Saturday, May 03, 2008
Jesus’ argument seems to be that if it is permitted to cause a wound on the Sabbath to a limb of the body and then apply the salve and bandages required to heal it, it should certainly be permitted to heal the entire body.
. . .
But the main difficulty is that Jesus’ argument is easily refuted.
This is indeed a point that several OJs I've discussed this with have brought up. Luckily there's a decent solution.
But the problem is not Jesus’ argument. The problem is the translation of the RSV!
According to Mr. Diary, the main issues with the argument are translational in nature, and he argues from Duoay-Rhiems and Latin to address them. Now the point, I think, isn't that Jesus spoke the Latin of the Vulgate, but rather that this argument can rise and fall on minor differences in the connotations of words.
This is his argument: If it is permitted to heal on the Sabbath so that a person may be initiated into the path of holiness (circumcised), certainly, he can be healed in order to make him holy.
Or this might be his argument: If it is permitted to heal on the Sabbath so that an innocent may be brought to the ways of G-d, we can certainly heal the sinner on the Sabbath in order to turn him from the ways of death to the way of G-d and eternal life
I sort of tried to make this argument when talking to my friend Dan, but it was three in the morning and I wasn't aware of the translational issues at work here.
Either way, a big thanks to Mr. Diary for putting in his $0.02.