Translations for Transfiguration

I am driven by a compulsion -- I have trouble preaching from bad translations. And Paul for this week is badly translated. But I am also beginning a discipline for Lent, if I am able to keep it, of working faithfully with the lectionary texts -- even though I am not immediately called to preach on them. And so I'm beginning it with Transfiguration, just as every roller-coaster starts at its point of maximum potential energy. Lent is a kinetic season, and this is the point from which we are released into it -- Ash Wednesday is simply the bottom of that first drop, the expression of the energy we will take with us throughout the season.

So: we have 2 Kings 2:1-15, Mark 9:2-13, and 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (all slightly expanded to meet textual boundaries). Translating the psalm is a bit beyond me.

2 Kings 2:1-15
Now, YHVH was about to raise Elijah up in a heavenly whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha were walking from Gilgal, and Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here -- because YHVH has sent me as far as Beth-El." And Elisha said, "Shall I forsake you while YHVH lives and you yourself live?" So they went down to Beth-El.

Now, the sons of the prophets of Beth-El came to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that this is the day that YHVH takes your master away from leading you?" And he said, "Indeed, I do know it; hush." And Elijah said to him, "Elisha, please stay here -- because YHVH has sent me to Jericho." And he said, "Shall I forsake you while YHVH lives and you yourself live?" So they went to Jericho.

Now, the sons of the prophets of Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that this is the day that YHVH takes your master away from leading you?" And he said, "Indeed, I do know it; hush." And Elijah said to him, "Please stay here -- because YHVH has sent me to the Jordan." And he said, "Shall I forsake you while YHVH lives and you yourself live?" So the two of them kept walking.

And fifty of the sons of the prophets walked and stood separately as the two of them stood on the Jordan's bank. And Elijah took his cloak, and folded it, and struck the waters, and they split this way and that, and the two of them crossed over on the dry bed. And when they were crossing, Elijah said to Elisha, "Request something that I will do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "May there be for me a double portion of your spirit." And he said, "A complicated request. If you should see me being taken from you, it will be so for you; if not, it will not be."

And while they continued walking and talking, behold: a flaming chariot and flaming horses broke in between the two of them, and Elijah mounted up in a heavenly whirlwind. And Elisha saw, and he shouted, "Father, father! The chariot of Israel and her steeds!" But he could no longer see him. And he grabbed his own robe and tore it into two rags, and picked up the cloak of Elijah, which had fallen from him, and returned and stood upon the bank of the Jordan. And he took the cloak of Elijah, which had fallen from him, and struck the waters and said, "Where is YHVH, the same god also of Elijah?" So he struck the waters, and they split this way and that, and Elisha crossed over. And the sons of the prophets of Jericho saw this from the other side, and said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." And they came to meet him, and bowed to him upon the ground.
Mark 9:2-13
Now, after six days, Jesus took Peter and Jacob and Johann along, up to a high mountain with him by themselves, and his appearance was changed in their sight -- his clothes were bright, shining white, whiter than any refiner of cloth on earth could make them. And Elijah and Moses were seen by them, talking together with Jesus. And in response, Peter said to Jesus, "Teacher, it is good for us to be here. Shall we make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah?" You see, he didn't know how else to respond -- they were quite freaked out. And there was a cloud casting its shade upon them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my beloved son -- listen to him." And suddenly, looking around themselves, they could no longer see anyone -- only Jesus was there with them.

And as they were coming down from the mountain, he distinguished them by the instruction that they were not to relate what they saw, until the Son of Humanity should rise from the dead. And they kept that message to themselves, seeking together to understand what it meant to rise from the dead. And they asked him, saying, "The scribes say that Elijah has to come first." And he showed them: "Certainly -- Elijah, having come first, reinstates all things. And how is it written about the Son of Humanity? 'That he shall suffer many things and be despised.' But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it is written about him."
2 Corinthinas 4:1-6
Because of this, having this service, just as we have been shown mercy, we do not weaken. Rather we renounce for ourselves the hiddenness of shame, neither comporting ourselves with trickery, nor disguising the message of God. Rather we constitute ourselves by the exhibition of truth before every human conscience in the sight of God.

Now, even if our proclamation has been obscured, it is obscured among those who are perishing, among those whose incredulous senses the god of this age has blinded, so that the light of the proclamation of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine forth.

Indeed, we do not proclaim ourselves, but rather Christ Jesus, as Lord -- and ourselves as your servants because of Jesus, because God who said "Light will shine from the darkness" shone in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

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