LNH/ACRA: Alt.stralian Yarns #4: Reading Clocks

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Fri Jan 5 08:46:35 PST 2007

Mitchell wrote:

> Wait -- what sort of Lord's prayer did YOU learn? =S

The KJV, baby!  Matthew 6:9-13,

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day
our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is
the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

Though, now that I think of it, the way it was taught to me (and the
way I say it) is "forgive us our trespasses" instead of debtors, and
there was a second "ever".

>I was always
> taught "May the kingdom, the power, and the glory be thine, now and
> forever." But I was never much of a Christian, and I understand that

Well, the meaning in the same, and you have to realize that it's being
translated from another language and there are dozens of different ways
to do that.

I perfer the KJV because, for my money, it is _the_ definitive
English-language translation of the Old and New Testaments.

Now, I'm certainly not trying to push any religion on anyone, and I'm
not arguing for the KJV because of my religious beliefs.  I'm arguing
for it as literature.  In my mind, its use of language is far superior
to that of other translations.

Look at this bit from Genesis from the King James Version:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth
was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said,
Let there be light: and there was light.

Now look at the Living Bible:

When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was at
first a shapeless, chaotic mass, with the Spirit of God brooding over
the dark vapors. Then God said, "Let there be light." And light

The thing that makes the KJV compelling, for me, isn't the meaning of
it; because, really, the KJV, the Living Bible, the New American Bible,
they're all the same thing, all the same meaning.

But the way in which it is said!

The KJV is glorious.  It's poetry.  It's rhythmic, it pays attention to
the way words sound next to each other.  Which is what I try to do.

I'm not saying I always succeed.  I've written my share of bad

But how you say something is at times as important as what you're
saying.  The tone, the feeling of the thing comes through in word
choices, in the sounds of words, the rhythms of sentences, in cackling
consonants and soft sibbilant whispers.

Even if the word sibbilant in and of itself isn't very sibbilant; the
double b stops the s from making an impression, and the nt, while not
neccessarily harsh, is not necessarily pleasant, either.  Granted,
there are some nice words that open with a sibbilant and proceed to
contrast it with a harder sound.

Look at smoke, or better yet, smoky.  Smoky is more pleasant to my ear
because the sss is contrasted with the kkuh, and it lilts out with the
eeee.  The y is like a whisp of smoke escaping, and so I think better
captures the actual appearance of smoke.

The word smoke is too complete, too final, too deadly.  I would use
"smoke" if I wanted to to invoke the sensation of suffocating or
danger.  I would use smoky to invoke escape or nostalgia.

House fires are full of smoke; camp fires are smoky.

> several other translations would be way more out. It's also interesting
> that, as an Australian, I was taught the "the kingdom, the power, and
> the glory" when, as I earlier stated, the comma before the 'and' is an
> American convention. Perhaps my sources on this were not as reliable as
> I had believed. Curious.

Well, again, there's many different translations.  Yours sounds closer
to the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC) version.

> > ==Tom
>  ==Mitchell

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