View Full Version : As Simple as ABC - What Acrostics in the Bible can demonstrate

04-02-2009, 01:53 PM
As Simple as ABC - What acrostics in the Bible can demonstrate

By Harvey Minkoff

Acrostics are alphabetical texts.
Bible scholars disagree on their purpose.
Consequently, translations differ.
Despite differences in emphasis,
Every translator acknowledges that
Form and meaning are connected.
Given the strictures of acrostics, however,
Holding on to both is impossible.
If the acrostic in a poem is
Just an ornament or aid to memory,
Keeping it intact is not necessary.
Leave it with the detritus of translation.
Meaning is what matters.
Nothing has been lost.
Or has it? Some critics say
Poetry is a unique wedding of form and meaning,
Quite different from artless prose.
Rather than being mere bangle,
Structure is meaning.
Translations must convey this unity.
Unable to mirror the original exactly,
Versions must choose which aspect to favor.
Whatever they do, though,
Xerography is not one of the choices.
You try: Is alpha to omega 'A to O' or 'A to Z'?

Source: Bible Review (http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBR&Volume=13&Issue=2&ArticleID=11)