Monday, June 13, 2011

The first Babel fish?

Step through this door and you will find doors to many little translation booths.
Or so I trust.
Alas, I lost my nerve after seeing the sign
Well, I AM (or was) a certified translator, but I was certainly not authorized to be roaming in the big empty convention hall building of The Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.
The new modern building is on Vatican property near the 19th century Notre Dame pilgrim hostel (see here and here).
These doors made me think about the Catholic center's need for simultaneous interpreting these days as compared to the Disciples' sudden ability to speak in many languages, a miraculous gift given in Jerusalem's Upper Room on the first Pentecost almost two thousand years ago.
Today is Pentecost Monday, the Feast of the Holy Spirit.
The dramatic story of the "speaking in tongues" is in Acts 2.
Some see this as a reversal of the curse of the Tower of Babel, when God confounded the languages.
Acts 2 describes the phenomenon as a miracle of universal translation, enabling people from many parts of the world speaking many different languages to understand the Christian message.
From the Orthodox Christian liturgy for the day:

When the most High came down and confused the tongues,
He divided the nations;
But when he distributed the tongues of fire
He called all to unity.
Therefore, with one voice, we glorify the All-holy Spirit!

This post, my last about Pentecost until next year (no, really!), enters into Monday Doorways and That's MyWorld Tuesday.


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Familiar territory to me, in more ways than one! Not the translation booths, but the second chapter of Acts... ;-)

I'm glad to learn I'm not the only one who loses her nerve while exploring places for photographs.

Lesley said...

Ah, doorways with a deeper meaning than just superficial beauty!

Spiderdama said...

Thanks for this post on this day! I think I always learn something new when reading your blog:-)

As a Christian I can say that he came and gave them and us the power by the Holy Spirit!

Bless You and Happy week!

crystal said...

This reminded me of an old post I made at a now defunct blog on Pentecost, the tower of Babel, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy :)

Kay L. Davies said...

Interesting, Dina. Of course, the United Nations is supposed to represent unity but still requires simultaneous translation. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Suzanne said...

I love the quote from the Orthodox liturgy. Translator..I could have used you a few years ago (-8

Anonymous said...

what a challenge - what a promise.

please have you all a wonderful tuesday.

Pietro said...

I would like music and painting to be the universal languages for the unity of people in the whole world.

VP said...

I always benefited of your skills as translator I am still very grateful for that!

Anders Branderud said...

You wrote: “translation, enabling people from many parts of the world speaking many different languages to understand the Christian message.“

[To differentiate,] Do you want to follow the first century Jewish Mashiakh [Jewish Messiah] called Y’hoshua? Did you know that many words that are attributed to him was not taught by him - including much of the content in the “gospels”, but was redacted by Hellenists: Documentation: Link? I write you this since you rely on NT, which was never endorsed by the followers of Ribi [first century Jewish leader] Y’hoshua.

This can be found out through studies of what happened in the first century (see information on and through studies of the Messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, e.g. Isaiah 9:6 and 42:1-4 in Hebrew according to Hebrew numbering, which tells that the Jewish Messiah will keep and teach Torah. Thus, the followers of Ribi Y’hoshua - the Jewish Messiah - didn’t teach Christianity, which contradicts the Torah [Documentation: Link].

Following the human Mashiakh called Yehoshua leads a person into non-selectively Torah-observance to a person’s utmost, including an immensely meaningful relationship with the Creator.

Anders Branderud