I've been reading an interlinear translation of the Latin Vulgate, even though I don't believe in God. Its words and syntax are simple to follow, making it an enjoyable language learning tool. I tried reading Ovid afterwards and was completely lost even with the interlinear translation, so the Vulgate certainly seems a far easier read. What does this mean for the Vulgate spiritually? I thought of this because Muslims have a diametrically opposing view of their own holy book. The Qur'an's use of Arabic is considered extraordinarily complex, so grand it is impossible to imitate, and so grand is the language that it's a linguistic miracle. Muslims say it makes Shakespeare words look like a child's. A Shakespearean wrote that what makes English so wonderful compared to Hebrew is that English has many rich synonyms for a single idea, eg. for a 'loose woman' it has tart, harlot, slattern, strumpet, slut etc. Hebrew meanwhile has only one word for this, making Hebrew a simplistic and poor language. This reminds me of what a Greek person wrote about the Greek bible, which is that it's written in simple language. If everything I've read is correct, then the Vulgate, Greek bible and Jewish Tanakh are simply written and spiritually valued by their adherents. Muslims cherish their Qur'an with its incomprehensibly complex language. What are your thoughts on God's word being extremely difficult and inimitable, or fairly simple? What's better, spiritually-speaking? I feel Muslims risk setting their book up to failure when a sceptic probes beyond the grand claims. The controversial Surah 4:34 says a husband may 'da-ra-ba' his disobedient wife. This has been variously translated to English as hitting, scourging, scolding, spanking, separating, or some other word. Muslim fundamentalists have no qualms about what it means: hit her until she submits. But progressive Muslims write long essays explaining he can't even touch her, or that he can only touch her lightly, or more than lightly but not brutally (depending on the Muslim), because context and classical Arabic dictionaries offer so many interpretations of what 'da-ra-ba' means. I know languages can be hard to translate, but extreme ambiguity and confusion to me aren't the exemplar of a miracle; instead they're rather the opposite. If I were an omniscient god who didn't want wives to be hit by their husbands (as some currently are by their pious husbands), I'd perhaps say in Arabic "and do not hit or hurt them". But then that would be defeating the Qur'an's challenge to make a single sentence as brilliant as its own.