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Reviewed by Leonard William Smuts for Readers' Favorite
The richness of any language can be found in its words and in our sense of their meaning. In some cases, the messages are either encoded or simply too nuanced to be easily discerned if read casually. On occasion, meaning has been lost in the translation. This is especially true of the Bible, which has seen many translations and has been widely interpreted - or in some cases misinterpreted - over many years. Seven Brief Lessons on Language is an exploration of the language used in the English version of the Bible, and in doing so finds new explanations for some of the anomalies which exist. In unraveling the words, spelling, phonetics, context, and subtleties, Jonathan Dunne gives readers fresh insights into how keywords can reshape our understanding when different meanings are attributed to them. In some cases, the links to Greek and even Sanskrit are examined to provide background. Parables such as the Workers in the Vineyard are re-interpreted, as well as the paradox of the Trinity. New word equivalents are put forward, such as in heart and earth, which are comprised of the same letters.
Jonathan Dunne is a graduate of Oxford University and this is his fourth book on language. He is an accomplished translator and an Orthodox Christian. In writing Seven Brief Lessons on Language, he uses his considerable academic skills, backed by research and experience, to bring new meaning to familiar biblical passages and parables. Jonathan approaches his subject in an unconventional and innovative manner. He rearranges letters, substitutes others, uses look-alikes, and reads letters in reverse. Upper and lower case letters are also transposed. The results are remarkable! His interpretations and conclusions may not find favor with all Christians but will provide food for thought for many others. The book offers new explanations for words and texts whose meaning has been either obscured or taken for granted over the years. It will appeal to biblical scholars and those searching for a new depth of understanding of their faith and should be read with an open heart.