March 2021

We’ve all heard the phrase “got lost in the translation.” We’re usually referring to words or phrases whose meaning do not have a precise corollary in our own language. Holy Scripture is filled with words like that, and an annotated translation will often indicate this with a footnote stating “original unclear,” whether it’s Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. Sometimes even the sound of the original language helps to understand the term, and that definitely gets lost in translation.

We have familiar words and phrases that mean something completely different in our usage than they did way back then. For instance, the word hosanna most often sounds like a “yay God” moment in the way we use it. But the Hebrew word comes from Psalm 118:25 in its most familiar passage: “Hosanna! Send us success” is what we’ll read on Palm Sunday. The original meaning, however, is “save us, we beseech you, O Lord.” When translations were made into Greek, then Latin and English, the translators used words they thought were implied because they didn’t know the original meaning… . . . .”

click here to continue reading at our March Epistle