why I read the vulgateBy
I like dead languages. I like sick and almost comatose languages too (Sicilian), but let’s stick with Latin. Because Latin is awesome.
Sometimes for yucks I read the Latin Vulgate. I am weird, I get it. The reason I like it is because it jars the brain, especially since it’s not my native language1 . I have to look hard at things, because I have to grab the dictionary a few times every verse.
What I like about Latin is that it’s precise. Texans get this, because you isn’t the same thing as y’all which isn’t the same thing as all y’all. In English, we get you, and you alone.
So here I am, reading Corinthians and I run across this awesome verse.
Temptatio vos non adprehendat nisi humana fidelis autem Deus qui non patietur vos temptari super id quod potestis sed faciet cum temptatione etiam proventum ut possitis sustinere.
Or in the King’s English (literally):
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able; but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
So big deal. Yes, it is a big deal.
This is a scripture that I used to dislike. Maybe I hated it, I dunno. It was one of those chestnuts thrown out when a person is having a tough time with a problem, or struggling with a demon of some sort. It was thrown at people with addiction problems, which usually made them feel like garbage because obviously they weren’t able to have the faith to overcome their demon.
In short, it was a scripture that pious people used to attempt to make people feel simultaneous better and worse. Usually worse.
The modern translation of this verse is “There’s nothing God will ask you to do that you can’t, and if you can’t do it, you’re defective. Unlike me. I got this.”
This is why I love Latin. Here’s a rough translation:
…but God is faithful, who will not suffer all y’all to be tempted above that which all y’all are able; but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that all y’all may be able to bear it.
In short, it’s all about all y’all. We are all in this together. Individually, we’re not able to bear everything that is thrown at us. Together, as a group, a church, a community, we are.
The word religion gets a bad rap, because it is tied to the crazies. Ignore that. Religion is (wait for it) comes from the Latin word for binding together again. It comes from the same root word as ligament; something that connects things, and align, to make things fit together in some sort of order.
Religion should be about binding ourselves together to allow us to achieve a common goal; for Christians, it’s coming to know and emulate Jesus. For Buddhists, to bring the sangha (community) together toward enlightenment, together. With a few exceptions, religions are the manifestation of a philosophy, that together we can do better than we can apart, so long as we show up to the game to love and support, not to judge.
After church today, I find myself thinking about the people who are struggling with problems that they can’t solve themselves. That would be, let’s see…everyone. We’re all struggling in one way or another, and I think it’s time to get rid of the judgement and just help bind ourselves together.
So give up your judgment to Judge Judy, she’s paid to do it. We few, we happy few, let’s just support all y’all.
1. Well, duh.↩