Translators to the Reader

Topic:   KJV Type:   Articles Translator: A.Allison Lewis


But how shall men meditate in that which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept hidden in an unknown language? As it is written, Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him who speaks a barbarian, and he who speaks shall be a barbarian to me [1CO 14:11]. The Apostle excepts no language; not Hebrew the most ancient, not Greek the most copious, not Latin the finest [! - aal]. Nature taught a natural man to confess, that all of us in those languages which we do not understand are plainly deaf; we may turn the deaf ear unto them. The Scythian counted the Athenian, whom he did not understand, barbarous. So too did the Roman count the Syrian and the Jew. Even Jerome himself called the Hebrew language barbarous, quite likely, because it was strange to so many. So the Emperor of Constantinople called the Latin language barbarous, though Pope Nicholas raged at him for so saying. So the Jews long before Christ called all other nations Lognasim, which is little better than barbarous. Therefore as one complains that always in the Senate of Rome there was one or other who called for an interpreter; so, lest the Church be driven to the like need, it is necessary to have translations prepared. It is translation that opens the window, to let in the light. It breaks the shell that we may eat the kernel. It puts aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place. It removes the cover of the well that we may come to the water; even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered [GEN 29:10]. Indeed without translation into the common language, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s deep well without a bucket or anything to draw with [JOH 4:11]. Or it is as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered with this request, Read this, I pray you, he was compelled to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed [ISA 29:11].

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This Page Last Updated: 06/25/05 A. Allison Lewis