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Old 04-03-2009, 12:01 PM   #31
koland
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
What they meant was one thing that can be debated. However, it a translation supposed to make that call? Or is it up to the reader? That itself is another debate but when someone says which is closest to the original then the answer is fairly clear. The words can not just be changed. the entire sentence has to be rewritten which itself might change the meaning in another part.
You get into trouble also when you don't rewrite euphemisms in your translation. Certain male body parts are never mentioned, for example, but the euphemism for them are there (and the literal translations of them leave you wondering just what on earth they are trying to say).

Any translation also can fall down when the context of the day is removed. Betrothal, for example, was not (entirely) a virginal promise period, it was the same as marriage, just without the rabbi/govt official. Engaged couples often lived together for up to two years while waiting for the opportunity to be "married" (either by traveling themselves or by a traveling man of god), so it was not at all unusual for children to be born during that period or for pregnant, unmarried women to travel with a fiance to be married and counted for taxes.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:27 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Sporadic View Post
Which one would be considered closest to the original text?
As a linguist, I'd say the ESV. It is an excellent, reasonably literal, translation. Many of the modern Bible versions are "paraphrases" rather than "translations". My personal favourite is, however, the NRSV; it's both a good translation and highly "readable".
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:33 PM   #33
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You get into trouble also when you don't rewrite euphemisms in your translation. Certain male body parts are never mentioned, for example, but the euphemism for them are there (and the literal translations of them leave you wondering just what on earth they are trying to say).
Yes, there are some amusing euphemisms in the OT. One that's there several times is the expression "to cover your feet", which means to relieve yourself. "Feet", in fact, was a generial euphemism for the genitals; there's one passage where God tells someone to shave off "the hair of your head and the hair of your feet". He wasn't talking to hobbits, with hairy feet - "hair of your feet" means "pubic hair".
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:43 PM   #34
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What they meant was one thing that can be debated. However, it a translation supposed to make that call? Or is it up to the reader? That itself is another debate but when someone says which is closest to the original then the answer is fairly clear. The words can not just be changed. the entire sentence has to be rewritten which itself might change the meaning in another part.
As someone who has done some minor study of foreign language translations before, I certainly can appreciate having a transliteration of what was "actually" said, following by a notation that elaborates on the meaning. However, I think the average reader of the Bible would find that tiresome, especially when it came to instances where the change *didn't* appear to change the meaning in any important way other than to make it more understandable. "Let there be light" or "Let light become light" makes no difference to most people except that the former makes more sense.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:45 PM   #35
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Yes, there are some amusing euphemisms in the OT. One that's there several times is the expression "to cover your feet", which means to relieve yourself. "Feet", in fact, was a generial euphemism for the genitals; there's one passage where God tells someone to shave off "the hair of your head and the hair of your feet". He wasn't talking to hobbits, with hairy feet - "hair of your feet" means "pubic hair".
The *writer* wasn't talking about hobbits. What God was talking about is a matter of theology.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:47 PM   #36
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"Let there be light" or "Let light become light" makes no difference to most people except that the former makes more sense.
Yes, regardless of the KJV's many deficiencies as a translation, there's no denying the fact that it is a wonderful piece of English prose, for which the credit is primarily due to William Tyndale.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:48 PM   #37
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The *writer* wasn't talking about hobbits. What God was talking about is a matter of theology.
LOL
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #38
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BTW: The English Standard Version (ESV) is available for free right now too. I added it to the first message also.

BOb
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #39
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"Feet", in fact, was a generial euphemism for the genitals; there's one passage where God tells someone to shave off "the hair of your head and the hair of your feet". He wasn't talking to hobbits, with hairy feet - "hair of your feet" means "pubic hair".
Yeah, that's the one.

Gives new meaning to the middle-eastern custom of having the woman of the house wash the guest's feet, doesn't it?
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:35 PM   #40
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I'm not sure whether the Magdalene Gospel translation is out of copyright. If you want to find more non-canonical texts than you can wave a stick at, then consult the Gnostic Society Library here:
http://www.gnosis.org/library.html

They have all the Nag Hammadi texts in translation, too, and some translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
http://www.gnosis.org/library/scroll.htm
Thanks for the link.
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