Tag Archives: translation

The Republic of Plato: A Review

About a month ago I read that a classical education indoctrinates a student into Socialism. If The Republic of Plato is held up as the goal of classical education then that is certainly true. Plato’s completely man-centered “ideal society” could very well be the government of the Anti-Christ.

With the idea that you keep your friends close and your enemies closer, I have the Republic on my laptop, on my ebook reader and on CDs so I can listen to it as I drive down the road. This will be my first book review on this blog that is neither positive nor what I consider a “must read.” If you are the type of person who is easily deceived or easily upset when you confront evil, then stay away from the Republic. It advocates the very deceptive form of evil know as collectivism. Plato makes this great evil sound so good, so tempting.

How can the Republic, which opens with “a festival to the goddess” and finishes with a scene in Hades, be man-centered? The goddess is never named. All that Plato talks about are the festivities. The scene in Hades is a form of reincarnation which teaches some form of judgment where your actions and choices in this life determine how you fare in your next incarnation. In other words, it exists in the Republic solely to make people “behave.” That is a method of state control. This vague general “judgment” appears throughout the book. For example, in Book One, it says, “(Cephalus) For let me tell you, Socrates, that when a man thinks himself to be near death, fears and cares enter into his mind which he never had before; the tales of a world below and the punishment which is exacted there of deeds done here were once a laughing matter to him, but now he is tormented with the thought that they may be true…”

In form, The Republic is called a dialogue. Though intended to be read, it is written like a play. A character’s name is written, followed by what is said. It is not as easy to follow as a modern novel, but the names certainly make it easier to know who is speaking. Not every translation includes the names. Also, there is no action like we are used to. Actions can be talked about, but nothing is “shown.” The dialogue is an extended conversation, with lengthy interruptions and arguments. It sounds quite believable, but it does not “flow” smoothly from point to point like a well-written research paper.

Benjamin Jowett translated the most readily available version. I highly recommend it because the opening notes (Introduction) clarify some of the more insidious evils of The Republic. The following are just a few of Plato’s main points. He says that The Republic follows the form of a Greek Tragedy. He believes that through The Republic “Plato reveals to us his own thoughts about divine perfection, which is the idea of good –like the sun in the visible world; –about human perfection, which is justice.” Benjamin Jowett also said, “Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first who conceived a method of knowledge” which we know today as Natural Law. Plato would use education to indoctrinate. “In the ideal State which is constructed by Socrates, the first care of the rulers is to be education.” Jowett makes it clear that Socrates meant to impart much more than mere academic knowledge, just as Natural Law means to teach more than mere Science. Socrates promoted “the conception of a higher State, in which ‘no man calls anything his own,’ and in which there is neither ‘marrying nor giving in marriage,’ and kings are philosophers’ and ‘philosophers are kings;’ and there is another and higher education, intellectual as well as moral and religious, of science as well as of art, and not of youth only but of the whole of life.”

Many know that Plato in his Republic based his state on a philosopher/king. Few, however, are aware that he believed in communism and free love and that these two “natural” principles were to be foundational principles of the state.

Plato says “None of them will have anything specially his or her own.” “Their legislator, having selected the men, will now select the women and give them to them [the legislator gives selected women to selected men]…they must live in common houses and meet at common meals … they will be together … And so they will be drawn by a necessity of their natures to have intercourse with each other…” “… Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes … have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one … cities will never have rest from their evils.”

There are many works about The Republic. Most will mention Socrates, the philosopher/king, and the great illustration of people chained in a cave going their entire lives only seeing shadows on a wall and never seeing reality. The characters are often analyzed in great detail.

The fact that The Republic advocates a rigid class system where laws are enforced by thugs (my word) whom Plato calls “guardians” is rarely, if ever, mentioned. I find Plato’s Republic to be closer to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World or George Orwell’s Animal Farm than Thomas More’s Utopia.

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What Is a Pig Translation?


 

Every missionary to the many tribes in Papua New Guinea has to face the translation issue. There are numerous tribes and each tribe has its own language, usually with no understanding of any outside language. There are very few missionaries for the total number of tribes. When the missionary lives in a tribe and learns the language well enough, he begins translating the Word of God into that language.

“Behold the lamb of God.” But these people have no idea what a lamb is. Some missionaries choose to stay long enough to educate these tribesmen, even paying out of their own pockets to bring a lamb in. The years or decades this takes means that other tribes will never even hear of the Word of God. There are only two alternatives. Use a word these tribesmen will probably never understand or use the closest word these tribesmen already understand. However, the only creature that these tribesmen have ever seen which is anything like a lamb is a pig. If you were the translator and were unable to stay long enough to educate this tribe would you translate John 1:36 “Behold the pig of God?”

No translation is inspired, including the King James. It was an excellent translation for its day and is still one of the best, but the meaning of many words has changed. “Suffer” no longer means “permit,” “quick” does not mean “alive,” and “conversation” does not mean “manner of life.” No modern Standard English speaker uses these words in that way. These are not errors, just obstacles to understanding. At some point, these obstacles will make understanding impossible.

The KJV is not the only translation to face this problem of changing language. All of the many translations which brought people to Christ faced this problem. The Latin Vulgate, which probably holds the “top spot” for bringing people to Christ, now requires a special course in ecclesiastical Latin to be able to read and understand. Another translation greatly blessed by God is Luther’s German (of which there are many, since he revised annually). The Reina-Valera Spanish translation has also had wide influence and been greatly used by the Holy Spirit. We can be thankful that English has no corner on the market of salvation through the Scriptures. It is sad that some people hold to the idea that more people will be in heaven because of the KJV than any other translation. This is simply not true.

The original printing of the 1611 KJV was almost immediately replaced by the 1613 because of the number of spelling mistakes and typographical errors. Most libraries and archivists have the 1613, not the 1611. Both contained the Apocrypha, notes, and significant spelling differences. Because King James never authorized the translation which bears his name, there were thousands upon thousands of changes throughout the years. One of the most famous was the 1629 edition which incorporated the newly acquired Alexandranus text.

Current KJV versions sold throughout the English speaking world come from 1769 revisions. There are actually two 1769 editions, the Cambridge and Oxford editions. They have minor but definite differences. 1. Jeremiah 34:16, the present Oxford KJV has “whom he,” while the present Cambridge KJV has “whom ye.” 2. 2 Chronicles 33:19, the present Oxford KJV has “sins,” while the present Cambridge KJV has “sin.” 3. Nahum 3:16. At this verse, the present Oxford KJV has “fleeth” while the present Cambridge KJV has “flieth.”

There are mistakes, though they are small and relatively insignificant, in the KJV. Just one example is that candlestick should be translated lampstand. Candles did not come into use until Roman times, and so could not have been used in the Tabernacle or Temple. Besides, related passages specify the use of “oil for the light,” which indicates a lamp.

The Greek New Testament produced by Erasmus formed the basis of the KJV translation. Erasmus had only one Greek manuscript for Revelation, which did not have the last six verses. He used the Latin Vulgate for these verses. Revelation 22:19 in the KJV reads: “the book of life;” while every known Greek manuscript read “the tree of life.”

In spite of the facts, many people have made a belief in the word-for-word inspiration of the KJV a test of fellowship. They reject anyone who will not agree that the KJV is the only inspired English translation. This is a heresy.

http://jcsm.org/StudyCenter/john_macarthur/KJV.htm references a pamphlet produced by John MacArthur which provides a fairly thorough treatment of his dealings with one KJV only preacher and his perspective on the subject. It is much more detailed than this brief piece and covers the subject well.

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Preface to Antidisestablishmentarianism

The most religious people on earth are those who claim not to have any religion. Dogmatic, intolerant, and bigoted, they refuse to allow anyone to so much as speak their opposition. Yet these same people demand political power and tax support. The mildest opposition, such as the mere mention of Intelligent Design (not God), has blacklisted tenured professors. Just two parents in a middle school in Texas made the national news by objecting to Gideon Bibles placed, without comment, on a table outside the school office.1 Such people dishonestly claim that they are not religious and “religion” is a group of mythologies. The truth is that they are the ones promoting mythology. In every aspect of life they promote this mythology with unproven dogmatic assertions under the guise of “Science” vocabulary. After hijacking the word “Science,” they use the courts to elevate their misuse of the term to an established religion.

Science is the study of the world around us, the use of the experimental method and the improvement of our lives through the application of technology. It is divided into various academic disciplines such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Biology. However, what the federal courts, the academic community and the mainstream Western media mean by science is uniformitarianism. It is the cosmological foundation of the religion of Secular Humanism. “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Peter 3:4). This concise description of Uniformitarianism clearly shows that it is completely and entirely a religious belief in antiscientific myths.

