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Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
EdHash #274721 01/23/08 02:48 AM
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Since many are calling for the most faithful translation lets look at some traditional translations. The translators of the Douay-Rheims Bible (which according to TAN is "the most faithful translation") rendered this text:

Quote
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.


have a penchant for the King's English- here's King Jamie's translation:

Quote
Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.



Could these men have been infected by some proto-radical feminist agenda of the 16th/17th century? Doubt it; these translators had it right.

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Fr. Deacon Lance #274722 01/23/08 02:55 AM
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Deacon Lance rightly points out that Rome has allowed some uses of gender-neutral language (I won’t call it “inclusive language” because that is part of the propaganda of some of its supporters and we know that it is really not inclusive but political). I would suggest that Liturgiam Authenticam certainly sets the direction, that there are many who reject that direction, and that approvals of lectionaries based on the NRSV and the RAR-NAB indicates problems getting people to follow directives. It is very telling that the Vatican will not allow Bibles to published using these texts. It is clear that this fight is not yet over in the larger Church. The bishops have only introduced the fight for authenticity into the Ruthenian Church. I daresay that accuracy and authentic will win out, as the coming generation slowly replaces the older generation now in authority. Fewer of the younger generation buy into those agendas.

Originally Posted by Deacon Lance
The idea of sonship some are espousing here seems to come dangeroulsy close to Gnostic ideas (see below) that somehow femininity is incompatible with theosis or our adopted status.

I have not seen this but would appreciate a more detailed analysis by Deacon Lance as to why he believes this.

What passes for femininity in our secular culture is indeed incompatible with theosis or our adopted status. Too often even many good men in the Church buy into it. Authentic Christian feminism is very compatible with theosis.

Originally Posted by Deacon Lance
That said if my bishop gives me a translation that says brothers and sisters or sons and daughters and I am not going to have a crisis of faith over it, especially when I see Rome approving similar usages for others.

I affirm and work for accurate and complete translations of our liturgical tradition because both my heart and good scholarship show me it is the correct thing to do. Things like gender-neutral language are incorrect and I will continue to work that such agendas are not allowed in the Church. I am very surprised to find that Deacon Lance would consider this as me (or anyone else) having a “crisis of faith”.


Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Administrator #274724 01/23/08 03:02 AM
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At last! Thank you for these words. May we say with St. Paul, "I have passed on what I have received."

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Deacon John Montalvo #274731 01/23/08 03:40 AM
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Deacon John is correct that both the D-R and the KVJ use “children”. That does not mean that they were infected by some proto-radical feminist agenda. It only means they didn’t get it right. The New King James Bible changes "children" to "sons" (and the editors stated intention was to remove archaic language while making it more accurate). [Does anyone really think that the redactors of the RAR-NAB changed the "sons" in the original NAB to "children" because it was a more accurate translation of the Greek?]

Deacon Tony broke it down for us:
Originally Posted by ajk
Is there a theology of sonship in the liturgy? In the beatitudes? In Matthew's Gospel? In scripture?

If yes, then "children of God" for "uioi theou" is reprehensible.

One finds, for instance, also in the same NAB Gal.4:4&7 that "God sent his Son (uios) ... so you are a ... [drum roll] ... child (uios)." What? I think not. God sent his Son that we might become sons. We are all "Filii in Filio," sons in the Son as Emil Mersch popularized it so well.

But somehow the translator is allowed to slap the hand of God who writes "uios (son)" but has it "corrected" to child (To what purpose, "child" makes no sense in Gal 4:7 passim?). And the result robs theology of its content, and is the literary equivalent of turning gold into lead.

It's curious that some seem to skip right past this part, as it is the core of the issue.

---
Originally Posted by Father David
Think of it is this way, in English, could a man say, “I have four sons, two are boys and two are girls”?

Certainly a man could say such a thing. You might have to think for a minute to understand what he was saying (and why he was saying it). You might even have to listen (or read) other things he has said to understand his way of speaking. But even if in the end he were speaking nonsense a translator would have no permission to mistranslate “sons” to “children” should those words be translated into another language. If such a statement were part of an Agatha Christe murder mystery it could be an intentional statement poignant with meaning to Hercule Poirot. If someone were translating the story into French and ‘corrected’ “sons" to “children” the whole plot could fail and a fantastic mystery be a total failure in the new language. That’s the whole point. Translations need to be as literally accurate as possible while also being as elegant as possible. Gender-neutral language destroys accuracy.

It is ironic that we have people saying we must use gender-neutral language (which is inaccurate and potentially exclusive) at the same time that they are saying that we cannot use "Mother of God" for "Theotokos" because "Mother of God" is too inaccurate to be allowed.

“Sons” in Greek needs to be “sons” in English and people need to be taught what sonship is in the Kingdom of God.

