God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

On Style

Different communities have different styles of conveying information. I think this is particularly important for understanding and translating the Bible.

I recently posted some thoughts about prophecies (and why they don’t “come true” in the NT). Along the way, the idea of a proof text came up.

In particular, I claimed that one style of NT prose consists of quoting part of the OT not for the truth value of the quotation, but rather just for the sake of using the words of the OT — even if those words are taken out of context. (Examples appear in the original post.)

By comparison, we also have unique styles now. Here are three of them:
Continue reading

October 25, 2010 Posted by | translation theory | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Translation Challenge: Psalm 2:2

Psalm 2:2 exhibits particularly clever structure, with meanings that form chiasmus and word combinations that pattern in straight parallelism.

The Hebrew reads: yityats’vu malchei erets//v’roznim nosdu yachdav. Yityatsvu means the about same thing as nosdu yachdav, and malchei eretz is like roznim. That’s the chiasmus. But equally, each line has three words, and both times the first words stand alone while the 2nd and 3rd form a pair.

Obviously, the KJV “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together” preserves none of this.

Can anyone think of a translation that captures the structure and meaning and beauty of the original?

October 13, 2009 Posted by | translation challenge | , , , , , | 8 Comments