Friday, April 04, 2008

Extreme Allegory

A number of issues about interpretation have emerged recently - Phil Sumpter here in general terms and Suzanne McCarthy here for Psalm 51 re the spirit of holiness.

J.K.Gayle in a comment on Suzanne's post suggests we write a modern Targum
What did the Hittite community, and I'm thinking about any daughters or sons of Uriah, believe about Psalm 51, and it's title and last two verses? Could Bill O'Reilly have them on his show with David, Bathsheba, the NET Bible note writer, John Calvin, and Ann Locke for a "no spin zone" roundtable discussion about the biases now in translation that are helped along by commentaries?
His "more serious question: - did Jesus bring up Psalm 51:11 on the road to Emmaus?"

It would seem that Hildebert already suggested how the Anointed One without sin who is our sin offering would approach the anointed David whose sin has also been offered to us as a sin offering. (If you don't believe me on this, look at the offering terminology in the Psalm and the use of sin as a verb in the phrase traditionally translated "you will purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean" and how this relates to the third set of circles at the end of the psalm - demonstrating its unity.)

Here is Hildebert's allegory of Jesus and David. Phill suggests we read Jew as Unbeliever. I suggest we read Jew as the Religious of any stripe - any believing in their own power independently of its source. (As a crazy neophyte translator, even I understand how much power is implied in the rendering of words into another tongue.)

But, Beloved, crazy or not, I seek only life for us in my riddles.

From J. M. Neale, an allegory - from Hildebert - for Psalm 51:

Bersabee Lex est; Rex David Christus ; Urias
Judaeus ; - regi nuda puella placet.
Nuda placet Christo Lex non vestita figuris ;
Aufert Judaeis hanc, sociatque sibi
Vir non vult intrare domum, nec spiritualem
Intellectum plebs ingreditur,
Scripta gerit, per scripta perit deceptus Urias ;
Sic et Judaeus scripta sequendo perit.

[Bathsheba is the Law; King David, Christ ; Uriah
is the Jew ; - the girl disrobed
Pleases the King ; and the Law stripped of types,
Unhidden in its beauty, pleases Christ,
Who takes it from the Jews to be his own,
Uriah enters not his house : nor does Israel go down into the inward sense.
Letters Uriah bears, dies by their fraud ;
Holding the letter, likewise dies the Jew.]

My rendition: (Jesus meditating)

The Law is holy and perfect,
how will I allow it to continue to bind those I love?
I see it unveiling itself in my presence
and I will bind myself to those bound by it.
By stripping them of their protection,
they will destroy me. But I will carry them
with me into my death and they all will see
that it is the one who gives the law
that has power over it to free and to bind,
to kill and to make alive.
My consecration will be the offering of righteousness.
My body will be their altar.
All will then find they are able to offer their own bodies in me.

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