Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Isaiah 45:15-26 (Knox)

Yesterday, I chatting on email with a reader of this blog, who reminded me of the beauty of Msgr. Knox's translation.  So, I wanted to share with you a passage from the 45th chapter of Isaiah (Isaias), beginning with verse 15, because it is passage of great hope and trust in the Lord.  I know that this is something I am in need of more and more, particularly as the world seems to get crazier with each passing day.  (I should add that there are portions of the prophets in the Knox translation that do not read like this one.  Some can be a bit tedious to get through.)

"Truly, God of Israel, our Saviour, thou art a God of hidden ways! All the makers of false gods must needs be disappointed, must go away ashamed and abashed.  Israel has found deliverance in the Lord, eternal deliverance; while ages last, no shame, no disappointment for you.  The Lord has pronounced it; the Lord who made the heavens, and the whole frame and fashion of earth, moulded to his will. He did not create it to lie idle, he shaped it to be man’s home. And he says, It is the Lord that speaks, there is no other to rival me;  it was not in secret, not in some dark recess of earth, that my word was spoken. Not in vain I bade the sons of Jacob search for me; I am the Lord, faithful to my promises, truthful in all I proclaim. Gather yourselves and come near, flock together to my side, heathen men that have found deliverance; who still, in your ignorance, set up wooden images of your own fashioning, and pray to a god that cannot save.  Tell us your thoughts, come, take counsel among yourselves; who was it that proclaimed this from the first, prophesied it long ago? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no God where I am not. Was it not I, the faithful God? There is no other that can save.  Turn back to me, and win deliverance, all you that dwell in the remotest corners of the earth; I am God, there is no other.  By my own honour I have sworn it, nor shall it echo in vain, this faithful promise I have made,  that every knee shall bow before me, and every tongue swear by my name.  Then shall men say of the Lord, that redress and dominion come from him; all those who rebelled against him shall appear in his presence abashed.  Through the Lord, the whole race of Israel shall be righted and brought to honour."


Daniel said...

The Knox translation has become my favorite version now. A primary reason for this - besides the sheer beauty of Knox's writing - is the audio readings (Gospels, Acts, Revelation) by Fr. Hugh Thwaites, which I actually discovered through this blog (THANK YOU!). It is as close to a mystical experience as I have had when reading the Bible (or listening rather). I don't know quite how to explain it but I just felt (knew) that I was hearing absolute truth being spoken. The reading conveys a sense that "this is the plain truth being plainly spoken" as clearly and truly as me saying, "the sun is hot." I know it's not the translation or reading itself per se - it's the underlying truth of God's Word - but all I can say is that this reading and translation moved me in particular. I came up with an idea that the combination of a translation done entirely by a holy Catholic priest (Knox) by way of a great saint and doctor of the Church (St. Jerome) being spoken (read) by another holy Catholic priest (Thwaites) is truly special. It's the same kind of power we can experience at Mass when the priest reads the Gospel. I'm not saying Protestant translations or readings are lacking In any way, it's just that I think the special graces given to priests and saints cannot be taken lightly. I don't know if I am making much sense but just wanted to share my thoughts/ experience.

Mark D. said...

Knox shows what a dynamic translation can be at its best, where the translator not only has a strong grasp of the language of the original document (in this case, the Vulgate Bible with an eye on the Hebrew text as well) but in the receptor language as well. Knox was a master of English style. His translation here sings.