Friday, February 27, 2009

Interesting: flood vs. deluge

Literally, "flood" is related to "flow", and it's defined as merely a flow of water (connoting a lot, of course); "deluge" is from the verb "to wash away", "de"="away, "luge" is from "lavar"="to wash". The event referred to as "Noah's flood", with these in mind it tips my opinion in favor of using "deluge" rather than flood, particularly "God's deluge" rather than invoking "Noah", who was just a witness and obedient servant to build a ship and wait on the Lord's promised coming action.

I know I'm being very literal here, but something about "deluge" rings with me. The BBB and more liberally-minded "we should translate-for-the-uneducated/lazy" crowd would probably hate me for suggesting "deluge", but hey! My preference here comes from linking the etymological meaning of the word to the symbolism the flood embodies, namely, that God was washing-away the wickedness that so grieved Him. It's just artsy, not dogma.

It's like the guy who took-up complaint with the ESV Study Bible for linking some notes to certain used words rather than the context, which would be correct. I agree with the fellow on that point, but it is useful to note that linking certain words to certain teachings can also be a great way to help people remember something, and it's something people do naturally. Like when people remember the story by the words "Noah's flood", or like myself wanting us to invoke the significance behind recording that event in the Bible, by using the words "God's deluge". For one thing, with more accurate terminology and a little explanation, it ought (we'd hope) have those who would make God into a homeboy and a lovy-dovy sentimentalist who's just enamored with the poor helpless victimized-by-their-own-wickedness-people quake and repent of their false god. Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son: the same God is also aggrieved, angered, and full of wrath for that world, however: and the next deluge, His word promises, will be not with water, but fire.

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