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Chapter 24

This chapter is probably the most important thematically to the novel, for it introduces the concept of timshel. Lee and Samuel fall into philosophical discussion. Lee reveals that he and his Chinese friends have been debating the translation of the Hebrew word timshel. Lee says that the American Standard “orders men to triumph over sin.” The King James’ says ‘Thou shalt’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin.” But the actual translation is “Thou mayest.” It is important because this leaves the way clear for free will. A man may choose to do or choose not to do something. Either way, he is in control of destiny. We see this concept at work even before it is introduced. Samuel advises...

(The entire section is 257 words.)