Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vet the Serpent. NChSh. What is Evil? Literalism Leads Nowhere

I. NChSh.
The Hebrew "Serpent"
What was it, really?
 The Sound and Nature of Evil
NChSh.   Not a warning hiss, but a soothing sound.

II.  Was the Serpent Evil?
Is Evil at work in 9/11?  
Not according to our own religious traditions.

And not according to our own operatives:  Does this agent agree? He says there was advance actionable knowledge, that our persons in charge should have seen.  It was not hidden. See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/us/12agent.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=high%20level%20dysfunction&st=cse What was hidden was the course of our own incompetence leading up, and after.

Compare Eden's evil:  no defense. No warning. A set-up, and a fraud against the one led.

 I.  Vet evil in the form of the serpent.
 II.  Tthe word itself, in the Hebrew, for the serpent.  "Subtil".  What would have been understood by those at the time.  It is a complex, many-faceted concept.  Was Jerome's Latin ignored by those later?
III.  Linguistics as to serpent:  NChSh

I.  Vet the serpent.  What is "evil."

Evil is subtle, insinuating, deceiving, practised. Hiding from the light. Persuasion unawares. Manipulation that the object does not even realize until too late. Nine-eleven was overt, blatant, with reason in the view of the actors - get out of our lands.  We refused, and still refuse.  Are they evil?  Are we? What does "evil" mean.

Perhaps the Serpent was just better at getting an agenda accomplished, than the Deity. Was the Deity perfect? Was Creation perfect ?  Check it out. How does any person arrive at a "word of deity" without using form criticism, text resources.  Are we to swallow what is parroted to us? Is the real evil the exploitation of the ignorant, including all who must respond without the facts, see this issue updated at http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/140998/paul-krugman-is-right-about-911s-other-symbolic-hijacking/

What do original words mean; what is the complex of ideas surrounding similar sounding words.  Does that affect whether we decide whether modern events are "evil" -- with no legal punishment, but a great deal of emotional surging and fear; or criminal -- with procedures and consequences
  • If we say that 9/11 was evil, and we also say that the serpent in paradise-garden was evil, then 9/11 was not.  Nine-eleven was obvious, a clarion response to invasion of lands, nothing subtil about it.  Check out Eden and decide.  What better might describe 9/11  than "evil". 
  • Evil is a moral term, religiously referenced, excluding any outside the belief system.  NIne-eleven was overt, planned, clear agenda to get us out of their lands, nothing subtil about it.  Why do we call it evil, as a political-religious act of retribution; when our own "biblical" evil, stemming as we think from Eden's tale, also was not "evil."
  • Check the sources. 
  • What was the penalty for deceiving innocent Eve? Not much. Lose legs, but do fine.  Even better than the Newt.
Serpent without legs - wound in the tree

    A.  Setting.

    This entity we call "serpent" in Paradise-the Garden. Who-what-why-how, and from where? Could the deity not control the borders? Why wasn't Eve informed of the interloper? Was the deity inept and did not know what came in? Everything was supposed to be "good."  Who made the "evil" serpent? Who gave Eve a GPS to tell her where the relevant tree was:  the Adm, the androgyne generic "human"  before the separating out, was the one who was clearly told.

    But Adam the separated male apparently stood by while she, the curious one, had not been told by the deity anything; so why not have a bite and share (with the one who stood by to  see what might happen first).  Eden.  Wonderful.  Who was this serpent? Literalists say it was a snake and she disobeyed and did what the snake said, and bad on her.

    B. Find out.

    What was the serpent? Was it a "snake?"  Is there meaning in the tale far beyond any attempt to craft a literal linear story time frame. Do literalists have a leg to stand on when it comes to the serpenteries of life.


    II.  The meaning of the Hebrew word for serpent:  NChSh.

    A.  Resources for vetting any scripture

    Translations, transliterations, expositions.  Look up any term in old Biblical texts.  Start with existing translations and find the variations in interpretations in narrative. As a start:

    B.   Do translations vary as to the "serpent."

    If so, how?  Is the serpent necessarily evil, or was that chosen out of many. Go to hebrewoldtestament.com at http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C003.htm That will give many different parallel translations. For Genesis 3:1, find words for "serpent".
    •  Initial issues.
    The initial Hebrew and Paleo-Hebrew are difficult, as unfamiliar as they are. For non-scholars, as we are, start with a configuration that makes some sense visually and follow it through. If that does not work, go back and try another configuration.  Hebrew goes from right to left, down to up. 
      • First off, notice that even basic concepts vary.  
      • Translators make subjective choices. 
      • Some versions (the Latin Vulgate and later Roman Catholic) describe the place as paradise; the others describe it as the garden. If "paradise" is a theological term, is Genesis the place for it?
      • Difference? If the same, why not keep it as garden? 
      • Translations always involve a subjective choice by the translator, an agenda, a change in emphasis that somebody adds or subtly subtracts. 
      • Also, there are no vowels in Hebrew.  
      • We have no idea directly how words sounded, and the sound changes the meaning. NChSh. Nachush? What? Nichash? Etc.  Keep those sounds in mind.

    D.  Do translations vary as to the nature of the serpent as " Subtil."

    Most of us may remember that the serpent was "subtil."  What is that. Go to a good site for linguistics:  Online Etymology Dictionary at http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=subtil&searchmode=none

    a. Subtil -- using old linguistic references

    Here is a fair use reference, not a quote because we have changed the abbreviations to full words.  See the linguistic roots -- humans have dealt with the subtil for millenia.

    Go to the site referenced by the little book symbols for more detail.
    • subtile late 14c., "clever, dexterous," from Old French (14c.), from Latin subtilis "fine, thin, delicate" (see subtle). 
    • A Latinized refashioning of the French source of subtle. 
    • sly c.1200,from Old Norse "sloegr "cunning, crafty, sly," from Proto-Germanic. *slogis (cf. Low German slu "cunning, sly"), probably from base *slog- "hit" (see slay), with an original notion of "able to hit." 
    • Compare to the German verschlagen "cunning, crafty, sly," schlagfertig "quick-witted," lit. "ready to strike," from schlagen "to strike." 
    • A non-pejorative use of the word lingered in northern English dialect until the 20th Century. 
    • On the sly "in secret" is recorded from 1812. Sly-boots "a seeming Silly, but subtil Fellow" is in the 1700 "Dictionary of the Canting Crew."
     So, subtle is many things, but not overt, not obvious. Evil, if we think of "evil" in the paradise, the garden, is nothing overt.  It sneaks.

     9/11.  Overt, Planned, Executed agenda.  Not "subtil"

    b.  Subtil  - why did Jerome use "callidior" instead of subtilia? Because he meant what he said -- erat callidior, and not "subtle"
    •  "Subtle" in English translates to "subtilia" in Latin - see http://translate.google.com/#en|la|subtle,so what is Latin "subtilia" and why did Jerome not translate "subtil" from subtilia.  No, he used something else:  callidior.
    • We have to ask St. Jerome who translated the description as serpent "erat callidior."
    Jerome used the Latin "callidior" and we get from there, somehow, "subtle".  But what is "callidior"? Why not use its meaning?

    Callidior-- the term used by St. Jerome.  See #4 below.  Erat callidior.  Serpent was -- erat -- callidior.  Look it up.  No result found at all at http://www.wikiled.com/latin-english-callidior-Default.aspx.  There is no result for "callidior" at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/resolveform?type=begin&lookup=callidior&lang=la

      • Now we have something:  the root is "callidus".
    Go deeper into the perseus site and find this:  callidus means practised, shrewd, expert, experienced, adroit, skilful, ingenious, prudent, dexterous
    (Show lexicon entry in Lewis & Short Elem. Lewis) (search)
    c.  Significance

    Translators who did not translate callidior are inserting their own theology into Jerome's word.  The word is not "subtle."  The word means experienced, adroit, skilful, ingenious, prudent, dexterous.  In other words, superior in getting a job done.  What chance did Eve have?

    II.  Is this so:  That in Eden, there was nothing "evil" there

    The serpent was just "practised, shrewd, expert, experienced, adroit, skilful, ingenious, prudent, dexterous."  Snuck his agenda by. Got through the borders.  The deity was negligent, Eve was never warned, and Adam kept his mouth shut and watched.

    Our own politicians are that, controlling our media and our views.

    No wonder Eve fell for it. Doesn't she always?  And isn't she always blamed for falling for the one with the practise, the shrewdness, the expertise, the experience, etc. 
    9/11.  Get out of our lands. Have we? Political force as last resort, or "evil" against righteous us?

    Literalists: So far we have no basis for "evil" as to the serpent.

    The serpent represents the usual exploitation, pressing for agenda.  Whoever falls for it, great. There, however, the serpent got punished by losing legs.  Now, not so much.  Propaganda wins.

    So "callidior" means more than sneaky, "subtle."  It is a barrage of tactics.  How to defend against sneaks with expertoise?  That takes, for the Eve's of the world, clear information, practise, transparency, warning, education.  Otherwise the sneak wins. The sly wins. The adroit against her.

    III.  Genesis 3:1  Linguistic researching for Serpent: and "subtil"

    A.  Serpent. Subtle.

    The noun and the adjective appear that way everywhere except in the Basic English Bible, where the serpent becomes more limited: a snake.  How could that be, when the snake only emerged after it lost its legs? And how is it described in the old texts?  Find variations on the Latin "erat callidior" or subtle, in most.

    1.Hebrew:  תאכלו
    2. Paleo Hebrew:

    3. Hebrew Transliterated: VHNChSh.  What is the VH?  [not sure here yet] as to the subtil part: perhaps  HYH 'yUrVM MKL 

    4. Latin Vulgate: serpens [St. Jerome]  "erat callidior" for "was more subtil"

    5. King James:  serpent [Protestant]    was more subtil 

    6. American Standard: serpent     was more subtle

    7. Basic English: snake (a change!)   was wiser (what? wiser??)

    8. Darby's English:  serpent (back we go)   was more crafty 

    9. Douay Rheims:  serpent [Roman Catholic]   was more subtle

    10. Noah Webster Bible: serpent   was more subtil

    11. World English Bible: serpent    was more subtle

    12. Young's Literal Translation:  serpent   hath been subtile

    B. Check later verses where serpent appears to see if we ever find "snake".  No, we don't, except for "snake" continuing in the Basic English version.  Do serpent and snake mean the same thing.

    9/11.  We were warned. 

    No.  Anyone who substitutes "snake" for "serpent" is expressing an agenda.

    Go to eliyah.com's lexicon, the word list for each usage,  at  http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html.   Serpent and snake are not the same. 

    1. At the Lexicon, type in "snake" (we like the King James so stick with that for now). No, no matches.  No "snake" in the King James.

    2.   Type in "serpent" in the Strong's Concordance line.  That finds all the serpents there are.  Find 40 uses of "serpent" in 36 different verses in the King James.  And each is laid out.

    3.  Go back to the search page, and this time, type in "serpent" in the Strong's Lexicon space.

    That finds all the meanings for serpent, for all those 40 uses from the Concordance. Find some 19 different ways that serpent is used - each one given its own number, so you can look up the numbers to find which is meant for the verse you want.  http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=serpent

    C.  Listed:  Find words for snake. See fair use.

    We think we want something like the VHNChSh or NChSh, from IA3 above. That is the Hebrew for the serpent in the paradise-garden. So:  check the list in the Lexicon. Two come closest: referring to the word identification numbers in the Strong's system,

    • 660 'eph`eh ef-eh' from 659 (in the sense of hissing); an asp or other venomous serpent:--viper.
    Now, how does anybody get hissing from eph eh ef eh.   It could well have been a dragon, not a legged snake.  We are obsessed with proving it to be a snake, is that so?

    5.  The words for serpent.

    See their numbers for researching further: take your time here.  There are many of them. Sound out each one, to see the difficulty in pronouncing an alphabet without vowels. These are the Strong's identification numbers.  Each can be easily researched for each time they are used.

    • 1281 bariyach baw-ree'-akh or (shortened) bariach {baw-ree'-akh}; from 1272; a fugitive, i.e. the serpent (as fleeing), and the constellation by that name:--crooked, noble, piercing.
    • 2119 zachal zaw-khal' a primitive root; to crawl; by implication, to fear:--be afraid, serpent, worm.
    We know that fear of snakes ensued.  See http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/10/1004_snakefears_2.html.  Enmity. The Prequel.
    • 2120 Zocheleth zo-kheh'-leth feminine active participle of 2119; crawling (i.e. serpent); Zocheleth, a boundary stone in. Palestine:--Zoheleth.
    • 2352 chuwr khoor or (shortened) chur {khoor}; from an unused root probably meaning to bore; the crevice of a serpent; the cell of a prison:--hole. 3882 livyathan liv-yaw-thawn' from 3867; a wreathed animal, i.e. a serpent (especially the crocodile or some other large sea- monster); figuratively, the constellation of the dragon; also as a symbol of Bab.:--leviathan, mourning.
    • 3975 muwrah meh-oo-raw' feminine passive participle of 215; something lighted, i.e. an aperture; by implication, a crevice or hole (of a serpent):--den. 4846 mrorah mer-o-raw' or mrowrah {mer-o-raw'}; from 4843; properly, bitterness; concretely, a bitter thing; specifically bile; also venom (of a serpent):--bitter (thing), gall.
    These are looking very close to the NChSh.  See how the context gets fleshed out with all these concepts --
    • 5153 nachuwsh naw-khoosh' (emphasis and asterisk added) apparently passive participle of 5172 * FN 1  (perhaps in the sense of ringing, i.e. bell-metal; or from the red color of the throat of a serpent (5175, as denominative) when hissing); coppery, i.e. (figuratively) hard:--of brass.
    • 5175 nachash naw-khawsh' (emphasis and asterisk added) from 5172 *; a snake (from its hiss):--serpent
    • 5180 Nchushtan nekh-oosh-tawn' from 5178; something made of copper, i.e. the copper serpent of the Desert:--Nehushtan. 5391 nashak naw-shak' a primitive root; to strike with a sting (as a serpent); figuratively, to oppress with interest on a loan:--bite, lend upon usury.
    • 5904 `Iyr Nachash eer naw-khawsh' from 5892 and 5175; city of a serpent; Ir-Nachash, a place in Palestine:--Ir-nahash.
    As to #5904, more questions.  Research the places referenced:  where was the serpent from, where did it go, or is there the place itself that is serpentine?
      •  Place in Palestine:  does that mean the serpent is an alien, an immigrant, a foreigner? Was it from Ir-Nachash, that so far we find only as a street in Israel, see http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
      •  Israel's fair city Where girls are so ---Abarim discussed Judah Need a new argument.Keep going. Keep going.  Lod it is, or was? Serpentine?
    • 6372 Piynchac pee-nekh-aws' apparently from 6310 and a variation of 5175; mouth of a serpent; Pinechas, the name of three Israelites:--Phinehas.
    • 8197 Shphuwpham shef-oo-fawm' or Shphuwphan {shef-oo-fawn'}; from the same as 8207; serpent-like; Shephupham or Shephuphan, an Israelite:-- Shephuphan, Shupham.
    • 8207 shphiyphon shef-ee-fone' from an unused root meaning the same as 7779; a kind of serpent (as snapping), probably the cerastes or horned adder:--adder.
    • 8314 saraph saw-rawf' from 8313; burning, i.e. (figuratively) poisonous (serpent); specifically, a saraph or symbolical creature (from their copper color):--fiery (serpent), seraph.
      • Is this the seraphim? Was the serpent a seraph? Is this the origin of the fallen angel idea, Satan??  Or did we add "evil" where there was none, in order to have someone to blame.
    • 8565 tan tan from an unused root probably meaning to elongate; a monster (as preternaturally formed), i.e. a sea-serpent (or other huge marine animal); also a jackal (or other hideous land animal):--dragon, whale. Compare 8577.
    • 8577 tanniyn tan-neen' or tanniym (Ezek. 29:3) {tan-neem'}; intensive from the same as 8565; a marine or land monster, i.e. sea-serpent or jackal:--dragon, sea-monster, serpent, whale.


    Go back to the original "evil" and see how this plays out. Evil by old texts is not either-or, as a Manichean view of evil as easily identifiable as this or that, as the blanket concept "evildoer" suggests. 

    IV.  What is Evil About Eden, the Serpent? Anything?

    A.  Evil, the real evil if we look at the texts, and at humana's experience when it is not being manipulated, is not a belief system, but an ambiguous, deniable methodology of the sly, the deceitful, the soothing of the other into doing what the soother wants.

    B.  9/11 is not,  as Slate would have it, Simply Evil: A decade after 9/11 it remains the best description best description and most essential fact about Al Quada, http://www.slate.com/id/2303013.

    Set the Serpent against 9/11. Which was evil, if either. Set criteria. Analyze the actions. Vet the Response. Who uses the idea of  "evil" to escape accountability. Analyze the doer and the act, and the facts known to the target; against the Gate-Keeper's dysfunction: Who had what facts. Governmental, Colonial Entitlement Mindset, Policy

    9/11 not "Evil" because it was so overt?
    Evil of 9/11 is in the negligence of the gate-keepers, who then hid their role.

    Update:  Agent Agrees.  There was Knowledge. Why not acted upon?

    C.  Look up language.  See the history. Go to http://www.etymonline.com/abbr.php
    Here is "evil" --
    Old English yfel, or the Kentish evel) It means "bad, vicious, ill, wicked," from Proto Germanic *ubilaz (is the asterisk for a variable prefix?). 

    Compare that to the Old Saxon ubil, or the Old Frisian or Middle Dutch evel, or the Dutch euvel, or the Old High German ubil, or the German übel, or the Gothic (faded by the 16th C). ubils. 

    It stems from the Proto Indo European (5500 years ago, see the Definitions) *upelo-, from the base *wap- (compare to the Hittite huwapp- "evil").

    The noun in Old English is yfel.  In Old English, as in all the other early Teutonic languages except Scandinavian, this word is the most comprehensive adjectival expression of disapproval, dislike or disparagement" [OED].

    Evil was the word the Anglo-Saxons used where we would use bad, cruel, unskillful, defective (adj.), or harm, crime, misfortune, disease.

    The meaning "extreme moral wickedness" was in O.E., but did not become the main sense until 18c. Related: Evilly. Evil eye (L. oculus malus) was O.E. eage yfel. Evilchild is attested as an English surname from 13c.14c.

    D.  So the concept of evil goes back thousands of years, of course. 

    But it remained descriptive of unfortunate turns of events, and does not become a moral matter until religious speakers interpose it.

    See Popes Clement and Urban in urging the Crusades and promising no consequence for killing evildoers, non-believers, who were keeping good Christians from their rightful place in the Holy Land. Dualism has always been effective in rallying emotions. Go, Bush and progeny.

    E.  Legality or illegality of murder, does not venture to ascribe moral culpability.  It finds, after evidence, legality or illegality according to defined elements

    1. of a crime, where the perpetrator is to be identified and, if found,  punished based upon evidence beyond a reasonable doubt;  or 

    2. of a civil negligence event where the actor who fails to meet a legal duty is identified, and if so found, money damages are ascribed to the victim to make the victim "whole" again.

    The soother malefactor. Nchshshshshshsh. Hear it? Been around ever since. Dear jhwh, as "men" the gender type have indeed made you, couldn't you have done better with your own borders? A little homework, perhaps?


    Ascribing "evil" to 9/11 is and always has been dysfunctional, prompting emotional and religious- subjective responses to the perceived moral breach. "Evil" has a limited place in assessing international, inter-religious, and otherwise multi-faceted cultural and power issues. Evil ascribes moral culpability, a localized theological issue dependent on a belief system, with no objective court available for its proof or disproof.  It means "bad."  Instead, use "legal" or illegal, negligent in breach of duty of some sort, to some degree, or not.

    Evil?  No.  That was not even in Eden. Eden's event was one of seduction, subtle manipulation by an expert who was enabled to sneak in.  Eve had no warning that in this Eden, there was evil as we now call it.  We still blame the victim.  The deity clearly could not control the borders then, just as we cannot now.  Follow that thought as we seek perfection in leaders.

    Next steps:

    Skip moralizing in international and in-nation relations with ourselves. So the Deity was negligent; the Serpent exploitive in the gap left by the Deity, and the woman unawares in the land that was supposed to be worthy of her trust.

    Use the rule of law.

    With existing national and international bodies of law determining legality or illegality, breach of duty (negligence) or none such, interposing one group's religious view instead, or distracting from the legal, prevents addressing the problem in a timely, effective way.

    We live not in a local, but a global reality. Snake or serpent?  Matters of cultural definition, so stay with the actions, not the labels.

    Bush?  Bush was ignorant; or Bush made a mistake: internationally and nationally. Either way, we may never recover. George Bush had the choice:
    • Make this a moral issue against his favorite disfavored group, evildoers, in which case (in religious terms) we can kill evildoers at will, as Clement said of the Crusades; you can kill non-believers; and once unleashed, the emotions take over; or
    • Make and contain this as a secular political issue even where the perpetrators had religious motives, perhaps. But the issue is a legal one, not locally morally referenced.


    Read scripture in transliteration.  That is what we have.  All else is added.  FN 1

    FN 1 
     FN 1  Further on meaning of NChSh and its close word-sounds


    There are allusions in the meaning of NChSh to a spell, a ringing (warning?), a magic, a prognostication, enchanter, divine, learn by experience, augury, the "snake" as determined by a hiss? But NChSh is not a hiss, but a soothing beginning, and a shushing.  There is the enchanter Nachshon (Israelite)

    *  Both Strong Numbers 5153 and 5175 refer to another number Strong's 5172.  What is that about a ringing? A serpent ringing?

    Find these meanings:  put them together in your mind for a picture of what happened as to meaning, if not linear events

    This one appears above.  5153 nachuwsh naw-khoosh' apparently passive participle of 5172 (perhaps in the sense of ringing, i.e. bell-metal; or from the red color of the throat of a serpent (5175, as denominative) when hissing); coppery, i.e. (figuratively) hard:--of brass.

    5172 nachash naw-khash' a primitive root; properly, to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate:--X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe. Casting spells - Eve said something like that. At least, she was deceived.

    The whisper, the spell.

    The prognostication - see gnostic in there - the first gnostic was in Paradise itself? is gnosis the wisdom, the knowledge?  Word roots are wonderful.

    5173 nachash nakh'-ash from 5172; an incantation or augury:--enchantment.  Was Eve right:  she was enchanted.  How was she to defend against that?

    5175 nachash naw-khawsh' from 5172; a snake (from its hiss):--serpent. How do they get hiss out of nachash nawkhawsh??  Sounds soothing instead.  NnnnnnnnnChShshshshshshshshhsh. It's all right dear. Everything will be fine. Now if you would just .... Oh, yes, NnnnnnnnnChShhhhshshshsh....

    Sly, subtle, and fraudulent. So blame the victim. And did anyone tell Eve which tree? Only the androgyne Adm was told by the deity - after Adam and Eve were separated out from the Adm, did anyone at all show Eve where the tree was? Middle of the garden? What? With what GPS? Maybe Adam set her up - nose out of joint because she was to be the guide kngdv....

    5177 Nachshown nakh-shone' from 5172; enchanter; Nachshon, an Israelite:--Naashon, Nahshon. Looks like a homebody.
    ** And 5153 refers not only to 5172, the ringing or red throat, but also to 5175. Coppery, of brass. Just a color? What is that?
    Back to the Lexicon search.
    • Number 5175 - Click back on the Lexicon to the search page and type in the number 5175 this time. 
    Find these meanings: it's starting to repeat so we're on a good track.  We seem to find allusions not only to the ringing and color brassy, hissy, but to Nachash, now the name of two persons non-Israelite.  Is that saying that the deceiver is non-Israelite, a stranger? Ye gods, an immigrant? An alien? It also mentions a place in Palestine - non Israeli.  Ir-Nachash. Then Phineas comes back as the name of an Israelite. any significance to all these places?

    5153 nachuwsh naw-khoosh' apparently passive participle of 5172 (perhaps in the sense of ringing, i.e. bell-metal; or from the red color of the throat of a serpent (5175, as denominative) when hissing); coppery, i.e. (figuratively) hard:--of brass.

    5175 nachash naw-khawsh' from 5172; a snake (from its hiss):--serpent. [see 6372 here:  It says that 5172 is the mouth of a serpent)

    5176 Nachash naw-khawsh' the same as 5175; Nachash, the name of two persons apparently non-Israelite:--Nahash.

    5904 `Iyr Nachash eer naw-khawsh' from 5892 and 5175; city of a serpent; Ir-Nachash, a place in Palestine:--Ir-nahash. I find HaNahash looks like a street in Israel, at http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

    6372 Piynchac pee-nekh-aws' apparently from 6310 and a variation of 5175; mouth of a serpent; Pinechas, the name of three Israelites:--Phinehas.

    Mystery additional numbers showing up:  6310 shows these: http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=6310

    We seem to have allusions again to mouth, and to places, as mouth of the gorges in Egypt, or mouth of all, Philistine, mouth of a serpent, name of three Israelites. 

    6310 peh peh from 6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing), whether literal or figurative (particularly speech); specifically edge, portion or side; adverbially (with preposition) according to:--accord(-ing as, -ing to), after, appointment, assent, collar, command(-ment), X eat, edge, end, entry, + file, hole, X in, mind, mouth, part, portion, X (should) say(-ing), sentence, skirt, sound, speech, X spoken, talk, tenor, X to, + two-edged, wish, word.
    6366 peyah pay-aw' or piyah {pee-yaw'}; feminine of 6310; an edge:-- (two-)edge(-d).
    6367 Pi ha-Chiyroth pee hah-khee-roth' from 6310 and the feminine plural of a noun (from the same root as 2356), with the article interpolated; mouth of the gorges; Pi-ha-Chiroth, a place in Egypt: --Pi-hahiroth. (In Numbers 14:19 without Pi-.)
    6369 Piykol pee-kole' apparently from 6310 and 3605; mouth of all; Picol, a Philistine:--Phichol.
    6372 Piynchac pee-nekh-aws' apparently from 6310 and a variation of 5175; mouth of a serpent; Pinechas, the name of three Israelites:--Phinehas.
    6433 pum poom (Aramaic) probably for 6310; the mouth (literally or figuratively):--mouth.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Heresy Schmeresy. How Choice of Sect (neutral) became Perdition (Not neutral)

    Biblical heresy defined, explored.

    Heresy word before - private choice; and after the doctrinal morph into damnation.

    Related, a Study of Perdition.

    What hath Western Culture Wrought? All on its own.

    What is Heresy;
    Then, what is destructive heresy; and then, what is damned heresy.
    Translation progressions through the Institutions.

     I.  Context of Topic: The Role of "Heresy" in Western Culture

    II.  Heresy: From Greek Hairisin, Haireseis, "preference" in choice of sect,  to English Heresy - Damnation

    III.  Heresy:  From Destructive Preference, or Hairesis opOleias, to Jerome's sectas perditionis. Damnation.

    Heresy as private choice.  It began that way, and is rooted in the Greek. Eastern and Western culture frameworks and their religions see the right of individual choice versus the obligation to the group differently. Treatment of heresy, beliefs that veer from the mainstream where the mainstream is "required" by the mainstream, reflect that. Overview:  see an Orthodox Christian commentary (Orthodox Jonathan asks, for example, a) can religion really be a salad bar; and b)  is the essence of heresy the willingness of the dissenter to split the institution over it rather than deny his conscience) at http://jonathanscorner.com/search.cgi?page_mode=search_result&file_section=section_20&query=heresy&match_partial_words=0&relative_filename=orthodoxy/orthodoxy5.html

    The issue looms largest where an institution takes for itself the right to force conversions: believe this way or die; or at least lose your funding from the Party and get primaried out. Politics becomes the new religion. See issues of forcing conversion in our day at http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1535671,00.html

    The Western church took that flawed path early on, and killing religious refuseniks became easy, see Charlemagne's campaign against the Saxons, Sachsenhain especially; http://germanyroadways.blogspot.com/2011/02/sachsenhain-saxons-grove-charlemagnes.html, and the pope's Crusade against the Cathars, see http://worldwar1worldwar2.blogspot.com/2011/06/heresy-wars-timeline-cathars-religion.html, destroying a branch of Christian life that fostered ways to live together without murder and demonizing, see http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1535671,00.html.
    Heresy evolved as a Western weapon for efficiency, in the forced institutionalization of the otherwise non-institutionable. The Founder led by example and invitation, not by force. That did not last long.

    • Here we look at Acts, as Paul defined his mission first, his acts were in line with the hereditary faith. He followed a mere sect, like others accepted at the time: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Nazarenes. There was no "heresy" involved as we know it, with the concept of perdition included. The word "heresy" could be a sect, a position within the faith, as Paul described himself. In the Greek,"haireseis" was a matter of taking a position. Only after, when Paul and others decided that a "new religion" was needed (and somehow intended), did damnation and damned sects enter. Perdition as heresy: Dogma's weapon of mass destruction. Heresy as the Way" to religious ethnic cleansing From Hairesis, G139, chosen preference, to Jerome:  a doctrinal force, translating as a church advocate centuries later. Any sect disagreeing with the dogma of the Church became sectas perditionis.


    I.  Overview

    II    Heresy as the Greek Hairisin, Hairisim, Hairisis:  Acts 21:14, G139
    A.  In Transliteration:  Means preference, choice, taking of position, sect.
    B.  In Strong's Lexicon:  Also means sect, preference, with the additional uses identified;
    C. In Strong's Lexicon, check II Peter.  Note change from "sect" to "secta perditionis" in II Peter

    III     Secta Perditionis - II Peter 2:1. G684.
    A.  Transliteration check - an additional word is used, for sects of destruction
    B.  Translation check - "Destruction" becomes perdition, and thus damned and damnable sects lead to perdition.  As developed, perdition comes through erroneous opinions, not just acts; and the destruction of the bad position is not just the loss itself, but Hell.  Perdition. For thoughts.
    C. Translations misused

    IV.  Translators narrow meanings for doctrinal purposes.
    A.  The Church  translation from Greek to Latin, once set on an institution course (not just taking Paul as he was in early Acts) emphasizes that A.  if  points of view are erroneous, that is enough to get you to perdition, not just your acts.  And, B. as the institution developed, the church decided it had the authority to act for the deity -- to enforce by death those it decided were sectas perditionis.
    B.  Review,

    V. Sources for ordinary people



    A. "Heresy" does not appear in the Old Testament.

    The word "heresy" appears in the KJV New Testament nine times, beginning with the meaning as preference, or  "sect" -- a sect like the Sadducees, Pharisees, Nazarenes (Christians), Accepted differences.

    The meaning then moved, as the Christian Institution developed according to Roman influence, excluding gnostics and other viewpoints, into a different, and virulent form.  Heresy appeared not just as another sect, but  "sectas perditionis" -- heresy as violation of "true" dogma, sect of perdition; ultimately, synonymous with damnation.  The word heresy is listed as the Greek "hairesis" or, in Strong's Lexicon, as Strong's G139.  See.http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=heresy*+G139&t=KJV.

    And in the purgings of dissenters later, the church took on itself the authority to name heretics, the new sectas perditionis people, and kill in the name of God. 

    B.  The Greek hairesis appears mildly at first, in Acts 24:14 as part of the testimony of Paul who is describing himself as "hairiesin",  http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/act24.pdf; as he is questioned after his arrest on charge of acting against the religious laws - stirring people up.

    C.  Paul (writer using the name of Paul? search issue of attributed authorship, forgery or an era of accepted writing in the name of another, ex. Bart Ehrman's books) says, no, he is acting as hairesin, and that means according to a sect, a chosen preference, but still in the line of inheritance, in line with the inherited ways of the past, following the laws. Fast forward to writers under the names of Peter and others:  Perdition, they hiss; and extermination, followed also in the Roman tradition of killing off threats to the Empire, first civil, then military, then religious. Roman Christianity and the perfection of "cleansing."  See the process of cleansing cultures of religiously "bad" people, whether in the context of jihad or inquisition, the misinterpretations of text that targeting requires, and the hope at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/the-meaning-of-the-koran/?scp=4&sq=new%20testament&st=Search

    D.  Reference here:  the traditional King James version for its cadence and simplicity, and other parallel translations more recent and also more ancient. King James? Yes. See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/opinion/09sun3.html?scp=2&sq=wrote%20the%20bible&st=cse

    Other main sites: open all the windows at once.

    II.  Hairesin.  Heresim. Haireseis.
    Acts 24:14

    A.  In Transliteration:  Hairesias as Preference.

    Choice. Sect.
    In itself, neutral.

    Look up "hairesin" in transliteration.  Transliteration is a mechanical, literal, word-by-word approach from the originating language given, rather than a translator's narrative gestalt interpretation into the target language. See it at http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/act24.pdf.  Acts 24:14.  The "hairesin" number G139 given there, is transliterated as "preference" -- not "heresy."

    Preference is neutral, not a value judgment. You prefer this, I prefer that.

    Transliteration again:

    Paul's statement in transliteration Acts 24:14 as fair use quote retyped --  see the "preference"
    "I-AM-avowING YET this to-YOU that according-to THE WAY WHICH  they-are-sayING preference (they are terming sect) thus I-AM-DIVINE-SERVICE according to-THE hereditary God BELIEVING to-ALL THE according to THE LAW AND THE BEFORE-AVERers (prophets) HAVING been WRITTEN" 

    Look now at the inheritance aspect of Paul's faith: 
    • "The Hereditary God".  Legitimization of faith through inheritance. 
    • Note that the inheritance concept in Paul's statement is word G3971, and that stresses the "inherit" not the gender -- inheritance was indeed from father to son, or ancestors to posterity, but the emphasis is on the legitimacy by inheritance, not the gender of the one inherited from, see http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3971.  
    • Legitimacy through inheritance, not through gender.  Look askance at the emphasis not on an inherited, continuous faith, and find sex: "God of our Fathers" -- or God of my fathers, or I serve my fathers' God, I serve the Father and my God, God of our forefathers, God of the fathers, etc.  
    • The original transliteration is merely "hereditary" and that happened to be through the male line.  G3971 for "patrOO" - if the inheritance custom had been through the mother, maybe we would have matrOO. Same inheritance idea as legitimizing, not so much the gender.

    B.  Confirmation: Haireseis or Hairesis In Strong's Lexicon,
    Strong's Concordance:   
    Sect, Additional Uses

    Read about Strong's for Everyman at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong%27s_Concordance.  Strong is Victorian and so can be doctrinally tilted; people claim errors here and there, and resources available change. Use as part of other look-ups. We like the Blue Letter Bible presentation of  Strong's because it includes Thayer, another Victorian, but who is far less doctrinal. Thayer is not as apt to shape the definition to meet current dogma requirements.

     Haireseis in Strong's shows that G139 haireseis means "act of choosing" or sect.

    Haireseis or hairesis appears as "sect" that way five times. See http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=sect*+G139&t=KJV  Sect of the Sadducees, Sect of the Pharisees, Sect of the Nazarenes, Sect of our religion, this Sect.   Click on the number 139 there, to get to the full definition section, at http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G139.   See also http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/lexiconc.cfm?Criteria=heresy&st=whole.

    There are many definitions of  haireseis G139, see the uses specified at http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G139 :

    Meanings range widely:
    • the active even violent "capture" (the act of taking or storming)(what is the origin of that since there is no perdition involved yet?), and
    • the quiet "choosing".  
    • a body of men following their own beliefs as in a sect, and examples of sects are Sadducees, Pharisees, Christians. 
    • the neutral dissensions resulting from differing views and goals, or 
    • the doctrinal value judgment, "an opinion varying from the true exposition of the Christian faith (see the Thayer exposition there)".

    III.  Enter, Perdition
     New Idea Later. Not just destructive sect, but damnable


    Haireseias narrowed to "Sects", but sects of apOleias, "Destruction."
    In translation, that apOleias becomes Perdition.

    And Damned and Damnable By Bad Thoughts, Opinion: 
    Not Just Actions

    A. How did we get there?

    1.  Jerome translating to Latin, so far so good: 
    acknowledge "haireseis" - G139 - as merely "sect"
    Translate it into Latin that way. http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B61C002.htm

    2.. But, to the "sect" idea, add Peter's idea that that following some sects is destructive, a ruin, loss - "apOleias" - G684 http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G684 

    But be sure that the particular meaning chosen for G684 is not just "destruction" in Latin, but hell.

    3. The root of G684 remains G622, however, simply destroy, render useless, abolish. Only metaphorical, as coming later, as to give over to eternal misery,"hell" http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G622.
    Thayer: by one's conduct, action, the sheep straying, no longer able to subserve

    4.  And enter the most dangerous element:  perdition for wrong thoughts, opinions 

     Sectas Perditionis

    Suddenly the Roman sect is setting itself apart as the sole authority, the sole inheritor, and monitor of thoughts, not just acts. Here is where Thayer is useful.  Thayer gives comparative sites that appear to disagree with the "true faith" idea, so we know there is disagreement, so go to Peter first.

    A.  II Peter 2:1 on perditionis: Transliteration check
    Hairesis apOleias  - no "perdition"
    Words for Preferences of destruction

    Look up II Peter 2:1. at http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/2pe2.pdf. Find a phrase now, two words -- "haireseis (sic) apOleias" and the phrase reads, "preferences (sects) OF-destruction"
    The apOleias is G684.

    B. II Peter 2:1 on perditionis:  Parallel translation check
    Hairesi apOleias - Now find  "perdition" 
    Words now for Sects of Perdition

    See http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B61C002.htm.

    II Peter 2:1  Enter the world of perdition.  To Thayer, an interpretation including destructive opinion
     was erroneous, and he corrected it in his section.

    The Greek given there is "aireseiV  apwleiaV"  or heresy (meaning sect or choice)  followed by apwleiaV or "destruction".  Sect of destruction.  Heresy in the old sense of choice, followed by destruction.

    Greek Stephens 1550 ------------------------ aireseiV  apwleiaV
    Greek Scrivener 1894 ------------------------aireseiV  apwleiaV
    Greek  Byzantine Majority ----------------- aireseiV  apwleiaV
    Greek Alexandrian --------------------------- aireseiV  apwleiaV
    Greek Hort and Wescott --------------------- aireseiV  apwleiaV

    Transliteration ----------------------------------aireseiV--------------------------preferences (haireseis)
    Transliteration ----------------------------------apleiaV --------------------------of destruction (apOleias)


    Watch the change.  See Jerome's Latin not translating the words as they are, but translating doctrinally, to be dogma-correct.  Jerome does not leave a choice of belief as choice of belief;  and destructive as destructive.  It introduces sect with doctrinal damnation.

    Latin (Jerome) Vulgate ----------------------- aireseiV  apwleiaV -----------sectas perditionis
    • Not even the "aireseiV" and not even the "apleiaV" are translated as they are.

    Instead, Jerome sua sponte introduces a new idea:  SECTAS PERDITIONIS

    Doctrinal hell.  Not a mere wreck of a choice. http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B61C002.htm

    The Greek is still the "airesei" or hairesei we are used to.  Why does Jerome change it?  For doctrine:  to establish a new church regardless of what the Greek said.

    Why do we trust our scriptural translations to those who are arguing doctrine every step of the way? Is it because the purpose of this supposedly authorized new church is not to present fact, but to ensure everybody agrees with its view, or dies.

    This is a far cry from Acts, where Paul sees himself as in the line of inherited faith as any other Jew. Just another sect. Now, go to hell.

    When did Paul and his followers decide there had to be a new religion?  It was not in Acts at first.
    Those who believe these "heresies" so characterized (no longer the mere sect designation "heresim") will be destroyed and deserve it.  So, the quiet idea of "sect" in line with the past, but in its own way, as Paul used it in trying to show his innocence, has become dogmatic damnation - sectas perditionis - of anybody who disagrees.
    • Peter, Peter. Commentary. A fourth betrayal? The lure of power, and the institution of Paul, who was already on the way to usurping Peter as the rock, is too much for poor reactive Peter to think through. Cockadoodle.
    Peter, the rockhead. At Paul, we are appalled. Paul's legacy is the original heresy, taking ways of peace, moving away from preaching to those who will hear, and sadness but not blame for those who will not or cannot, and away from example and healing and welcome, and tolerance; to warfare and perdition. So western culture's path was set in the usurped rock.

    C.  Translations misused - perditionis

    Watch the progression:  from heresias, or sect; not to heresias perditionis, or damned sect; but to sectas perditionis so that the word heresy itself becomes synonymous with perdition. There is no pretense at grammatical correctness, but the idea remains.

    Heresias becomes perdition, and that is not what heresias means. Who brought the perdition to the party so that all who disagree are damned, and worse yet, that anybody on the street is authorized to enforce that damnation, not leave consequences to the deity; but impose it yourself,  as indeed occurred.

    IV.  Translators themselves add to the text - 
    Perdition becomes synonymous with heresy

    Jerome in the Latin Vulgate in Acts translates Paul's word as "heresim".  See http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B44C024.htm#V14. Look up "heresim" in a Latin to English dictionary, and find nothing.  See http://www.freedict.com/onldict/onldict.php

    Look further.

    "Heresim" can be seen as a root word, heres, with an ending, im: not a total word in itself in a dictionary. "Heres" in Latin means heir, heiress, successor, owner, see http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/lookup.pl?stem=heres&ending=im/.

    That also fits with Paul's idea of his being an inheritor, a successor in the line.  Even Jerome is not calling heresim the "heresy" of deviation from an inherited set. The "im" in heresim can be something to do with seeing, I see, you and I see, we are seeing, etc. Same site. So, Paul is saying he is a successor, an heir. Paul uses the word to mean connected to the past, not breaking from it.

    But Jerome's translation of the same word, heresias, in Peter II is not a word not the expected heresim perditionis, which would suggest some group within the hereditary faith going astray; but it is "sectas" -- not suggesting an inherited faith line at all.  A damned sect; he says "sectas perditionis".  That is jarring, and sounds criminalizing.  Not even within the bounds of the faith.  Whose faith?  The Roman sect's faith?

    Heresim perditionis or whatever it would be, would be expected.  Why the sudden sectas. And the people coming after just used "heresy" as a shortcut for damned sects.  But heresy retains the meaning of mere choice, and was used by Paul in that way.

    A.  Back to roots -- course adjustment
    Check Strong's again.  Go to G138 this time.

    Jerome goes so strongly into the perdition bit, that we go back to Strong's.  Find an identified root there for G139 at http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G139 .  Click there and see reference to Strong's G138.

    Often words surrounding a Strong's word, are useful.  This one, G138, (it looks like aipew, somewhat different from the aipicin but maybe not much.  It means "to choose". The root at  Strong's 138 means to take for oneself, to choose, to prefer (no violence seen in any of those), see http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G138&t=KJV
    Back again to simple choice.  A sect as a choice.

    What happened to that bland, informative idea of coexistence of choices?

    B.  Review and watch the parroting

    Keep your windows open at the bottom of the screen and hop back and forth. Look again at the evolution of meaning of hairesin away from the original.

    We found the "hairesin" as the numbered word G139.  See http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/lexiconc.cfm?Criteria=heresy&st=whole  Strong's system, either G for Greek or H for Hebrew, is from the Victorian scholar who with his minions took each word in Hebrew and Greek and catalogued it from the Old and New Testaments.

    We saw that "heresy" number G139 becomes either sect, or - suddenly a new concept same word to define itself - heresy.  Heresy? Use of the word to define the word?  Sect is not a value judgment.  Heresy is.  Heresy came to mean perdition, damned sect. Go back to the parallel Greek New Testament.  Take Jerome's "heresim" -- many the lackeys after simply make that into a new concept -- "heresy" --

    5.  Brave Translators Translate Heresim as Sect.
    Four brave souls.
    Only 4.

    There are four brave souls who translate "heresim" as "sect" -- http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B44C024.htm#V14
    • The American Standard, 
    • Darby's English,  
    • the World English, and 
    • Young's Literal. 
    Skip the Bible in Basic English as ridiculously doctrinal -- "that Way which to them is not the true religion," using up 10 dogma-teaching words instead of the one given, and reflects the later dogma wars, not the period in question. Suddenly, BBE puts us in the black-white true-religion angle that is not part of the verse at all.

