John Steinbeck should be required reading and I am sure he is. This author was one of my favorites 40 years ago. I haven’t picked him up since I put down Travels with Charlie, when it first came out. However if you ever read him some things stay forever. In his novel East of Eden with the Trask bros as a portrayal of Cain and Abel, Steinbeck weaved a story I have largely forgotten.
For whatever reason the part I did recall and the part of that book that brings me to this post is the story of Lee the Chineese cook who was employed by the Trask family. It
seems that Lee was not content to be just your average inscrutable China man nor simply a cook. Lee was an intellectual, and a seeker of truth. Lee joined along with others a group to study Biblical Hebrew. I recall thinking that strange I recall being unable to relate a lowly Chinese cook as having the intellectual capacity to understand this kind of obscure philosophical complexity as one verse of Geneses was troubling to him.
This is not the average ending to an American classic novel, and yet it is. It all came down to the translation of one word “TIMSHOL”. From the two differing tanslations of the New Testament the King James Version states with Biblical certainty that Timshol meant [Thou Shalt] rule over it. While the American Standard translation has this word as meaning [Do Thou] rule over it.Lee was conflicted by the apparent opposites in meaning as this was a seeming important part of the demands made on Christian followers. That being said he took this dichotomy to the experts and with two years of scrutiny by Hebraic schollars they came to the conclusion that both accepted translations were wrong, and that the word Timshol would be most accurately translated as [Thou May] rule over it if you have the ability and free will choice.
The enormous difference between shall and May are in a direct proportion to the number of times they are used in his infallible book the Bible. It has always been my contention that anyone preaching chapter and verse might as wll read the phone book as that would be more accurate. The phone book is a first eddition well edited for accuracy. The Bible is in its seventh translation from its original script. This was written two to three hundred years after the event. It would not be easy to compile a phone book that was accurate for three hundred years ago
Thou May Rule vs. Thou Shalt Rule take on a whole different concept regarding church and state. It appears to me that it is no longer a mandated direction church must take at governance but one of secondary signicance. The church does not have the ability as there are proclamations to the separation of church and state.Further as a church you do not have free will choice.
The Christian religion must come forward into the Twenty first century. No longer can the hollow rhetoric of chapter and verse hold sway over those governing. It is important Christianity survive, it can do that by encouraging the following to make free will choices this new tolerance to the individual would be furthering. HAPPY NEW YEAR and
PEACE BE WITH YOU
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