Thursday, June 13, 2019

Volume 8

Volume 8 of Bob's Bible is my full data base of the Hebrew Bible in its Hebrew to English form, a concordance of every Hebrew word and its full English gloss.
The volume contains every word in the Hebrew Bible. The glosses provided are for a close translation for the Music. The sequence presented is by Hebrew stem, Hebrew word form, Tanakh sequence, chapter, verse, and word sequence. In principle, the entire translation can be reconstructed from this data. (Just under 750,000 words).
This is Bob's Hebrew-English glossary after 8 years of my very human processing. What does a stem indicate in translation? How many differing senses can it have? Does it overlap with other stems? And so on. This glossary reduces the overlap of senses to a minimum. You may know about punishment, that there is no Hebrew stem that has punish as its dominant gloss. That is not true in traditional translations, where several Hebrew stems are rendered punish. They make the Bible read as if it was a book about rules and punishment. It is not such a book. Bob's Bible never uses this gloss. Search. You will not find it. The Bible is a book of instruction in love and a book about the depth of kindness from start to finish. There is no need for the wrong type of fear, a fear of torment. Healthy fear, of course, is quite appropriate. After all, we do not know everything, or even anything, fully.

Volume 9, A is for Abandon, will be out soon (next week!). This is the English-Hebrew equivalent with introduction and semantic analysis. It is a much shorter book (under 55,000 words). Every lemma form is listed with its stem and usage frequency.

Abandon assumptions (not hope).

These volumes reveal all my successes and compromises with concordance. Because no translation I am aware of has been done by a single translator with computer assisted pattern recognition and rules to show all failures of concordance, I suspect my translation has a far higher degree of concordance than any other available.

Volume 9 contains a list of all the stems that are exceptions to the glossing rules in the translation for the music, with their semantic sub-domain. Any single English lemma form that rendered two distinct Hebrew stems was flagged and investigated.

Exceptions were allowed in acrostic poems, word play, and of course for Aramaic. Also for English and Hebrew homonyms, closely related Hebrew stems through derivation or spelling, a few multi-faceted common words, and finally for some prepositions, particles, and conjunctions.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Not writing much

But I got this question from a conversation on Ian Paul's site - https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/is-the-bible-clear-on-marriage-or-anything-at-all/

"Are you sure you are not letting the media narrative of convenience, which allows little dissent, shape your view, rather than science doing so?"

Thanks for the question. I am not sure anyone will find my 'answer' satisfactory. What shapes my view? Certainly not 'the media narrative of convenience'. Nor do I seek 'dissent'. There is enough of that without seeking it. As for science, in this question it is not competent. The data are subjective. I cannot even identify myself without ambiguity. Can I even know if there are people who hate the gay agenda out of their own fears of who they are in themselves?

I was made a musician. I loved the music of Britten. How could I reconcile loving this music with despising its creator? I, a wasp, was made a scientist and a systems engineer. How could I pretend to understand all the stimuli in social structures that let me stay or think or act within an environment that was inherently prejudiced on dozens of fronts.

I found a starting point in Christ some 45 or so years ago. I am nearly 'finished' - on my way to the usual grave solution... but I can hardly say I have come to the end of the riches I have encountered. There is neither gay nor straight in the place which I have entered.

About 13 years ago, a voice in me said, How can you possibly understand the image of the son without learning the scriptures in the tongue I learned them in?

So I learned Hebrew and read the text and wrote it all out in English using my own computer programs to discover and enforce patterns in the source.

There is no substitution for actually reading the text.

I found there a full musical score embedded in hand signals in the text itself. This completely undoes the rigid logic of intellectual right and wrong that governs so much of our thinking.

We seek power. It is sin to take power without permission. I find now I cannot draw conclusions for others - individuals or groups - out of the Bible as if I had power over them because of my knowledge. I have no such power and cannot pretend to have it. "Knowledge puffs up".

Qohelet has a pithy verse that reminds me of the limits of ecclesiastical opinion. 4:17 (5:1 English) Keep your footing as you are walking to the house of God, and approach more to hear than to give an offering among the dullards, for they haven't a clue that what they do is evil (רע).

