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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: To protect everybody | The new translation | For U.S., not China

January 5, 2022 at 3:23 a.m.

To protect everybody

To every citizen in this community: I want to send a message to everyone that if you simply just wear a mask or get the vaccine and the booster, if you're the right age, you can protect your family, friends, and every citizen in this community.

As a child, I wear my mask and got my vaccines. You should too.


Little Rock

Editor's note: Kennedy Squyres is 9 years old.

The new translation

Mr. Hal Taussig lauds the 10-year effort to bring "new meanings to biblical texts" in the "updated edition" of the NRSV Bible (called the NRSVue). Based on his one example, I am less enthusiastic.

In Mark 14:69 the NRSVue changes "servant-girl" to "female servant." Taussig believes this improves the translation by bringing a "feminist consciousness to take away a demeaning translation that calls a woman a girl."

Does this improve the translation? Upon consulting the Greek New Testament and Analytical Greek Lexicon, I find the Greek word used here is (pardon these transliterations) "pai-diske" (pie-dis-kay), a feminine diminuitive of "pais," commonly translated as "child." A number of other words have "pai" as the root in the Greek New Testament. "Paidarion" is a little boy. "Paideia" is instruction. "Paideutes" is a teacher. "Paideuo" is to educate. "Paidzo" is to play. "Paidagogos" is a governor of children. Based on this word family, "servant-girl" still seems the better translation.

There are times in the Greek New Testament when a pais-based word refers to an adult, but the "pais" person is always implied to be "lesser-than," as it is in a servant-master relationship. The "paidiske" of Mark 14:69 may be a woman, but that would be deduced, not from "paidiske," but by asking questions about the scene and consulting historical sources. Would a child be out at this time of night? Would a child be so insistent to point out Peter as one of Jesus' disciples? Would a child be the servant of the high priest? Are there synonyms that could have been used for "paidiske"?

And one more. If "paidiske" is a woman, is she lesser-than with the agency of a first century servant, or a 21st century time-traveling woman with an enhanced "feminist consciousness"?



For U.S., not China

Will Walmart, the world's largest retailer, and other large-volume companies (Nike, NBA) finally stand for the USA and not the temporary profits cheap labor provides? I fear for our country and what the future holds for my grandchildren and their grandchildren.


Horseshoe Bend

About War on Poverty

Star Parker, failed California Republican politician, failed California radio host and now syndicated columnist, is a little confused in her column "More government, less religion." Does poverty in America persist? Yes. Does this mean the War on Poverty was a failure as Republicans keep saying? No. Let's take a look at "The War on Poverty 50 years Later: A Progress Report" from the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

In 1959, 58 percent of the poor had indoor plumbing. Now it is 99 percent. Infant mortality has fallen in the poorest counties from 23.2 per 1,000 pregnancies to 9.1 per 1,000. Children have access to medical care thanks to Medicaid. Childhood poverty fell from 26 percent to 18 percent.

The largest fall in poverty was in those over 65, from 39.9 percent in 1959 to 14.8 percent in 2014. Medicare allows those over 65 to access medical care.

Among the employed, poverty fell from 17.8 percent to 10 percent. Among the unemployed, poverty fell from 55 percent to 29 percent. Rural poverty fell from 32 percent to 13 percent. Illegal immigrants don't qualify, despite much Republican disinformation; the poverty rate for immigrants was unchanged at 23 percent to 25 percent.

A more broadly defined measure of income from government benefits by the Federal Reserve's evaluation shows an even greater fall in poverty rates to below 5 percent when all transfer and tax credits are accounted for.

Each of the categories contains millions of people who are no longer poor. This is not a failure, but a success of governmental interventions.

The U.S. economy grew enormously over the last 50 years of the War on Poverty. Incomes in the United States grew, especially for the well-educated.

Contrary to Ms. Parker, Democrats are very interested in the success sequence. Expansion of the child tax credit is aimed at further reducing child poverty and improving access to early childhood education, which has been shown to improve education attainment later in life, reduce crime, reduce teen parenthood, improve health and improve employment. These all support the success sequence she cites.



Poor Charlie Brown

The "Build Back Better Act" is the football.

Charlie Brown wants to kick it over the finish line. Senators Manchin and Sinema take turns playing Lucy.


North Little Rock

Print Headline: Letters


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