Spanish Bible Reading Report 1.12.14

January 12, 2014

My Bible reading goal for this year is to read through the whole Bible in Spanish. So far, after 12 days, I have read 40 chapters in the Reina Valera (R60).

Reading the Bible through in another language like Spanish is for me similar to reading a commentary on the Bible in some respects because the translational choices sometimes bring out conceptual links between passages and concepts that I have not seen from reading the English Bible.

For example, compare how the prohibition against lusting after the evil woman/strange woman (Prov. 6:24-25) reads in English versus Spanish:

Pro 6:24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

R60 Pro 6:24 Para que te guarden de la mala mujer, De la blandura de la lengua de la mujer extraña. 25 No codicies su hermosura en tu corazón, Ni ella te prenda con sus ojos;

Webster’s Comprehensive Spanish-English Dictionary provides “to covet” as the definition of codiciar (the verb used in the R60 in the first statement in verse 25). Reading that, Exodus 20:17 came to mind, so I checked and found that the R60 uses the same verb there as it does in Proverbs 6:25:

Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

R60 Exo 20:17 No codiciarás la casa de tu prójimo, no codiciarás la mujer de tu prójimo, ni su siervo, ni su criada, ni su buey, ni su asno, ni cosa alguna de tu prójimo.

Exodus 20:17 specifically prohibits coveting “thy neighbour’s wife.” The larger context of Proverbs 6:24-25 warns about lusting after the beauty of an evil strange woman and going into one’s neighbor’s wife:

Pro 6:29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

R60 Pro 6:29 Así es el que se llega a la mujer de su prójimo; No quedará impune ninguno que la tocare.

The use of codiciar in both Exodus 20:17 and Proverbs 6:25 brings out that lusting for illicit physical relations with your neighbor’s wife is a key aspect of what characterizes the sinful coveting that God prohibits concerning her. In this way, reading the R60 helped me to see a key connection between important passages that I do not rember specifically linking before.

Rajesh

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