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24 March 2019

More on Conversion

After what I learned about conversion last time, I wanted to know what kinds of words had been translated as "conversion" when the New Testament came to us from the Greek. I'd found that our one word, conversion, had been translated into Japanese into four different words, which each brought their own interesting layers of meaning to the concept, and I wondered what kinds of Greek words had given rise to these translations.

Not surprisingly, I found four different Greek words.

The first word (and the only one that I'm looking at in this post) is used in a number of different passages, which all draw on a passage from Isaiah 6:9:

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

This verse is referenced in various ways; there's the four verses that use the most common Greek root of conversion and also reference Isaiah 6:9:

21 March 2019

Repentence and Conversion

When I came home from Japan, I was surprised by a prompting to do the Come Follow Me readings in Japanese, and then even more surprised to realize how much Japanese I learned reading the Book of Mormon for the challenge from President Nelson: the first chapter I read wasn't half as hard as I'd expected: I have to read it from a paper edition, which means no copy and paste into my dictionary, because it's not in the Gospel Library app (I assume there's some copyright issue; that's typically why stuff like this happens).

So, I'm cruising along, reading in Matthew 13: the Parable of the Sower. That explanation in the middle has always seemed odd to me: "lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

And I noticed two things:

First, the Japanese makes the cause-effect relationship more apparent than the English: the people close their own eyes, they close their own ears, and their own hearts for the purpose that they won't have to repent.

And Second --wait. I didn't remember the word "repent" being in this passage. When I looked at the English, I realized that I don't remember that word being there because... it's not. In English, it says "lest... [they] should be converted, and I should heal them." But the Japanese word here is 悔い改める。I learned to recognize it as "repent" in my Book of Mormon reading, and that's what it says if you look it up in my dictionary. But it's a compound:

悔 -- repent/regret
改 -- reformation/change/modify/renew

I can see how it could have both meanings, and that's a whole new way of looking at conversion for me. I've always thought about repenting as a sort of "I'm sorry" process that we go through with the Lord, followed by change. But this word unifies those two aspects into a single concept, a single verb.

I wondered if there was anywhere else that the words repent and conversion were used interchangeably in Japanese. Surprisingly, there's not a lot of places in the New Testament where you find the word "conversion": only 8. In addition to looking at the Japanese, it would be really interesting to use Strong's Concordance to look at the Greek roots of these words, but I'm so slow at the Japanese that there's no way that I can do that tonight.

11 March 2019

I've Gone to Japan

So, I haven't been posting much, and won't be for a little while yet, but I have a good excuse: I'm in Japan right now. For those who are on Instagram, there's pictures there. Especially trains, because my nephews love trains. I'm just photographing ordinary stuff: I'm here taking some classes. So I haven't done much at all of the typical touristy stuff. I'd hoped to, but things are so busy; some unexpected opportunities are eating up the time I'd planned to spend on going and looking at beautiful things. So I've got pictures of bikes and trains and food and regular life kinds of things that I'm photographing this trip, and very little of the shrines and parks and temples this time.

So, when my trip is done, and I've had a chance to reconnect with my people and recover from the jetlag (it's 14 hours difference), then I'll start thinking about homeschool stuff again. But right now, I'm having an adventure!


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