    And by the time the writer comes along going under the nom de church Peter,all the concepts are mixed up with perdition, see http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B61C002.htm

    IV.  What is Perdition?
    Other sources, ordinary people

    Suddenly, mere heresim, or choice of sect; becomes sectas perditionis.  Damned sect. Then the perdition part becomes synonymous with the choice of sect. How doctrine grows. This is not a new idea, but there are authors who seek to lay out more choices in analysis.  For example, who really wrote the gospels, the letters. Was it customary at that time for others to write in the name of authority, and not be that authority at all, or writing at the authority's direction.  Search for  "forged" for example, a term that may not have been used then, but is useful now.  Vet the process of selecting the canon. Assess the role of Roman military and organizational prowess, and ruthlessness, in moving from a civil and military empire to a religious and military one. 

    Do your own research on perdition.  Perdition is used eight times in the King James New Testament, see http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=perdition&t=KJV -- beginning with John 17, and going on down some of the letters. How is it used, once it is in the vocabularu?  People go to perdition, there is the perdition of the ungodly, destruction and perdition go hand in hand, there is a son of perdition, there is a token of perdition,

    All doctrine.  And looking very gnostic -- gnostic elements in perdition, a dualism between good and evil. Check it out. Yet the gnostics were seen later as heretic in the sense of burnable. This process makes no sense, except as power plays. On through the Inquisitions, the Cathars, the forced conversions and on to today's self-designated right.

    Day of judgment language, who will burn, etc., all very institutional. Not part of original teaching where the deity may well choose a consequence, but the individual is to mind his own business --motes.

    Is that why Jerome suddenly uses "sectas perditionis" instead of mere heresim perditionis?  Have to make it worse? That's the point, is that so. Did the Founder walk around threatening people, beating on their doors, casting them out if they disagreed?  No, but as soon as he was gone, out the dogmers go. Heresy later equated with perdition. Perdition and sending other people to it became more important than living one's own life. Who is the heretic. Paul the heretic. He said that. It meant what it meant.

    Who let the dogma out?


    1.  Translation context.

    Translation efforts carry choices. Which wording achieves the desired meaning, whether or not original. So with the Bible. No surprise.  Translations also acquire weight of time. This one must be  "divinely inspired" because of its pedigree.  That one is a colloquial self-serving agenda.

    2.  Focus.

    Here, we look to intent of the Greek in the New Testament as to "heresy."  With no assumptions of divine inspiration for either the Latin or English, and without reaching back yet to Aramaic (not so much online), what meaning for "heresy" emerges.  How did words change so that merely "destructive preferences", for example, became the sinister and damning "sectas perditionis." Perdition?  Hell? That kind of destruction threatened in a "Christ" church?

    Did the Founder ever model that? Threat and killing for failure to believe a certain way?  If not, then is it the Institution that has been highjacked and is out of the real "inherited" line, and is the real "heresy."  Interesting.

    3. Why bother?

    Bother because, In western history, heresy led to burning of heretics and other acts of extermination over centuries: for those disagreeing with orthodox dogma.

    The idea of heresy seeped  into politics.  For example, political party is a new orthodoxy.  There is a penalty for not following the party line, for not mouthing certain words.  You must be a Believer This Way.  Your funding will be cut off and you will be cast into Sheol if you challenge the political gospel du jour.  Is that so?

    4.  Where next?

    Ask: What ideas are so toxic to our "destiny" (what is that destiny? what is exceptionalism?  do we delude?) that we will, nay, must guide the toxic believers that we ourselves identify, to damnation.

    Then ask about this assumption of enforcement. How did others get authorized to kill in the name of a deity, as though the deity had not moxie to impose consequences. How did justification for killing people for ideas even get into the language.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Capital Punishment: Put Someone To Death. If You Think You Have Cause. What?

    Capital Punishment.
    Go Ahead.
    Rewrite Commandments for the Gullible.

    Text authorization?
    No. But the gullible will not know the difference.

    And the result puts people at risk.
    The age-old Biblical prohibition against Murder,
    has been flipped to justify capital punishment.  

    Meet the Bible in Basic English and its permission slip.
    You shall not kill, Exodus 20:13, becomes "Do Not Put Anyone to Death Without Cause"

    Second Amendment Remedies Now In the Pew.

    Is that the same as Do Not Murder?

    The Basic English Bible makes two pivotal changes to the traditional Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill, or Thou Shalt Not Murder.

    The Basic English Bible says only, "Do Not Put Anyone To Death Without Cause." See its version of Exodus 20:13 at http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=exo&chapter=20

    The new prohibition uses wording applicable to an execution: Even everyday definitions are clear. Using the same straightforward site for the elements of an execution, start with definitions and context.

    I.  Object to it.

    Here, we object to the wording in three ways.  First, by examining the risk of imprecise wording taken literally by persons choosing to take the law into their own hands; second, by deconstructing the wording to show how the meaning changes; and, third, by text criticism. The wording is not in reasonable parameters for translating or transliterating, "Thou shalt not murder." The "execution" idea in the Bible in Basic English does not follow anything like it in the Bible Commandments.  The Bible in Basic English goes on a frolic of its own, an unauthorized deviation.

    How did this happen?  Understandable. The Bible in Basic English intentionally limits itself to 850 words, plus some other "Bible" words.  The function of this "Bible" is to simplify so that non-English speaker can more easily understand as they learn English at the same time. See What is the Bible in Basic English.

    With so few words, little nuance is possible; so the words chosen must convey the religious message intended, or else the message is distorted.

    Using this text as a "Bible" distorts the Bible.  What will "Christianity" mean to those in other lands; or even modern societies' religions who are given this as their main resource?  Christianity will mean what their translator or priest says it means, with the text even more distorted than we are used to.

    Second amendment remedies in the pew. Make room.

    This is an era where that wording, "Do not put anyone to death without cause," puts others at risk. The Second Amendment hops on board and becomes code for the seemingly-justified killing of others, by persons convinced that they have "cause" and therefore it is their acceptable duty to put others to death. Ayn Rand's self-interest uber alles.  All these who may have occasion to read or study this version, can find justification that is not otherwise there.
    • vigilantes, 
    • war criminals,
    • the unbalanced, 
    • lone wolves, 
    • militias, 
    • wild conspiracy theorists, conclusions not rooted in logic or evidence, feeding fear of loss of "one's own" in charge, fear of loss of social and economic status and other loss, assassins taking the law into their own hands,
    • religious self-help followers, convinced their interpretation of abortion or other issues entitled them to impose that view on others who may be also of faith, but with a different implementation,
    • gunworshippers, more self-help ultimata, disregard of others,
    • politicians exploiting all of the above
    The permissive version would allow such a vigilante-oriented person to think along these lines:  "I have cause, in my mind.  The Bible only prohibits putting someone to death without cause. Therefore, I can put this person to death because I have cause." Even of no specific example of that is found, as may be, change it anyway.  The risk is there.

    Murder has specific meanings, against interpersonal killing, lying in wait sometimes, taking law into your own hands, killing other than as the State or Religion requires in its laws or warfare. Here: go ahead. Put homosexuals, for example, feminists, women who get out of role, people who conduct abortions, people who have abortions, undesirables, other ethnic groups, undocumented immigrants in your face, all in the removable category.  Without the individual responsibility of a legally authorized cause, you can do what you like. The Bible tells you so.

    Substituting a phrase of art -- official putting to death -- for interpersonal murder and kill, is confusing, misleading, and false. This "translation" or, more accurately, this "paraphrase", has been in the public domain since 1965.  How to measure its impact? It is included up there with the major works, see the Parallel Hebrew Old Testament, here at Exodus 20:13. And nobody else agrees with it.

    II.  Deconstruct the wording.

    "Do not put anyone to death without cause".

    So just pick your cause.

