As many will know, I am quite the amateur theologian: boasting as I do a decent pass at “O” Level Religious Studies (and with some upcoming RS content in my OU course). The “O” level focused on the gospel according to St Luke – and we were, of course, a good 1.5% closer to the events described back then. It also covered sex and marriage – but as I have little practical interest in either exercise, I fear this knowledge may have somewhat withered over the years (I do have a vague recollection that the sequencing of the two activities was considered quite important).
Anyway, to return to the stories of the well-known first century (AD or CE, as you prefer) conjurer and raconteur. I seem to recall that he instructed his top followers to become “fishers of men” – and earlier today, I did find myself wondering how well this would play to a modern-day, European audience. Would they expect the disciples to be required to adhere to strict quotas? Worse, would they have to throw the small ones back? And, as a fan of both the albatross and dolphin, what about the bycatch?
I think modern translations should either avoid the fishing metaphor altogether, or be very clear about the importance of “line and pole” sustainable techniques in the harvesting of humanity.