Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Yesterday at our Sunday morning Chinese-Japanese study group, one young lady reminded me of the question that had puzzled me regarding Romans 6:13 last week. The Japanese word (武器) for "instruments" in that verse has only a military definition. I was not so surprised to see that the Chinese characters had that meaning, because the same characters often have slightly different applications in the two languages. What surprised me was that even in my Japanese dictionary, there was no other definition besides the military one. The word definitely means "weapons." The Chinese Bible doesn't use that word. But the Japanese Bible, if translated literally (verse 13) would read, "Do not present your members to sin as WEAPONS for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as WEAPONS for righteousness." So the young lady in our group told me that this proves that Japan is a "bad boy" relative to the current Diaoyu / Senkaku Island crisis. I had to agree that the word in question is strongly reminiscent of Japan's militaristic culture, and I guess this is part of Japan's problem in the current situation. Japan has such a terrible history when it comes to taking land from its neighbors, that when an issue like this comes up, Japan is assumed to be in the wrong, even though China and Taiwan both considered the Diaoyu / Senkaku islands as part of Japanese territory up until it was announced that there might be huge oil and natural gas reserves in the area, which took place 75 years after Japan staked its claim.

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