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Administrator #274741 01/23/08 04:46 AM
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John,

Quote
It is very telling that the Vatican will not allow Bibles to published using these texts.


Where did you get this? Both the uncorrected NRSV and RNAB are published with imprimaturs. Imprimaturs the Vatican has not forced to be recalled. Rome did require corrections to the Lectionaries based on these versions but even in corrected form they did not require removal of most of the horizontal inclusive language.

The bottom line is Rome has approved horizontal inclusive language, which signals to me they do not consider its use theologically dangerous or they would not allow it. Perhaps the approval is given grudgingly and they find its use in some places problematic but if they allow it I don't see how people can criticize the hierarchs for using it. They should write to Rome to get the approval of the texts withdrawn not criticize the use of approved texts.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Fr. Deacon Lance #274743 01/23/08 04:56 AM
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John,

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people need to be taught what sonship is in the Kingdom of God.


Does sonship exclude daughtership? Are females expected to become male in the Kingdom so they can have sonship? If the answers are no, why can we not say sons and daughters? Is not the Theotokos foreshadowed in Psalmm 44 and called daughter? If the answer is yes, I discern errors of the Gnostics creeping in under the guise of combating feminist agenda.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Deacon John Montalvo #274747 01/23/08 05:30 AM
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Quote
Does sonship exclude daughtership? Are females expected to become male in the Kingdom so they can have sonship? If the answers are no, why can we not say sons and daughters? Is not the Theotokos foreshadowed in Psalmm 44 and called daughter? If the answer is yes, I discern errors of the Gnostics creeping in under the guise of combating feminist agenda.


Having a faithful translation of the original Greek is hardly Gnosticism creeping in. Why not ask of the inspired writer, what is the meaning of sonship such that it should be here rather than sonship and daughtership. Is it simply that he was a product of his time? Or is there some important truth to be ascertained by men of all times and places?

Quote
Since many are calling for the most faithful translation lets look at some traditional translations. The translators of the Douay-Rheims Bible (which according to TAN is "the most faithful translation") rendered this text:


Quote:
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.


have a penchant for the King's English- here's King Jamie's translation:


Quote:
Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Could these men have been infected by some proto-radical feminist agenda of the 16th/17th century? Doubt it; these translators had it right.


They clearly did not have the translation right. Why they got it wrong would be an interesting historical study. The King James version is of course not a Catholic translation. Needless to say, it is the duty of every man to seek the truth which is universal and beyond all time. As has been pointed out earlier, the reason for the importance of the correct translation of "uios" is evident in Galatians:

Quote
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christs, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6* And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.


Another traditional translation gets the beatitude right:

Quote
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


RSV

Let us wholly belong to Christ -- in the deeds which we do and the words and translations which we use. What could be wrong with that?


Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
lm #274754 01/23/08 06:04 AM
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lm,

You are missing the point. I have no problem with faithful translation of the Greek. The point is the reasoning being used here is skiritng Gnosticism. I have no question the author had absolutely no Gnostic influence. But you ask: "Is it simply that he was a product of his time? Or is there some important truth to be ascertained by men of all times and places?" Yes he certainly was a product of his time and yes there is an important truth to be ascertained. That the truth to be ascertained is that women must give up their femaleness and be sons rather than daughters because Christ spoke in or St. Matthew wrote in the idiom of his time, we will have to disagree upon.

You're own arguements lead down dangerous paths. If in Christ there is no male or female, then there should be no problem with women being priests. Now I know you don't agree with that, and neither do I, but that is where I see your logic is able to be twisted.

Clearly St. Paul was speaking in hyperbole to underline everyone's equality in Christ, not to imply that we actually ever cease to be male or female. Christ and the Theotokos, as the foreshadowers of the resurrection of us all, show that we remain male and female forever. We are sons and daughters because we all have Christ as brother and God as Father, not because women Gnostically cease to be female and become sons.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Fr. Deacon Lance #274775 01/23/08 10:51 AM
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Father Deacon Lance,

Your reason with extrapolation, insunuation, assumptions, and typical liberal what ifs. It would be nice if your bishops actually gave a reason to settle it. But I cannot find any explanation from them anywhere. Do you know where I can find an explanation put forth by your church shepherds? They, including those who pushed them for it, prefer to remain mum. Sonship is not about becoming a male as you insist. If you read any of the previous post, you will understand that it is something deeper; something tied in with the notion of filial adoption as heirs. Can you not accept sonship in the same way as always depicting Christ as a man? Does our Lord's man-ness imply that women cannot be saved? That they are a lesser sex? That your churches should have Christas too? Why do you continue to make the same liberal and feminist arguments? If you can accept hyperbole at your weddings when wives are asked to be submissive to their husbands, why can you not accept hyperbole of everyone becoming sons of God? Your arguments are typical Western and liberal poppycock; not grounded in biblical theology. You guys have a problem of saying *orthodox* at your worship too. Is *orthodox* a hyperbole too that must be avoided with more upbeat contemporary words like *Christians of the True Faith* (a Catholic invention)?