So here we are in 'the house of God' and we comment furiously regardless of the hurt (רע) that we might cause. We are the sea - we are leviathan, (am I the sea or a dragon that you put a guard over me? Job 7:12) we are brutes, (behemoth I was to you, Psalms 73:22).

Let's stop. Let's love someone who is excluded. We will certainly find the cost of love there.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Looking for books to read

Translator's Note to Buddenbrooks
We have been considering whether to downsize by giving away books. I have discovered that our library will accept donations in a bag - i.e. not too many at once. And if they don't use them, they will give them away. How useful!

I picked up Henning Mankell's Sidetracked on my wife's shelf, and I wondered if having seen the dramatization, I might not want to read it. Then considered rereading C. P. Snow's Strangers and Brothers, something that would occupy me for a while. I am sure I scarcely remember a word of it. Except perhaps the thought that in politics, nothing really ever gets done. Anyway, I descended to the floor looking for more books, and there are loads of them at that level whose jackets I can't see until I get dust on my own.

Here's one I found: Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks, first published 1901, translated from the German. (No we did not buy a first edition. We're not quite that old.)

What struck me was the translator's 'note'. Perhaps also a Note to translators.

What does Bob say?

A teacher who is teaching Genesis this year to his class reported to me at a concert last night that his class loves to have that unique translation for the music available as a counterfoil to the traditional one that they learn from. The students have a simple question when they are discussing the text and have opposing views. "What does Bob say?". A few of them might know me from a lecture I gave the class last year and the year before. But I expect it's a mostly new class this year.

Anyway - nice to have an alternative to look at.

I have dared to put my oratorio onto paper for the first time. When one writes, or translates, or composes, one's soul is displayed on the page. (Even if I never use that word, soul, it is a useful word.)

This soul is keen, altogether too full of it, careful (i.e. full of cares), and untrained for what it has been chosen to do. It learns, we hope, through its work and by its experience.

The MP3 snippets of the piece are wooden and incomprehensible without the score. So here is the score. I may turn it into a book, in which case it will eventually disappear from this link.

If you want to perform it, please let me know, and please make a contribution to some useful effort like CF Canada, team Adventures with Ben or the like. You can make the contribution whether you perform it or not of course.

You can find my complete translation of the Hebrew Bible if you click here.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A touch or two of my oratorio

I have put some MP3 transcriptions of my scores in the cloud.
E.g. here is the organ interlude in the middle of the piece. It is based on the Fibonacci series 8-5-3-2-1-1 twice used.

Here are a couple of the chorales: 111-112 and a bit of 110 (a reprise for the acrostics)

Bear in mind that these renditions are extremely wooden. And you can't get much of the idea of music with a mechanical rendition.

Here is the psalm I had the most trouble with 116. I chose the generic verse 5 (third person) as a refrain.

Here is some of the story: Job 38, Job 41

and Psalm 19

These will give you an idea of the constraints I put on my invention. The design is here.

Friday, May 24, 2019

The seventh volume

The Remaining Writings is the seventh volume of Bob's Bible. It is now published and available here.

This completes the text of the Instruction, the Prophets, and the Writings. It is curious that the seventh volume has the 'remaining' as part of its title. There is no simple title for this collection of books. But this is typical of taxonomies. They stall at 7. The first 6 are titled (Torah, Former prophets, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, the Books of Truth, the Scrolls) and the 7th is what's left.

You can now buy the whole Bible for less than $21 (<$30 Cdn). And you could read it - but it is a long process. There are no easy answers.

Seven is 2 cubed (2*2*2) minus 1. Three parts are even easier to remember and that number still has the sense of 1, 2 and the rest (who would ever call a book 'writings'). The 'rest' of the books are important though. They contain the keys for interpreting the first two sections. Especially the Psalms, the Song, and Job. (At least that's my opinion).

I have been busy writing music so I am not blogging as much any more. The stats show it. My readership is down. I am more distant. But - don't forget the music. I think it is key to interpreting the Bible as a whole.