Sunday, January 14, 2007

Glory!

HIja', chaH DichDaq bom vo' the Hemey vo' joH'a'; vaD Dun ghaH joH'a' batlh.
Psalms 138:5 Yes, they will sing of the ways of the LORD; For great is the LORD's glory.


Glory. There are 20 words (13 Hebrew and 7 Greek) that the KJV translates as "glory". The Hebrew used in this verse is kabowd, properly, weight, but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness. In the KJV it is translated as glorious(-ly), glory, honour. Glory in this sense, is something that MATTERS, something of substance - it has weight. We see kabowd close to 200 times in scripture - it is the most common of the Biblical words used for glory.

The English "glory" comes from the Latin glorior, and means to exult with joy; to rejoice - this is the word the Vulgate uses to translate this Psalm. Glory is then something to celebrate, to delight in.

What word would fit for a Klingon?

In all the records of Captain Kirk's exploits on the Enterprise, the first time we meet Klingons, it turns out that an expected war is prevented by a benevolent alien race. Discussing this outcome with Commandor Kor, Kirk notes:

Well, Commander, I guess that takes care of the war. Obviously, the Organians aren't going to let us fight."
"A pity, Captain. It would have been glorious!"


Not a surprising response for a Klingon. But we watch war unfold in our day, on this planet, and as we see the horrors of death and destruction, we do not share the apparent Klingon enthusiasm for battle. But I'd suggest the Klingon attitude is not really bloodthirst, or to enjoy war itself, but the glory of victory, the honor of behaving well in difficult circumstances.

HIja', chaH DichDaq bom vo' the Hemey vo' joH'a'; vaD Dun ghaH joH'a' batlh.
Psalms 138:5 Yes, they will sing of the ways of the LORD; For great is the LORD's glory.

Now, there is no known word for "glory" in Klingon - so we don't know what Commander Kor might have said in Klingon. We know words like victory (yay), succeed, (Qap), and success (Qapla') - but the word I've chosen for this vers is batlh, honor - a concept, a goal that defines Klingon behavior and ideals. To behave with honor is to live a glorious life.

This verse celebrates the joy of what God has done, how he works in our world - looking to a day when all rulers will celebrate his triumph over evil.

Paul wrote of glory, and struggle in life:

All of these things are for your benefit. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. (2 Cor 4:15, NLT)


We watch, we wait for, we anticipate God's victory in this world - this is the glory we will celebrate.

As the Life Application Bible notes:


Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering. Problems and human limitations have several benefits: (1) They remind us of Christ’s suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they give us opportunities to prove our faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. See your troubles as opportunities!


Note, that this doesn't mean our problems go away. Glory comes through our lives, not by God erasing struggle, but empowering us within it. As Paul wrote in Romans:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us (Romans 8:18 NLT)

HIja', chaH DichDaq bom vo' the Hemey vo' joH'a'; vaD Dun ghaH joH'a' batlh.
Psalms 138:5 Yes, they will sing of the ways of the LORD; For great is the LORD's glory.


There is a glory that will come - now we see only glimmers of it in the glory, the victories that God grants. We have a battle, a struggle to live with batlh, with honor, as God gives us grace to Qap, to succeed. Look to him for the victory - vaD Dun ghaH joH'a' batlh - For great is the Lord's glory!

5 comments:

Alpha Omicron said...

Would it be so hard to give a primer on Klingon grammar in one of your posts (perhaps contrast it with Hebrew/Greek grammar), and stop passing off your annoying (partial) cipher as Klingon?

Joel said...

Thanks for your feedback. I'd encourage you to look at what has been done with the KLI project (http://www.kli.org/wiki/index.php?Klingon%20Bible%20Translation%20Project). As you note the project presented here, the Klingon Language Version, is actually a relexification of the World English Bible and serves as a demonstration of what a complete Klingon Bible would look like. A table of the most frequently occuring words (used more than 100 times) was translated, word by word, into Klingon. This table was used to transform the WEB into Klingon. Though it is not a grammatical Klingon text (actually it is more of a pidgin-Klingon, mixing English vocabulary and grammar with Klingon) it does provide vocabulary which can be used in doing a proper Klingon translation.

Joel said...

Use this URL to get to the KLI Bible Project:

http://tinyurl.com/35292r

Alpha Omicron said...

Sorry about that comment, I was feeling negative. (Probably because bo logh and qurgh QonoS are never updated.) :D

Joel said...

That's okay - I recognize that how I'm using tlhIngan Hol isn't for everyone. Thanks for stopping by!