Ryusenshi wrote:It seems to me that, on the whole and compared to other countries, Americans care very much about Bible translations.
It doesn't to me, and I live here. You don't.
Yes. I think our point is that because
you live in Bibleland, you may not realise how weird Bibleland is, when it comes to Bibles.
To pluck out just one example: Donald Trump, a Presidential candidate
, was, in all seriousness, asked what his favourite passage from the Bible was.
That's fucking weird. He was asked repeatedly
. And not by swivel-eyed daylight-deprived people, but by respectable news organisations. He was asked that by fucking Bloomburg
. As though anybody - even someone who was devoutly religious and adored the Bible, as Trump claims to - would have a favourite passage.
As though not being able to cite chapter and verse demonstrated, at the very least, some dishonesty in his claim to love the Bible.
And when Donald Trump did cite "2 Corinthians", he was greeted with mockery. Huh? Leaving aside the fact that I've always heard it called '2 Corinthians' (saying "Paul's Second Letter to the Church in Corinth" all the time is unwieldy), why would anybody, even the most devoutly religious, care about the protocol of biblical citation? Or expect anyone to care?
Why would anyone but the most obsessively devout or geeky even know that there were
two letters to the Corinthians, let along cite chapter and verse in a political speech?
And it's not just because Trump was pandering to the most devout of the devout. Take, say, Barack Obama. "I do have a few favorites. Isaiah 40:31 has been a great source of encouragement in my life, and I quote from it often. Psalm 46 is also important to me
" said the left-wing politician. Obama went to a memorial service in 2016 and didn't just spout general stuff about God and Love and Heaven and whatnot, he actually quoted from the Gospel of John. And from the Book of Ezekiel. And from Paul's Letter of the Romans. And from the Book of Psalms. In one speech! He didn't just quote from Ezekiel, he said
it was from Ezekiel (as though people knew what 'Ezekiel' was!) and said something along the lines of "as it says in Ezekiel" (as though anybody might have the faintest clue about anything from Ezekiel!!??).
Here, if someone says "as it says in Ezekiel...", they're about one pamphlet short of a straitjacket. In America, it means they're a secular politician.
Hell, in America there are Bible study classes
! And not just for kids! Recently I've heard of several members of Congress privately attending Bible study groups - not on campaign trails, and not that weird thing Trump makes his cabinet go to, but just privately, without press. And to emphasise: the weird thing isn't that they're religious, though that's hard enough to get one's head around as a non-American*, it's that the idea of expressing one's faith by studying the Bible
is just so profoundly... weird. I know plenty of devout Christians - I went to a religious school myself - but even the really extreme, Americanised evangelical Protestants only go so far as to know a few of the blockbuster quotes. The idea of adults actually getting together and reading the Bible
together is... wow.
*as the devoutly religious PM's press secretary explained: "we don't do God".