Genesis 11:1-9 (The Common English Bible) Read carefully, there may be new meanings in this ancient story.
All people[a] on the earth had one language and the same words. 2 When they traveled east,[b] they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them hard.” They used bricks for stones and asphalt for mortar. 4 They said, “Come, let’s build for ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves so that we won’t be dispersed over all the earth.”
5 Then the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the humans built. 6 And the Lord said, “There is now one people and they all have one language. This is what they have begun to do, and now all that they plan to do will be possible for them. 7 Come, let’s go down and mix up their language there so they won’t understand each other’s language.” 8 Then the Lord dispersed them from there over all of the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore, it is named Babel, because there the Lord mixed up[c] the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord dispersed them over all the earth.
· Genesis 11:1 Heb lacks people.
Comments: compare this translation with an NRSV or NIV. What are the differences you see. All translators have the option of word choices from ancient Hebrew. Sometimes tradition tends to speak through word choices that are made. In this translation the development and encouragement of culture is seen as wonderful and part of God’s continuing creative process.
The Gospel of John 8:21-30 (NRSV)
21 Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” 25 They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
Comment: not understanding seems to be a hallmark of humanity, here in John and also in Genesis. Fortunately God understands and upon that we can rely!
Psalm 17:1-9 (NIV)
1 Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you;
may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart,
though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me,
I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not stumbled.
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
Prayer: “I call upon you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” Amen.