“You can do your worrying about tomorrow tomorrow.”

This is a five-minute post. Maybe I can say something about my “translation philosophy” since a couple of you keep bringing that up as rather important.

Translations are done mostly in one of four ways: 1) mostly for proposition (or what Robert E. Quinn might call the “telling strategy”); or 2) mostly for imposition (i.e., the “forcing strategy”); or mostly for transposition (which could be “the negotiating strategy” swapping one mode for another); or mostly as ap(p)osition (that’s akin to self-change and to having absolutely no position with respect to the translated text and the original).

This morning, I read Dallas Willard’s translation of a bit of Matthew’s translation of a bit of Jesus’s sermon on the mount. It goes like this, and it’s changing me. Before I give it to you, let me first say that my Dad called last night to say his health has dramatically failed. He’s back at the doctor’s office today trying to rule out something that took the life of one of his peers, his friend, in just days. Okay, now the translation:

“You can do your worrying about tomorrow tomorrow.”

Μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον· ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει { τὰ ♦ – } ἑαυτῆς.

None of that is exactly equal to what Jesus said to fellow Jews, women and men, in Israel way back then.  (It’s not mere information, not exactly performance, not necessarily a reform of the original.  What is the original spoken Hebrew Aramaic except now fragments of Hebraic Greek and English that isn’t required to be natural as most native speakers speak it most of the time in most places so that all can understand?)  It gives me no insider position, these translations or the very silent original, and yet as I wait to hear the news of Dad’s diagnosis the day after the day after the day after tomorrow possibly, I am being changed by that permission to do my worrying, worrying about tomorrow, tomorrow.  Willard translates Matthew, Matthew translates Joshua, that Jesus translates goyish me.

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