If we look at the loftiest realms of that world streaming around us, our eyes strengthened and refreshed by the Greeks, we become aware of that greed of insatiably optimistic knowledge, exemplary in Socrates, turning into tragic resignation and a need for art, even if it’s true that this same greed, at its lower levels, must express itself as hostile to art and must inwardly loathe Dionysian tragic art in particular, as I have already explained in the example of the conflict between Aeschylean tragedy and Socratism.
Here we are now knocking, with turbulent feelings, on the doors of the present and future: Will that “turning around” lead to continuously new configurations of genius and straight to the music-playing Socrates? Will that net of art spread out over existence, whether in the name of religion or of science, be woven always more tightly and delicately, or is it determined that it will be ripped to shreds by the restless barbaric impulses and hurly-burly which we now call “the present”?—We are standing here on the sidelines for a little while as lookers on, worried but not without hope, for we are being permitted to witness that immense struggle and transition. Alas! The magic of these battles is that whoever looks at them must also fight them!
Excerpt from my 2004 translation of Mark’s gospel, which begins at Mark 1.
My 2012 translation of John’s first epistle begins at John A.
My 2015 translation of John’s second epistle begins at John B.
My 2015 translation of John’s third epistle begins at John Γ.
My 2015 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, which begins at To The Thessalonians A.
My 2015 translation of Paul’s letter to The Romans begins at To the Romans.
My 2004 translation of Paul’s first letter to the Korinthians begins at And Now For Something Completely Different….
My 2004 translation of John’s gospel begins at Start With John, along with a brief explanation of my interpretive approach.
4 1 And again he began to teach on the seashore; and there gathered to him a great crowd, so that he was embarked in a boat sitting upon the water, and all the crowd was at the shore upon the land. 2 And he taught them with parables always and he was saying [or ‘used to say’] to them in his teaching,
- Behold a sower went out to sow [seed]. 4 And it happened, while he was sowing, some [or ‘one’] fell beside the path and the birds flew down and ate it. 5 And another fell upon rocky ground where it did not have much earth, and then it sprang right up because it had no depth of earth; 6 and when the sun rose, it was scorched and because it did not have root, withered away. 7 And another fell into the thorny weeds, and the thorns grew up and together prevailed against it and it bore no fruit. 8 But some also fell onto good earth and bore fruit, growing and growing more and bearing thirty-fold, and sixty-fold, and one-hundred-fold.”
- [cf. Isa 40:24: “Scarcely are they planted, scarcely have they taken root in the earth, before he blows upon them and they wither away.”]
9 And he would say, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
10 And when they were alone, those about him with the twelve were asking [‘demanding’] him [to tell them the meaning of] the parables. 11 And he would say to them, “To you the mystery of the kingdom of god has been given; but to those outside, all things happen [γινεται] in parables, 12 in order that:
Seeing, they will see [βλεπω] but not see [ειδω, ‘recognize,’ ‘realize,’ ‘know’]
And hearing, they will hear but not perceive,
Lest they should ever turn themselves around
And I might forgive them. [Isa 6:9-10]
13 And he says to them, “If you do not understand this parable, how will you ‘get’ [or ‘know’] any of the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 Now these are the ones beside the path; when the word is sown and they hear it, then Satan comes and plucks away the word sown in them. 16 And these are the ones which were sown on rocky ground, when they hear the word, then with happiness they comprehend it, 17 but they do not have a root in themselves, but they persist for a time, until pressure or harassment comes on account of the word and they are scandalized [‘tripped up’]. 18 And still others are those planted among thorns; these ones hear the word, 19 but the anxieties of the ages [or ‘eternal cares’ – non-stop concerns of day-to-day life] and the deceit of wealth and all the rest concerning carnal desires, walk right in, ganging up together against the word, and they become fruitless. 20 And then there are those planted in good earth, who hear the word and take it upon themselves and bear fruit by thirty-fold, and sixty-fold, and one-hundred-fold.”
21 And he said to them, “The lamp does not come to be placed under the bushel basket or under the bed, does it? Is it not placed upon the lamp stand? 22 For it is not hidden but should be revealed, neither is it become secret but rather, it should come into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24 And he would say to them, “Look at what you are hearing. By what measure you meet will [the same] be measured to you and more on top of that [lit. ‘and more placed upon you’]. 25 For what one has, [the same] will be given to him; and what one does not have, even [the same] which he has will be taken from him.”
26 And he was saying, “Thus is the kingdom of god, like a man casting seed upon the earth, 27 and he sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, how he does not know. 28 Automatically [αυτοματη] the earth bears fruit, first the stalk [‘grass’], then the ear, then full corn in the ear. 29 But when the crop is ready, only then [ευθυς] he sends the sickle, because the harvest time is imminent [‘has come about or around’].”
30 And he would say, “How shall we compare the kingdom of god, or by what parable shall we demonstrate it? 31 As a kernel of mustard, when it is planted upon the earth, smallest of all the seeds which are upon the earth, 32 and when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greatest of all the garden plants, and it produces great branches, so that the birds of the heavens can rest in its shade.”
33 And with many such parables he spoke the word to them, according to their ability to hear; 34 and without parables he did not speak to them, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
35 And he said to them that day, when evening came, “Let us go across [the lake].” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them as he was, in the boat, and other boats were with him. 37 And there came a great stormy wind and the waves were casting into the boat, so that the boat was already [or ‘quickly’] being filled. 38 And he was in the stern upon the boat cushion sleeping. And they got him up and said to him, “Teacher, does it not matter to you that we are in danger?” 39 And rising up, he disciplined the wind and said to the sea, “Silence, be quiet.” And the wind was lulled and became extremely calm. 40 And he said to them, “What cowards you are! Do you not yet have faith?” 41 And they were afraid with a great fear, and said to each other, “Who is this that even the wind and sea obey him?”
This translation was taken from The Greek New Testament, Kurt Aland, et. al. eds., Third Edition (corrected), United Bible Societies, (in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Münster/Westphalia, Printed in West Germany by Biblia-Druck GmbH Stuttgart),1983.