I read somewhere that the infamous verse “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” is actually a mistranslation and should read “Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live.” Anyone know?
Also, I read somewhere else that the Holy Grail isn’t actually a cup or chalice…supposedly it’s a corruption of the Latin graduale, or ladder. Thus the Holy Grail is the ladder that Joseph of Aramathea used to climb up and take Christ off the cross. I’ve been chewing on this ever since I read it, so I’d appreciate any positive information. Thanks!
The verse in question is Exodus 22:18; the operative word is rendered “witch” in the King James Version. In Hebrew, the word is kashaph (“kaw-shaf”), which is a root meaning “to whisper incantations” or “to use witchcraft”. It is closely related to kashshaph, which means “magician” or “sorcerer”. A third related word, kesheph, means “magic”, “sorcery”, or “witchcraft”.
“Grail” isn’t Latin; it’s Middle English “graal”, which is derived from Old French and Middle Latin “gradalis”, meaning “a flat dish” or “cup”. This is derived from Vulgar Latin back to Standard Latin “crater”, meaning a mixing bowl. The word came down to us from the writings of an 8th-century Cistercian monk named Helinadus, who wrote a book called Gradale, which chronicles the story of a vision of the Holy Grail in the year 717. You are free to take as many grains of salt as you choose with these old legends concerning all these supposed relics; the Catholic Church does. (I do, too.)
There are presently at least four different specimens extant which claim to be the Holy Grail. There are two which are the more famous; one is located in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and was discovered in Syria in 1910. It is also known as the Chalice of Antioch, and it has a history way to long to recount here.
The other is is a dark-red colored cup of proven Roman date which is kept in the Catherdral of Valencia in Spain. This one also has a lengthy history. I don’t know anything about the other two examples; but I do know that the Church refuses to authenticate any of them, because it’s just simply impossible to prove that any of them were the actual cup used by Jesus during the Last Supper. Contrary to popular belief, the Church doesn’t go into these things lightly; and to avoid ridicule and embarassing retractions later on, all relics of this kind are very, very carefully analyzed and examined for proof and actuality before any statements are made concerning them.
WHAT??? ANOTHER piece of Catholic property that Henry VIII stole from us??? Wasn’t it bad enough that he shut down all our monasteries and robbed us of our money, not to mention swiping all OUR cathedrals that WE built, he had to steal the Holy Grail from us, TOO???
We all know about the mistranslation about Moses, where he comes down from the hill “with horns” instead of “shining,” right? Hence the odd Michelangelo, Claus Sluter et al sculptures. My personal favorite.
Well everyone knows that “suffer the little children to come unto me” means that you’re supposed to administer corporeal punishment to your children so that they’ll grow up to be good Christians. Right?
At Syracuse University we have a statue of Moses, with horns intact.
You might ask, why do we have a religious statue at a university that accepts government funding? It’s outside the Law School, and he is supposed to represent the law rather than religion. I say that’s a lame excuse.
What about the rumor that the Aramaic word for manger was similar to lake, and that what it really says is that Jesus was born near a lake?
This is getting ridiculous. A manger is an animal feeding box, which I suppose would be the logical thing to put a baby in if a you gave birth to him in a stable. As for the rest, are you guys just trolling, or trying to funny?
“I had a feeling that in Hell there would be mushrooms.” -The Secret of Monkey Island
Diceman, what do you mean? Some of these are jokes, and obviously so (e.g Lumpy, Pluto), but others are serious translation questions. Are you asking whether there have ever been any translation/ copy problems with the Bible?
I’ve heard (from my Art History 101 teacher) that this may not be a mistranslation; horns were considered symbols of great power to ancient people. There were Mesopotamian and Canaanite goddesses portrayed at that time with horns. I agree that the statues of Moses look pretty sill with horns, though. Are there any artists contemporary with the writing about Moses’ horns/rays of light who portrayed him with horns?
“Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.”
I actually asked a while ago on some hebraic studies listserve, and they reported that in the hebrew it was indeed “shining”, although the word for horn was spelled similarly (and in Hebrew you know that’s trouble). As for artists contemporary with the writing of Exodus? Uh, probably not… At least not in the area. I don’t think there are any contemporary hebrew artworks left to us (although Freud apparently thought that Moses and Akhenaten were the same person…).
I knew what a manger was (approximately). My question was whether there had been more support for the claim that a translation error occurred, and that the original text says that Jesus was born on the shore of a lake, not that he was born in a stable.
I apologize that I no longer remember who had made this claim (someone who knew Aramaic, I guess).