Thursday, February 01, 2007

Right is right but left is wrong

...or is wrong left?

BeepBeep posted about right and left, and their place in mythology and history. Clearly, there's a societal preference for right over left, as well as predominant physical handedness.

Then I saw a bumper sticker, one of those stupid it says so in the bible so it must be the truth things that said:

A wise man's heart directs him toward the right,
but the foolish man's heart directs him toward the left.

I guess they're trying to prove that the GOP is god's own party. Turns out, that particular version of Ecclesiastes 10:2 is from the New American Standard Bible. The Online Parallel Bible. They show the same verse as published in the following versions of the "infallible truth".

(NASB) New American Standard Bible
(WEB) World English Bible
(ASV) American Standard Version of 1901
(BBE) Bible in Basic English
(DBY) Darby Translation of 1884 / 1890
(WBS) Webster Bible of 1833
(KJV) King James Bible, Authorized Version of 1611
(YLT) Young's Literal Translation of 1898
(JPS) 1917 Jewish Publication Society Tanakh
(WEY) Weymouth New Testament of 1913

Here's how the same verse reads in all these versions (these are not in order):
  • A wise person's heart leads the right way. The heart of a fool leads the wrong way.
  • A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
  • The heart of the wise man goes in the right direction; but the heart of a foolish man in the wrong.
  • The heart of a wise man is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
  • A wise man's understanding is at his right hand; but a fool's understanding at his left.
  • A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart is at his left.
  • A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left.
  • The heart of the wise is at his right hand, And the heart of a fool at his left.

There is one thing I will say right here and stand by it:
If there was a Jesus, his teachings and the sayings attributed to him would place him, by modern political definitions, SQUARELY in the left wing, and liberal as all get-out.

I am also hoping to be "left behind" when it comes to rapturing. Maybe there will be some peace around here for a change.

EDIT Thursday evening: We passed a church sign tonight that said:

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beepbeepitsme said...

I have noticed as well that religious people have made a word association of "righthand of god" and the "rightwing of politics."

In other words, they believe they must be right (correct) because "the right" is the favoured way in the bible, therefore any group which states that it is on the right side of politics, must be representing them.

This is the type of non-thinking that occurs in superstitious minds and is a classic case of equivocation where a person uses the same word in different meanings in an argument and implies that the word means the same each time it is used.

Oh, and thanks for the plug. :)

Blueberry said...

I find it interesting that some of the bible translations got "left" and some got "wrong" out of translating the same darned word.

MichaelBains said...

I think the Children's Bible I had said If you use your right hand you'll get an A in art, but if you use your left you'll color outside the lines and be beaten with a ruler across your knuckles. Jesus says so.

Of course I could be mistaken. Good thing I was right-handed, eh?