Secular Humanists use words which have been in the English language for hundreds of years but give them “new” meanings. However, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). The words believe, faith and trust are all historic judicial terms and they also form the foundation of the true scientific method. What Secular Humanists promote as their version of the scientific method consists of preconceptions, presuppositions and assumptions. It is the opposite of an open mind.

A true open mind is founded in belief, faith and trust. The historic meaning of believe is to perceive or understand with the mind and then make an informed decision.2 The most basic use of the word believe which the average American would understand is that of a juror in court. Which witness do you believe? Which piece of evidence is believable? A synonym would be the word credible. When we believe something or someone and then act on that belief, that is faith. The active part of belief is faith. The passive part of belief is trust. Suppose your brother says that he will drive you to the doctor. If you believe him, then you understand what he says and you make a decision to get ready. If you get in the vehicle with him, that is faith. You act on your belief. When you sit in the vehicle as he drives, that is trust, a passive reliance on what you have proven true. You trust in his driving skills. You trust in the vehicle. You trust the roads, etc. Everything we do is a combination of belief, faith or trust. By restoring their historic definitions, belief, faith and trust re-emerge as the clear language of true experimental science. These terms were deliberately segregated from science to deceive people into believing Secular Humanism.

Liberals, Secular Humanists and materialists, however, use the word “belief” as a synonym for a philosophical position, just an opinion. Faith and trust to them are metaphysical words which mean different things to different people. And this is just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Secular Humanists have redefined hundreds of words to support their religion, such as sin, judgment and anthropology. A conversation with them can be very difficult since they use historical English words but mean something entirely different.

The traditional role of religion is to place priesthood as intermediary between God and man. The traditional role of an establishment of religion places the government in that intermediary role between God and man. In the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church put itself between man and God, as other religions have in the past. Johann Tetzel, a “professional pardoner,” sold indulgences representing forgiveness for sins in Germany. Indulgences were based on the “storehouse” of good works believed to exist because of the sacrifice of Christ and the good deeds and prayers of past saints. Tetzel was said to promise that, “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.”3

Selling indulgences was the final act of many which brought on the Reformation. People wouldn’t have bought them if they hadn’t believed the Catholic Church alone could placate God on their behalf. Martin Luther convinced the princes of Germany that they did not need to send their money to Rome because they could go to God directly. Rome sent armies to collect the money. Even Modern Roman Catholics who do not believe that their church today claims to stand between them and God have to admit that the medieval Roman Catholic Church did.

The combined power of Church and State restricted personal worship, scientific study and access to historical truth. Today Secular Humanism has done the same by removing foundational truths from education. It excludes study and discovery that contradicts uniformitarianism. It rewrites history to undermine morality and freedom of expression.

The union between the medieval Romanist church and the state came to an end in two ways. In Southern Europe during the Renaissance, art, architecture, literature, and learning opened up to all men, not just those who were part of the church and state system. The Renaissance left the power intact, however. In Northern Europe, the Reformation abolished the need for a church like Rome through the great affirmations of the Reformation: The Scriptures are the absolute authority; Justification is by faith alone apart from works; and every believer is his own priest with direct access to God. The Reformation made a special priesthood class unnecessary because men could pray directly to God and read His Word on their own.

The medieval Roman Catholic Church kept the Scriptures almost exclusively in Latin to prevent ordinary people from studying them, forcing people to come to the priest. The priest would not only tell them what the Scriptures said, but he also mingled that with the church’s interpretation. In order for ordinary people who did not know Latin to read the Bible for themselves, the Scriptures had to be translated into the language of the ordinary people. Translation work by Reformers was essential to enable ordinary men to read the Scriptures for themselves, even though it was punishable by death under the Church-State system. The Renaissance and the Reformation worked together in the development of moveable type to make printing and distribution of translations of the Scriptures easier. Renaissance scholars revived interest in studying forgotten manuscripts and making translations into the vernacular. Erasmus’s Greek New Testament provided a basis for more accurate translations of the Scriptures.

The Medieval Romanist Church-State system took away freedom by forcing man to rely on and accept its teachings. The Renaissance and the Reformation restored freedom by returning art, science, and all forms of learning to ordinary people. In particular the people were able to worship God as the Scriptures taught, without Church-State control. Modern western culture, and American culture in particular, was founded on this religious freedom. American culture is more Christian than European cultures, but neither of these cultures can survive if the foundation of religious freedom is destroyed.

