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You Shall Not Kill or You Shall Not Murder?: The Assault on a Biblical Text [Paperback]

By Wilma Ann Bailey (Author)
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Item description for You Shall Not Kill or You Shall Not Murder?: The Assault on a Biblical Text by Wilma Ann Bailey...

Overview
Nearly all English translations of the Bible during the last third of the twentieth century have changed the wording of the sixth commandment from "kill" to "murder." The Hebrew word that appears in the commandment has a broader semantic range than "murder." Wilma Ann Bailey discusses why the Protestant and Jewish traditions changed the wording and why the Roman Catholic tradition did not. She also examines the impact that the wording will have in the future for people who believe that there is no general prohibition against killing in the Hebrew Bible and why questions of killing that are broader than murder-death penalty and just war-are no longer part of the discussion of this commandment. Chapters are "You Shall Not Kill," "The Sixth Commandment in Evangelical Protestantism," "The Sixth Commandment in Mainline Traditions," "The Sixth Commandment in Judaism," "The Fifth Commandment in Roman Catholicism," "When 'You Shall Not Kill' Became 'You Shall Not Murder.'"

Publishers Description

Nearly al English translations of the Bible during the last third of the twentieth century have changed the wording of the sixth commandment from kill to murder. The Hebrew word that appears in the commandment has a broader semantic range than murder. Wilma Ann Bailey discusses why the Protestant and Jewish traditions changed the wording and why the Roman Catholic tradition did not. She also examines the impact that the wording will have in the future for people who believe that there is no general prohibition against killing in the Hebrew Bible and why questions of killing that are broader than murder 'death penalty and just war 'are no longer part of the discussion of this commandment.

Chapters are You Shall Not Kill, The Sixth Commandment in Evangelical Protestantism, The Sixth Commandment in Mainline Traditions, The Sixth Commandment in Judaism, The Fifth Commandment in Roman Catholicism, When 'You Shall Not Kill ' Became 'You Shall Not Murder. '

"Wilma Ann Bailey, MA, PhD, is associate professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Scripture at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis."

Citations And Professional Reviews
You Shall Not Kill or You Shall Not Murder?: The Assault on a Biblical Text by Wilma Ann Bailey has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Century - 10/03/2006 page 36


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Liturgical Press
Pages   94
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.22"
Weight:   0.34 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2005
Publisher   Liturgical Press
ISBN  081465214X  
ISBN13  9780814652145  


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More About Wilma Ann Bailey


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic



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Reviews - What do customers think about You Shall Not Kill or You Shall Not Murder?: The Assault on a Biblical Text?

Expose of Translation in the Service of Politics  Oct 27, 2005
You may be surprised, as I was, to find out that many newer American translations of the Bible have substituted "You Shall Not Murder" for "You Shall Not Kill" in the Ten Commandments. In this book Wilma Bailey, an Old Testament scholar and professor, shows how and when this change came about. Reviewing word usage in the key Hebrew texts she demonstrates that "murder" is not a fair translation of the original Hebrew word used in the Bible, and she builds a strong case that the revisionist translations were made in response to social and political changes within various religions and within American society in the late 20th century.

The book is based on scholarly analysis and Bailey's extensive knowledge of Hebrew and the history of biblical translations is impressive. Equally impressive is the ethical passion that shines through, when, having made her case and presented all the evidence and arguments, she decries these mistranslations that are, in effect, giving us permission to stop worrying about our collective responsibility for mistreating our fellow humans whether through wars or other means. At one point she sums it up this way: "People want to kill people, and they want biblical permission to do it."

I highly recommend this book for those interested in ethics and the history of how the various Christian and Jewish traditions have dealt with the question of killing.
 
Bible Translations in Flux  Oct 24, 2005
The first sentence of the preface of this book caught me by surprise: Sometime in the middle of the twentieth century, it said, the commandment "You shall not kill "(Exod 20:13) became "You shall not murder" in many English Bible translations. The author briefly notes two common reasons given for the change. The first is that the Hebrew word in Exodus means murder "everywhere in the Bible," a notion that she disputes in the first chapter. The second is that killing is not only permitted, but sanctioned by God in other parts of the Bible, an idea she labels as faulty though not false, since interpretation is subjective. The rest of this slim and informative book looks at the change to English translations within four traditions that publish their own translations: American forms of Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism, which, unlike the others, has maintained the older wording, "Thou shalt not kill."

In discussing the changes to the commandment by Evangelical Protestants, she points out (1) evangelicals consider the Bible their primary, and sometimes their only, source of authority, a document that contains or IS God's word (2) despite the implications of that common belief, evangelicals seemed to accept with ease the newer translation in which the commandment prohibits "murder" instead of killing. On the other hand, the translation of choice for evangelicals is the King James Version, which contains "Thou shalt not kill."

Such is the meat of this book, which, as would be expected, delves into political and ethical questions related to killing in war and self defense, the death penalty, euthanasia, and abortion. There's a lot of substance here to enlighten readers about the practices of a variety of denominations and encourage them to reflect on the issue of killing and murder in American society today.
 

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