Sunday, 7 June 2009

He, she and it ...

While I have been musing on leadership and a systemic approach to organisations Suzanne, J.K. Gayle, Peter Kirk and others have been having a very interesting discussion on whether the logos is he, she or it. It's interesting that French translations of the prologue to John's gospel often choose la parole for logos or le verbe - which become elle (she) and il (he) respectively, except that as any translator knows il and elle need more often to be translated as it.
When I was at college our group of linguists developed a sort of code patois which would begin "He is the pizza! I eat him every Friday." (Fortunately the hapless German student in Heidelberg who first pronounced this phrase never heard us.) Pronouns are notoriously difficult when you're learning a new language, though prepositions are even more of a challenge. What Suzanne and others have highlighted is the sometimes silent, sometimes strident, ideology behind biblical translations of pronouns supposedly referring to one of the persons or attributes of the Trinity.

Suzanne ends her post:

I fear discovering that I have worshipped the masculine singular pronoun all my life instead of a living God.
There's a good thought for Trinity Sunday.