What’s really in a name?

Sun., August 13, 2023, 2104

Rose, Roja, Roza, Ruze, Roos, Rosas, Rozu, Ros, Roo-shah, and Gulaab ka phool???

By any other name would it smell as sweet? I can’t say. Not to offend any Hindi brethren and sisters out there, but if you asked me if I wanted to sniff a gulaab ka phool, I would politely decline as it sounds offensive!

Anybody else wondering how we got from ros to gulaab ka phool, or from gulaab ka phool to ros? And to the realest who are wondering which one is more correct? God is telling me one translates to ‘many petaled flower’ and the other, simply, ‘red flower’. All we have lost in translation, or should I say, all we have gained. Sure, blame Eve. Had she not eaten the fruit maybe we wouldn’t need a translation for every word part as we wouldn’t have such an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

I’m gonna blow the lid off this mystery and spare you the pain of having to read this whole thing.. NAMES ARE NOT SOMETHING YOU TRANSLATE!

There I said it. But hold on to this thought, as it will help you better understand what really happened that day at the Tower of Babel.

As a person born with a unique name, I expect when I go to India, or Mexico, or Australia for that matter, to be called by the name I was given. By all means, please call me an arrogant, narcisisstic, entitled American, I can live with that! You see, a translation is not the thing itself, it is the parts– as we best understand them, given our conditioning (in this case, conditioning would be our language)– that make up the whole. I will not answer to ‘sea-born’, I will not answer to ‘of the sea’, or ‘circling sea’, or ‘great brightness’, I will not answer to ‘Phantom Queen’, or ‘queen of nightmares’, I may answer to ‘great queen’, lol, just to boost my ego; but none of these words or word phrases are my name though my name may mean these things. (In case you are wondering my name actually translates best to ‘Great Will’.)

A name is an intimate thing, often given to a child at birth by their mother. The meaning of one’s name will vary depending on the story associated with why your mother spoke that name to you, embedded within that story is the meaning of your name. NAMES ARE NOT SOMETHING YOU TRANSLATE!

In Wales you call me ‘sea-born’; you call up your bestie who is hindi and lives in India, you tell them, “My dear friend Sea-Born came for a visit.” Your hindi friend gets off the phone and shares with their mother the details of your conversation, “Oh, so-n-so is great, they had a friend over, Samudra Paida they are called…” Well y’al, that ain’t my name! So when I meet your hindi friend and they call me this, not only am I offended, I am hurt, I feel unseen and misunderstood because NAMES ARE NOT SOMETHING YOU TRANSLATE!

So, when I tell you, the Bible is full of people who do not exist because we have erroneously translated something that cannot be translated, NAMES, maybe you won’t call me a heretic.

Here we go; the Bible is full of people who do not exist, and we are to blame, because NAMES ARE NOT SOMETHING YOU TRANSLATE! Names are transcribed exactly as they were given. The heresy is in the translation.

Hold this thought in your mind as we continue our walk! Am I lost in the desert? No, we haven’t even made it out of Egypt yet!

Don’t forget to wash your hands!

Talk soon.