A Translator's Freedom: Modern English Bibles and Their by Cecil Hargreaves

By Cecil Hargreaves

This serious evaluate of present models of the Bible in English specializes in matters imperative to present literary and theological debate approximately biblical translation: idiom and intensity of language. the outlet chapters examine sleek translators' loose and vigorous use of up to date English equivalents of Hebrew and Greek idioms, and their look for readability of which means. The principal chapters learn the fashionable types' checklist on resonance, attractiveness and spirituality of language, assessing positively-though now not uncritically-a number of champions of the significance of a poetic language of puzzle. Hargreaves faces squarely the conflict among supporters and competitors of 'natural' language in biblical translation, yet observes that either traditionalists and innovators speak usually approximately mind's eye, and sees desire in a standard fight to accomplish either imaginatively poetic and idiomatic nuances in translation.

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Few modern translations retain what the Av has as the second half of this verse. 4. 2. A textual point arises: 'set you free' is chosen on balance as the best reading by most modern scholars; it is backed by better manuscript evidence. though 'set me free' or 'set us free' are alternatives found in some manuscripts. 6. The NJB 's 'look forward to' is a translation of the idea of aim. striving and aspiration contained in one of the Greek nouns for 'mind' used here by Paul; the AV translation turned it into the verb 'minded'.

He was no mere amateur, entering the delicate and dangerous field of biblical translation in brash and over-confident mood. He expressly said, in the preface to his 1913 translation, that for him some phrases and keywords in the Bible were virtually untranslatable into English. 6yoc;, µuatf1p1ov and 6uccuoauv11 as examples (translated in the AV as 'word', 'mystery' and 'righteousness'). oy6c; transliterated but not translated. µuatf1p1ov he translated most often as 'open secret', but sometimes as 'secret truth' , 'secret', 'divine secret' or 'secret purpose' , according to the context.

24. Some modem translators use the phrase 'the many' in Isa. 12 ('I shall give him a portion with the many' [NJB]). but in this instance we are dealing with the translation of a different Hebrew word rab, which can be variously translated 'the great' or 'the many'. Difficulties also arise, at a less doctrinal level, over the English translation of resounding idiomatic Hebrew phrases such as that translated 'blow up the trumpet' in the Av. That is just one example of the use of an English verb which has various idiomatic meanings in English.

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