὐτοῦ ἀκούων.
  • Pedantic translation: for all the people were hanging off of Him, listening. [This is very personal. Jesus is important. He is Emmanuel, God with us. That’s most important. Now that we are enthralled by that, let’s also listen to Him! The message is important because of the Messenger.]

Among dozens of translations, I found a few with versions of that exact translation. It is possible. It’s right there. It’s not difficult. But most have something quite different:

  • For all the people were hanging upon his words. [But not Him. We wouldn’t want that, I guess. Better something academic, that we can consider as the mature people we are and reject or not, just words, an ideology, but not at all something so serious as God among us. Right?]
  • For all the people listened with admiration. [Again forgetting about Jesus.]
  • For all the people were suspended by his words, listening. [Really about the message. Intensely. But the Messenger?]
  • For all the people were suspended, listening to him. [I guess they were all hanging from trees, listening anyway?]
  • For all the people were suspended from his lips. [That’s the one I like the best. I guess that translator was from the Mursi tribe in Africa.]

5 Comments

Filed under Jesus

5 responses to “Hanging off of Jesus, listening (Luke 19:48)

  1. pelerin

    I was curious to see what the Knox translation said. It was similar to your first example: – ‘all the people hung upon his words.’

    • James Anderson

      And they found not what to do to him: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. Douay-Rheims Bible

  2. a lost sheep hanging off a shepherds shoulders?

  3. Trudy Sapilman

    Funny, lately I have been thinking I’m losing my mind because what I hear read at Mass does not sound anything like I’ve ever heard before. There have been times I have gone home to look up the readings in my old Bible to double check.

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