Saturday, July 26, 2008

translatin' like: Clarence Jordan

This morning I read that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sent Clarence Jordan a very compassionate letter. You've got to be impressed with both people. Here's the letter. And here's where you can read Dr. Jordan's translating of much of the New Testament. His notes on translation inspired me to try. So reading Luke 12:41-48 anyway, I took a stab at it. Can you tell which is Jordan's and which is mine and which is Luke's?

“Massa,” continues Rocky, “You just makin’ this here story up for us? Or you tellin’ it for all them people?”

And the Master says,
“Who be da housekeeper ya just gotta’ believe, makin’ da rules of da home? Who got some deep sense? Who da masta’ leanin’ on for nursin’ his own an’ givin’ ‘em, at just THE right time, da wheat? It be da happy slave, da one da masta’ find doin’ da creatin’ stuff.

Yall want da unveilin’? Here go: she da one be gettin’ leaned on for all his doin’s.

Now s’pose there be da slave sayin’ deep in his heart sumpin’ like this?
‘It bin takin’ a good long time fa Massa ta git by here.’
S’pose he start beatin’ up da workin’ boys and girls? Suppose he start eatin’ right away, an’ drinkin’, an’ gettin’ drunk? Well, da slave’s masta’ goin’ come ‘round one day when he aint ‘spectin’ him. Aint goin’ know da hour. Da slave’s masta’ goin’ tear him up, leanin’ them parts he got left on nothin’ ‘cept them slaves he don’t no longer believe.

So ya gots da slave who aint know nothin’ his masta’ wish for and aint preparin’ or creatin’ much ‘long da lines of what he be wishin’. Lots a thrashin’s comin’ to him. An’ ya gots da one aint know nothin’. He be makin' a ruckus an’ just get them thrashin’s to spare.

All them people who been gettin’ lots a things, lots goin’ be sought from ‘em. And them leaned on for lots a things, goin’ get lots more things asked from ‘em.

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος κύριε πρὸς ἡμᾶς τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην λέγεις ἢ καὶ πρὸς πάντας

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος
τίς ἄρα ἐστὶν ὁ πιστὸς οἰκονόμος ὁ φρόνιμος ὃν καταστήσει ὁ κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς θεραπείας αὐτοῦ τοῦ διδόναι ἐν καιρῷ τὸ σιτομέτριον μακάριος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ὃν ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εὑρήσει ποιοῦντα οὕτως

ἀληθῶς λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ καταστήσει αὐτόν

ἐὰν δὲ εἴπῃ ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ
χρονίζει ὁ κύριός μου ἔρχεσθαι
καὶ ἄρξηται τύπτειν τοὺς παῖδας καὶ τὰς παιδίσκας ἐσθίειν τε καὶ πίνειν καὶ μεθύσκεσθαι ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστων θήσει

ἐκεῖνος δὲ ὁ δοῦλος ὁ γνοὺς τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ ἑτοιμάσας ἢ ποιήσας πρὸς τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ δαρήσεται πολλάς ὁ δὲ μὴ γνούς ποιήσας δὲ ἄξια πληγῶν δαρήσεται ὀλίγας

παντὶ δὲ ᾧ ἐδόθη πολύ πολὺ ζητηθήσεται παρ' αὐτοῦ καὶ ᾧ παρέθεντο πολύ περισσότερον αἰτήσουσιν αὐτόν

Rock said, "Sir, are you telling this Comparison just to us, or to everybody else, too?"
The Master said, "Well, who is the loyal and efficient employee whom his employer will put in charge of the payroll to see that everyone is promptly and accurately paid? Happy is that worker who, when the boss shows up, is doing a good job. I'm telling you a fact, he'll give him one promotion after another. But if that worker begins to say to himself, 'My boss will be late this morning,' and starts throwing his weight around and abusing those under him, then he goes out to get something to eat and a few beers, sure as everything his boss will show up just when he is least expected, and will chew him out and fire him.
"Now that worker who understands fully what his boss wants done and doesn't get busy and do the job, will have the book thrown at him. But the worker who didn't understand, even though he did what he shouldn't have, will get off light. The more one is given, the more is expected of him; the more somebody is entrusted with, the more he must account for.

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