Recently the Coke-cola company used a song from my youth in an advertisement. The song was “put the lime in the coconut”. Coke-Cola changed the words to ‘put the lime in the coke you nut’. The joke is on me because when I first heard the song I didn’t get it and I continued to not get it until the Coke commercial. You see lime is also the name of various calcium containing inorganic compounds. When I heard that song I thought they must be talking about some weird home remedy purgative or something.
The lesson for us amateur Bible scholars is that sometimes what we think the word means is the result of our mental wiring. There are three places in the Bible that I know of, where the original language is less specific than English and the choice of English word affects the meaning.
• The word translated as lust in Matthew as in ‘anyone who lusts after a woman’ is the same word as for covet. The verse would impact differently if it read whoever covets a woman.
• In Revelation the word translated as world is the same word used to mean land. The preterists, who think revelation is about the destruction of Israel in 70 AD read it as land as in ‘the land of Israel’.
• Blessed are the poor in spirit would read differently if it were translated as ‘Blessed are the poor in mind’.
I’m sure there are many more. We should always keep an open mind that perhaps the translators and us studiers may have missed something because of pre-conditioning.
Joel Sprenger on Of Circumcision, weasels and E… Jill on Of Circumcision, weasels and E… Joel Sprenger on An example of everything that… Donny on An example of everything that… Doug Beaumont on Biblical Perspicuity and Lingu…