Sunday, November 1, 2009

Give unto Caesar. And then give some more unto Caesar.

I've devoted the last 6 months to re-translating the New Testament. The document that you think of as "Bible" is filled with so many translation mistakes that I believe some of the errors were intentional. You can hit the "Bible Re-interpretation" tag at the bottom of this post to read more translations.

You might be familiar with the story of the religious leaders coming to Jesus and trying to trap him with his own words. They ask if it's ok to give money to the government. In the erroneous version, Jesus replies "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Here's the corrected text, based on more recent scholarship (mine). This is from Matthew, Chapter 22, verse 15.

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.

16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.

17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?
19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,

20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"

21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar that what is Caesar's, and then follow up by giving to Caesar that what is God's. Give unto Caesar that which is not yet even yours, through the Value-Added Tax. Give unto Caesar your firstborn sons to be his warriors, and give him your daughters to be his maidservants. Give Caesar your chariot manufacturing companies, and give him the right to lower the compensation of executives. Give unto Caesar all responsibility for your brother, and the aged, and the poor, for this relieves you of responsibility. Make your wealthy neighbor give more unto Caesar, for he thinks he's better than you. Oh, and I almost forgot. Put Caesar in charge of healthcare, since he does such a great job of delivering the mail."

22 And then Jesus finished by saying "Caesar is freakin' awesome."
23 When the Pharisees heard this, they were relieved, for they knew their faith-based funding from The Empire would remain intact. So they left him and went away rejoicing.
The pictures of Rendering Unto Caesar came from here and here.


JoshFult said...

Israeli forces storm into holiest place on earth

Nice blog

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Israeli forces have stormed The Cowtown Bar & Grill? I had no idea.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Why would Caesar want to be in the Chariot Industry? That's crazy!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the entire Bible to be translated by WS. This is going to make King James look like a guy handing out flyers on the street corner.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I was learning Hebrew, so that I could do the Old Testament/Jewish scriptures. I only made it this far into the 23rd Psalm:

"Obama is my shepherd...."

I was so shocked that I didn't go any further.
I did discover that "Barack Obama" is an old Kenyan/Hebrew term that can also be translated as "Jimmy Carter".