Tuesday, 19 April 2011

What's in a name?

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

I think our mind association is stronger than that. 'Rose' evokes so many things that we have no only a scent but an atmosphere, feelings, people, the breeze through the hills of the last rose garden visited, the anticipation of a roast dinner as we sit with friends in a garden after church.

I've been thinking of words and names, and how they not only communicate concepts, but at best, evoke whole pictures, feelings and associations.


Chris said...

was this sparked by this?
is God a bloke?

Rosemary said...
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étrangère said...

Nope! Though I have noticed that I no longer really think inclusively when I hear the NIV's 'man' - I automatically hear it excluding women, which I never used to. No, it was sparked more by discussions relating to changing the name of our church.

Chris said...

wow. can you identify any particular moments or forces that changed the way you hear/read it?

étrangère said...

No, I can't identify influences: I only recently noticed the definite reaction, indicating that the meaning I assign to the words has changed. I believe in federal headship and consciously say 'mankind' rather than 'humankind', and think the TNIV was way over the top and kept missing The Man. But NIV goes to town using male words where the Greek has person words. E.g. 'purchased men from every nation' - really, not women? The Greek has no noun at that point. So perhaps the NIV is partly to blame for my reaction, because it's so unnecessarily different to the culture: if it were just where the Greek says, I might have retained that better.

For my own reaction, I noticed on Sunday: I read Titus 2 up front from a church Bible (NIV'84) 'For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men', sat down with my ESV and saw thankfully the salvation was for me too ;) Now that says worse of my mind, because it is indeed ἀνθρώποις, and presumably in context is 'all men both Jews & Greeks', but I heard it as excluding women. The change has been gradual.

The new NIV seems to correct the unnecessarily male assertions of the '84, but not go overboard as the TNIV did. I haven't used it much to really know, though.