It is this Christian foundation of religious freedom which is the real target of Secular Humanists. These Secular Humanists have taken outrageous liberties in their unrelenting quest to replace religious freedom with their established religion of Secular Humanism, which they incorrectly call science or Natural Law. Their major tool is the US court system. Sympathetic US courts have consistently supported Secular Humanism by using every possible opportunity to replace the word religion with the ancient concept of Natural Law. However, since Natural Law has been used so many different ways, the courts had to standardize the term Natural Law. Their version of Natural Law goes back to Plato’s Republic. Though Plato never used the phrase “natural law” in his Republic, translator Benjamin Jowett’s notes state that, “Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first who conceived a method of knowledge…”4 Plato’s Republic is at least the foundation of modern Natural Law, if not the detailed finished product. Together with Aristotle, Plato is supposed by secularists to have laid the foundation for learning and development of the Sciences. This is really is essence of Natural Law.

Jowett goes on to say that Plato provided for a means to spread his method of acquiring knowledge. “In the ideal State which is constructed by Socrates, the first care of the rulers is to be education.”4 Jowett makes it clear that Socrates meant to impart much more than mere academic knowledge, just as Natural Law means to teach more than mere Science. Socrates promoted “the conception of a higher State, in which ‘no man calls anything his own,’ and in which there is neither ‘marrying nor giving in marriage,’ and ‘kings are philosophers’ and ‘philosophers are kings;’ and there is another and higher education, intellectual as well as moral and religious, of science as well as of art, and not of youth only but of the whole of life.”4

Many know that Plato in his Republic based his state on a philosopher/king. Few, however, are aware that he believed in communism and free love and that these two “natural” principles were to be foundational principles of the state. Though the preceding condensation by Benjamin Jowett is an excellent job, as you can read for yourself, the actual words of Socrates, as quoted by Plato, are much longer and more difficult to understand. “None of them will have anything specially his or her own.” “… Their legislator, having selected the men, will now select the women and give them to them [the legislator gives selected women to selected men]… they must live in common houses and meet at common meals … they will be together … And so they will be drawn by a necessity of their natures to have intercourse with each other…” “… Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes … have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one … cities will never have rest from their evils.”5

The philosopher/king, according to Socrates, was to lay these foundational ideas through education. Though he did not use the phrase “establishment of religion,” Plato clearly advocated an established religion. It was to be put in place by a philosopher/king through education based on a state where “no man calls anything his own” and where there is neither “marrying nor giving in marriage.” Though this education would begin with children, it would continue throughout a person’s entire life. This is the Natural Law which the US Court system has imposed.

The US needs to disestablish its Establishment of Religion and reestablish religious freedom. In the 1800’s churches which tried to break away from the Church of England were called disestablishmentarians. The people who fought against the disestablishment of those churches within the Church of England in the 1800s were called Antidisestablishmentarians. Today, the mainstream media, liberal politicians, the academic community, the liberal courts and all others who file lawsuits, blacklist, fire, refuse to hire, tax, legislate against, libel, slander and do whatever is necessary to maintain their positions of privilege and power are modern Antidisestablishmentarians.

1 (No author) “Parents Fuming as Texas Schools Let Gideons Provide Bibles to Students,” Tuesday, May 19, 2009, Fox News.com. “A spokeswoman for the school district said that a number of materials are made available to students this way, including newspapers, camp brochures and tutoring pamphlets. College and military recruitment information is available all year long. The Gideon Bibles were made available for just one day. ‘We have to handle this request in the same manner as other requests to distribute non-school literature — in a view-point neutral manner,’ Shana Wortham, director of communications for the district, wrote in an e-mail to FoxNews.com.

2 Alexander Hamilton, in an 1802 letter to James Bayard. “I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would un-hesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”

3 Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume 7, “The Reformation,” Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910.

4 Plato, The Republic (c. 360 B.C.), translated by Benjamin Jowett over a period of 30 years until his death in 1893, completed posthumously by Lewis Campbell. (Introductory material (in double quotes) and paraphrases of Plato’s ideas (in single quotes) were written by Jowett.)

5 Plato, The Republic, Book Five Dialogue excerpts among Socrates, Adeimantus, Glaucon and Thrasymachus have been placed in parentheses within Jowett’s introductory material.

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