Who is making an argument for women priests? Are you admitting that your church is behind the times?

I hope either Father David Petras can reply or point me where there are instructions from you church on this. Maybe we can all learn who was really behind this?

Ed

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
EdHash #274776 01/23/08 11:30 AM
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Women priests is a separate issue. My last pastor was a woman. I wonder what Father Deacon Lance's problem is with women?

Only Catholics can go through mental gymnastics and arguments for equality, yet still keep women out of ministry! So why tamper with the Scriptures if you don't walk the walk?

I am not advocating a female priesthood for your church. I understand that priesthood is different than ministers. But why? Is a male preisthood a hyperbole too? Where is the hyperbolic line that should not be crossed?

Inclusive language is simply another way to patronize women.

Ed

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
EdHash #274777 01/23/08 12:07 PM
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Ed,

Typical liberal? Oh my, that gave me quite a laugh. Never been called that before. And here my coworkers accuse me of being an arch-conservative.

Fr. Deacon Lance


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Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Fr. Deacon Lance #274789 01/23/08 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Deacon Lance
Where did you get this? Both the uncorrected NRSV and RNAB are published with imprimaturs. Imprimaturs the Vatican has not forced to be recalled. Rome did require corrections to the Lectionaries based on these versions but even in corrected form they did not require removal of most of the horizontal inclusive language.

The NRSV as used in the Canadian Lectionary (Latin Rite) is not available in Bible form. That is, you cannot go and pick up a copy of a Bible with the exact text used in the Canadian Lectionary.

The RAR-NAB (Revised Amended Revised New American Bible) used in the American Lectionary (Latin Rite) is not available in Bible form, as thus far the Vatican has refused to give permission for it to be put in Bible form. The 1970 edition has a reputation as decent but awkward (it is the one used the Ruthenian lectionaries). The 1986 edition introduced some gender neutral language but was quickly replaced by the 1991 edition which used both “horizontal” and “vertical” gender neutral language. The Holy See rejected this text as the basis of a revised Lectionary for the United States. Then there was ten years of wrangling to get the RAR-NAB. The Vatican has given approval to the RAR-NAB for use in the lectionary but is not allowing it to be published in Bible form (which suggests the issue is not resolved yet). So you cannot go and pick up a copy of the RAR-NAB as used in the Latin-Rite Lectionary.

The Vatican has given full approval to Lectionaries based on the 1970 NAB, the original Jerusalem Bible (and I understand one is forthcoming on the update which is not the New Jerusalem Bible but the original JB with a few updates (like replacing the “Y” word with “Lord”)), the RSV-CE and the RSV-CE2 (I think I’m missing at least one). None of the others are controversial. The recent approval of the RSV-CE2 was approved by the Vatican without change.

Look at the Catholic Catechism. When looking for translations of Scripture they didn’t choose any of the versions of the NAB. Because they wanted a translation that was not “thou hast” they chose the NRSV. But the Vatican rejected it because of its use of gender neutral language (which made those passages inaccurate). The compromise was to use the RSV except in those places where the NRSV was actually better. [If one were to correct the gender-neutral parts of the NRSV and replace them with accurate translations it is a good translation.]

If one looks at the history we can see that after Vatican II there was great leeway to do a lot of things. But now we see a return to tradition and a fresh call for accurate translations. I can understand and respect that Deacon Lance is really not personally bothered by gender-neutral language. But I am fathomed at why he thinks that those of us who support a strict use of the directives for accurate translations in “Liturgiam Authenticam” and would argue and petition for such accuracy are somehow having a “crisis of faith” or are otherwise somehow disobedient. We are not.

Originally Posted by Deacon Lance
Does sonship exclude daughtership? Are females expected to become male in the Kingdom so they can have sonship? If the answers are no, why can we not say sons and daughters? Is not the Theotokos foreshadowed in Psalmm 44 and called daughter? If the answer is yes, I discern errors of the Gnostics creeping in under the guise of combating feminist agenda.

The Lord chose to inspire the use of the term “son” in the Scriptures. Surely you are not accusing Him of excluding females?

The Greek needs to be translated into English exactly. A correct understanding of “sonship” includes understanding both the exact words of Scripture and the context of the culture it was written in. It is not correct to re-work the Scripture into what the translators think it should mean for contemporary culture.