    This results in a prohibition against official persons, acting pursuant to lawful authority to kill, to do so if there is not legal cause.  That wording technically, and at its worst, leaves wide open any Biblical prohibition against an individual killing for his or her own reasons.  At the least, that wording can mislead people who read it as authority to take the law into their own hands.  An execution by me because I have my own cause?  Looks fine. 

    A.  Who has authority to Put To Death. An institutional, official concept.
    • Putting someone to death is an execution. To put to death is an idiom for "to execute."  See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/put+to+death  
    • Putting someone to death is a killing pursuant to formal proceedings:  state criminal or religious law in effect officially in the place, and carried out by officially authorized persons or means, within that authority, after an official proceeding establishing guilt according to the law of that place, requiring death. See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/execution 
    • Accordingly, so far, the new Commandment language reads, in effect, Do Not Execute Anyone Without Cause
    B. What Cause is sufficient. Legally authorized cause.

    The adequacy of Cause gets ambiguous, because of its various meanings depending on the context. Bt when but the issue is a death penalty, the cause must be legally authorized in order to justify a putting to death. Cause out of context can mean a range:

    a) the producer of some consequence,
    b) a reason for the action,
    c) a goal or principle zealously pursued, or adopted by people in the context of a struggle, or
    d) legal Cause: ground for legal action, such as sentencing, enforcement, execution.

    Legal cause justifying a putting to death is thus a formal, adjudicated or authorized Cause; not a personally determined cause. See

    That new wording, Do not execute without cause, changes the subject matter, the action, and the object.  It downplays the legal nature of the cause required before someone can be executed.

    C.  Who is addressed? 

    Who is the "you," as in "you do not," don't do that. Who is that understood to be? What actor is addressed in the Biblical Commandment now?

     1. Not ordinary people.  Ordinary people are left out here.  If "putting to death" is an authorized function, then the authority is being addressed. If you are not an authority, this Biblical section does not speak to you.  

    So if you, an ordinary person, or part of ordinary group without official state permission to kill, want to wipe somebody else out, go ahead, is the strictly Biblical implication of this re-write.  Only officialdom's "putting to death" requires cause.  If you just want to kill, your cause is your cause.
    • The Bible in Basic English version omits any reference to "you" as an individual, acting completely on your own, or with others, and all without legal authority. The individual acting on his own is not addressed at all.  
    • There is no longer a prohibition about murder, or interpersonal killing out of pique or anger or resentment, etc. Common sense would suggest that that is not meant; but that is what is said. 
    2.  Authorized people.  Authorized people are addressed, because only authorized people can  "put to death."  Who, then, is authorized? Only those acting within that authorization, and when the authorization it itself legally authorized.
    • Authorized people acting outside their authority are not authorized.  
      • Soldiers and others acting outside their authority are not protected -- Soldiers are held to the standard of their particular role at the time.  A soldier can be accused of murder if he or she acts outside the immediate authority to kill pursuant to a war directive.  See My Lai, here at PBS
      • In a trial pipeline for alleged war crimes is Ratko Mladic, fair use thumbnail of him here from cba.ca:   
      • Based on current news coverage, we believe that our poster photos are Mladic, the officer we saw on posters in Bosnia. The resemblance is stronger than for Karadzic, we now think.  For either, the issues would be the same:  what is the line between warfare according to warfare's "rules," and genocide, murder. Do not "execute" without "cause" -- and the cause must be a legally authorized one. See the setting for the posters at  Bosnia posters, fugitive or recently apprehended war leaders
    3.  Authorized people but the authorization is illegal, are not authorized. See the Nuremberg trials.  People just following orders are not protected where those orders are criminal, and where the force over them was not absolute, and they could have chosen to leave or refuse somehow, difficult and risky as that choice might have been.  See  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/nuremberg/

    The different wording (Do not put anyone to death without cause) spreads hunting season wide open. Anybody can now be hunted.  The wording suggests that

    a) a person
    b) may indeed be the executioner of another (put another to death),
    c) without state criminal authorization, and
    d) without state civil authorization permitting religious criminal trials that can result in execution (Fatwa, for example),
    e) so long as the acting person believes in his own mind that he has cause.

    On what ground does the Bible in Basic English do that?  Single-handedly change a previously unquestioned Biblical wording?

    4.  The Ruthless Individualist, the Rational Selfish are Well Served

    Ayn Rand .  Ayn rand would be proud of this translation because it does not impinge on the individual. Individual uber alles, even uber law.  Some cultures do permit an individual to follow the personal directive of a religious leader and enforce an official fatwa, to kill.  Some (most?) cultures permit an individual to kill on the directive of its military, to defend, etc.  But what lands permit an individual to kill based on the individual's "belief" that killing is the recourse. Religious and secular law taken in their own hands, Bible in hand, the Bible in Basic English, BBE.  

    This unjustified alteration puts Second Amendment Remedies in the Pew. If offers tools for "Christians" here and in foreign lands to enforce their own view of who should live, what lifestyle shall exist, what beliefs, even if sincerely held. Look at the breadth of the permission.  If you think you have "cause," go ahead.  Put the person to death. The Morality Procrustean Be.  Thou shalt fit my personal-mold view, or I will hack you short or stretch you long until you do. Procrustean Bed. 

    III.  What translation or transliteration reasoning supports the "put to death" and "cause" idea.  Nothing.

    1.  KILL

    What was the original, or close to it:

     1.1 Thou shalt not kill, murder. See old Paleo-Hebrew --
    http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B02C020.htm#V13 .

    1.2  Go to plain, recognizable Hebrew, and find 
    לא תרצח׃  Remember to go left to right. At least we can see two groupings.

     1.3 Transliteration:  the Hebrew as it could be spoken, the phonetic:  There were no vowels in Hebrew, so any vowels are inserted according to likely sound, by scholars
    L'a ThUrTShCh.

    1.4 St. Jerome's Latin:  non occides.  Literally, "You do not kill"  or "You do not murder." Not even a "shall" is really there, in Young's transliteration at that site.  It is present tense, now.

    You.  Second person singular. You. You.  And You. Pointing finger arcs around.

    This is a handy site for starting on translations.  Parallel Hebrew Old Testament  Do not stop there.  Go to another transliteration, to check Young's Literal, the last one given at Parallel Hebrew Old Testament.

    1.5  Not you shall murder.

    See Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament at  Scripture4all, Exodus 20:13  The Hebrew looks the same, a little hard to tell, but the phonetic is very close to 1.3 above, how it would sound if spoken

    la thrtzch

    2.  MURDER

    What does murder mean? There are many resources

    2.1  Blue Letter Bible, Murder
    Slayer, manslayer, death, kill, destroy, "out of hand",

    2.2  Find all the places that "murder" is used
    Blue Letter Bible, Murder Uses
    Find numbers corresponding to each use of "murder" -- These are Strong's Lexicon numbers.
    For murder:

    Some of this is addressed in abortion topic sites, as the ideas of killing, murder, are used there. BBE. Doctrinally  Improved Ten Commandments.  This wording becomes a Second Amendment permission slip to kill those who ideologically conclude differently from you.


    Studying the impact of this translation on other countries who then espouse Christianity will be difficult.  What other kind of "Christianity" were they exposed to?  Perhaps none.  So, if this is the Commandment, that you do not execute people without cause, is the one in hearts and minds, can we be surprised at genocide? hate acts?  not really.  Without damage to the good translation areas of the Bible in Basic English, that may comport with Biblical intent through language and scholarship, this is to request that the current purveyors re-look at the Commandments. Put to death means an execution.  That leaves other behaviors open. Distortion translation.

    Do not kill would be good.

    Or, Do not murder.