April 22. 2013

Acts 9:36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.

Several years ago there was a movie out entitled “Lost in Translation” about some Americans in Japan and the distances created by cultures and generations. I don’t know why Luke thinks it is worth noting the translation of this woman’s name but I guess it is safe to assume that he felt someone along the way was going to connect with the Greek version in a way they couldn’t with the Hebrew (or is Tabitha Aramaic?). Maybe in the wider context he is noting that the early church wasn’t creating the story of Jesus but was just learning how to translate that story into a language accessible to others. Translation is hard whether it is putting one language into another or personal thoughts, feelings and experiences into any form that adequately expresses them in a way that will actually connect with another person. And yes, something often does get lost in translation. But it helps to be reminded, even in these roundabout ways, that our experience with God is not something we have to create or make up, only find ways to translate to one another. What will you be translating this week?

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by | April 22, 2013 · 7:39 am

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