Tuesday 29 January 2002

Older is better

Jorn Barger has updated his Bible translations comparison page. My favorite: John 9:24-25 from the King James Version:

24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

And from the New Revised Standard Version:

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.”
25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

These verses form a postscript at the end of Martin Scorcese’s Raging Bull. Paul Schrader, the film’s scriptwriter, says about the quotation:

That’s purely Marty. I had no idea it was going to be there, and when I saw it I was absolutely baffled. I don’t think it’s true of La Motta either in real life or in the movie; I think he’s still the same dumb lug at the end as he is at the beginning, and I think Marty’s just imposing salvation on his subject by fiat. I’ve never really got from him a terribly credible reason for why he did it; he just seemed to feel that it was right.

The difference between a Calvinist and a Catholic upbringing, I guess. I loved seeing that quotation as the music from Cavalleria Rusticana swelled up in the background. But then I always was a sucker for redemption.

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