I’m not usually a big stickler for proper pronunciation of Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek words that appear in the Bible. But that’s not that I don’t have an opinion on how to say Melchizedek and Habakkuk. It’s just that my opinion is based on hearing the pronunciations of others rather than careful language study.
This morning, however, I was subjected to a bit of botched Aramaic that really tripped me up. I was listening to my audio version of the Bible on my way to work, when the narrator uttered this well-known passage:
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
(Galatians 4:6 ESV)
The problem was he pronounced Abba as if it rhymed with yabba (as in yabba dabba doo) instead of “awe bawe.” So, my mind went to ABBA, the seventies pop group, rather than God the Father. Dancing Queen rather than Eternal God.
Now, I’m into Swedish music as much as the next guy (as long as the next guy isn’t named Björn), but I’d just as soon keep ABBA on the oldies station, and out of my daily devotions. I want my mind to be filled with thoughts of the loving Father rather than the sounds of Mamma Mia!
Just to show there’s no hard feelings, here’s a little dedication I want to send out to my friendly narrator: