I refused to pretend about Santa; in fact, I put Warren into a mild depression when he was three by answering one of his questions with, “There is no Santa.” Victoria still gives me holy hell for it on occasion.
I’ve never thought about what Scriptures I’d have read at my funeral, though I’ve thought about what hymns I’d like sung. I think of the hymns that way only while I’m singing them, though, possibly because many hymns put me in a suitably maudlin mood – a mood that I have always welcomed and enjoyed.
My favorite modern English translation is the Revised English Bible, which came out in 1989. (Like Rachel, I like Fox for the Torah; I haven’t read Alter yet.) Reynolds Price, whose worthy translation Three Gospels you turned me on to, says there that the New English Bible, which was the REB’s first edition – a quite different edition, though – and funny how Bibles can’t have “editions” like other books – often “resort[s] to loose paraphrase.” I find that, when I compare the REB’s renderings to a few other versions on my parallel software, Price has a good point, but I’m not sure how I can complain too loudly about accuracy in translation since I have never bothered to learn Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. The REB is often enlightening or elegant or both, and it’s a pleasure to read aloud.
I love the King James, but I find most arguments about its beauty to be somewhat circular. The English-speaking world almost universally accepted the KJV in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and its phrasing and cadences made their way into the literature of those centuries. It’s hard for us to get enough distance from the King James to see it as anything but beautiful.
What a fun post. Thanks, Dave.