Monday, October 16, 2006

Bible character commits suicide ... twice!

I was reading through 1 Samuel in church yesterday while droning out the preacher and I was shocked at what I read. I'm not talking about the gratuitous violence - I mean, it doesn't get much better than reading about heads being lobbed off and armies getting annihilated while droning out sermons. The body count in 1 Samuel alone makes the entire collection of Friday the 13th movies look like child's play.. or is that Chucky's territory? I digress.

I'm talking about sentences like this:

"After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword."

With or without any context whatsoever, this sentence is just hilarious. We have what amounts to some guy committing suicide twice. Since pronouns refer to the most recently mentioned noun within the same branch, all pronouns in the above sentence refer to the same noun. If you were to replace the pronouns with the actual subjects they refer to, the sentence would read something like:

"After dude killed dude, dude cut off dude's head with the sword"

This particular verse is 1 Samuel 17:51. The first part of the verse in NIV reads:

"David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword."

It should read something like this:

"David ran and stood over Goliath. David took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed Goliath, David cut off Goliath's head with the sword."

The New American Standard version reads a lot better:

"Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it."

Here, the pronouns "his, him, and his" all refer to the Philistine.

And, as always, The Message reads the best:

"Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant's sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head."

Here, the pronoun "him" refers to "the Philistine", and "his" refers "the giant", which we presume that Philistine and the Giant are the same unlucky sap who is unfortunately getting his head lobbed off.

Anyway, the main takeaway lesson is this: the Bible is a great source for entertainment while droning out long and boring sermons. You have a high body count, awesome gratuitous violence, and hilarious grammatical errors.

1 Comments:

Blogger The Swiss Chesse Monster said...

sex. you can't forget about the sex. there is all kinds of sex in the bible.

6:35 PM  

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