In Scripture “sonship” and “daughtership” would be not be interchangeable concepts because of the relationship to inheritance. [I can’t think of any references to daughter that would suggest “daughtership” in the same context as “sonship” but would appreciate the references you are considering.] Sonship carries with it full inheritance rights to the Kingdom. Daughtership (to say “daughter of God”) would not have (in that culture) carried with it full inheritance rights to the Kingdom. That is what was so radical about no longer being children or slaves. Becoming sons of God means receiving the full inheritance of the Kingdom. It is when men and women become sons of God that they truly become free.

In Scripture both males and females can become sons.

It is not a matter of gender, and a need to correct God’s mistakes for using sexist language (which is the way gender-neutral languages comes across to most people).

It is a matter of accurately translating the Holy Scriptures and then teaching people the correct understanding. The “whys” (if I can use that term) of why the Lord spoke as he did.

Note to all Posters: Please stay away from getting off topic with discussions about women priests and other such nonsense. It is always best to stick to the topic and make your case using good scholarship.

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Administrator #274799 01/23/08 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Administrator
In Scripture both males and females can become sons.

It is not a matter of gender, and a need to correct God’s mistakes for using sexist language (which is the way gender-neutral languages comes across to most people). grin

It is a matter of accurately translating the Holy Scriptures and then teaching people the correct understanding. The “whys” (if I can use that term) of why the Lord spoke as he did.


Bravo!!! grin



Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Father David #274808 01/23/08 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Father David
The mere question of whether to use “children” instead of “sons,” though, is not a theological question.
It is revelation that informs our theological vocabulary. As (the Methodist theologian) Geoffrey Wainwright, Worship With One Accord (Oxford University Press, New York, 1997), 245, in reference to G. Florovsky, writes: “The Word incarnate can define language. In this context, “Father” and “Son” mean who the first two persons of the Trinity are and what the relation between them is. It is the divine ontology that sets the meaning of the terms…”


Originally Posted by Father David
I think what one might say is that “sons” here stands for all people, in the same way as “men” means both men and women.
Both are certainly inclusive(!) but they mean more. For us “men” –- sons (m/f) of the first Adam/Man –- and for our salvation, the Son became incarnate -- became Man -- so that we could become sons of the Father in Him, the last Adam/Man. Thus, RSV Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus – one in Christ Jesus, THE SON.

Just such language is used dogmatically, for instance, in Trent’s “Decree Concerning Justification”: In which words is given a brief description of the justification of the sinner, as being a translation from that state in which man [homo] is born a son [filius] of the first Adam, to the state of grace and of the adoption of the sons [filiorum] of God through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Savior. This translation however cannot, since the promulgation of the Gospel, be effected except through the laver of regeneration or its desire, as it is written: Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God..[John 3:5].


Originally Posted by Father David
Perhaps others might say, more subtly, that : (1) Christ is the peacemaker, (2) Christ is Son of God, (3) therefore when we make peace, we are “sons” of God. I think this argument might work for the priesthood, but I don’t think women can be excluded from peacemaking.
Sonship is not identified with “ordination” but is based on our identity in Christ as other “christs” through baptism and chrismation and manifested in the Eucharist, the Divine Liturgy, the actual coming together of Christ and “christs” as (what else) His Body, the Church. United with Him, the Only-Begotten Son, we also as sons can say and know how to call God "Father."


Originally Posted by Father David
Therefore, the issue would be: does “sons” in the English language stand for “men and women” in the same way as “sons of men” would be a generic term for a human being in the scriptures, as Christ would use "sons" on the Beatitudes?
Which is the opposite approach to that described by Wainwright above.


Originally Posted by Father David
... it is a linguistic question, or a sociological question, not a theological question, since I think we agree on the theology.
I think it is the issue of a theologically determined vocabulary informing us rather than linguistics and sociology dictating our theological expression.

Dn. Anthony

Re: Open Question to Father David Petras
Fr. Deacon Lance #274816 01/23/08 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Does sonship exclude daughtership?
Yes.


Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Are females expected to become male in the Kingdom so they can have sonship?
No


Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
If the answers are no, why can we not say sons and daughters?
Because the Trinity has been revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- no mention of daughter.



Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Is not the Theotokos foreshadowed in Psalmm 44 and called daughter?
Yes.


Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
If the answer is yes, I discern errors of the Gnostics creeping in under the guise of combating feminist agenda.
Not at all. There is certainly a place in theological expression where I would say the female element is essential, e.g. nuptial imagery, the Church as the Spouse of Christ. But in terms of our ultimate theological expression -- the names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- the best we (and creation in general) can do is to have our name, our status, coincide as intimately as possible with the one of the All-Holy Three through whom, appropriately, all thing were made and who also, appropriately, became incarnate. And that one has been revealed to us as the Son.

Dn. Anthony

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