[b-hebrew] Daniel 6:27 (time indefinite) II
furuli at online.no
Wed Nov 16 09:55:48 EST 2005
See my comments below.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>
To: <Awohili at aol.com>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Daniel 6:27 (time indefinite) II
> One of the issues was whether this phrase was a regularly used and
> meaningful English phrase. Its apparently very restricted use, outside
> the specific context for which it is being promoted, strongly suggests
> that it is not. And if the phrase is not meaningful, it cannot be an
> accurate representation of a presumably meaningful Hebrew word.
You turn the issue upside down because you look at it from your theoretical
background as a translator; i.e., you look at it from the point of view of
idiomatic translation. The discussion started when I said that "time
indefinite" was an excellent rendering for (WLM in a literal translation,
because a consistent use of this expression would help the readers to decide
when the reference
was a period without end and when it had an end. Then Kelton said, "I am
having a hard time understanding your view of OLAM and the NWT". So the
issue has been whether "time indefinite" is an adequate redering for Hebrew
(WLM and whether this rendering is helpful for the target group of a literal
translation such as NWT.
Whether the phrase is regularly used in English is a question posed by you
with an idiomatic translation model. This question is irrelevant as far as
literal translation is concerned. This can be illustrated by the translation
of Luther andof KJV, and the first Norwegian translation. Many words not
used regularly were used in these translations, and even new words were
coined. When the Bible was read, all these words became a part of the normal
language. (Interestingly, in the Norwegian Church Bible of 1978/85 the word
"salig" (from German "selig") is used in Matt 5:3-11 where the NIV has
"blessed". The word "salig" is not used in everyday speech, and the 1978/85
translation is idiomatic).
I have tried to show that even "meaningfulness in English" is not a
requirement for a literal translation, but it is of course sought in most
instances. The Hebrew word "Armageddon" is used in Rev 16:16 by NIV and many
other translations. The word is not meaningful in English, and it is the
reader must find its meaning and reference. The NWT uses "Sheol"
consistently in the OT and "Hades" and "Gehenna" in the NT. The word "Sheol"
is not used in English and it is not immediately intelligible for most
persons. But it works excellently for the target group.
Once again I will remind the list-members that you should not criticize the
choices of English words in a literal translation from an idiomatic point of
view. But you must criticize the literal translation on the basis of its own
principles and procedures. One basic procedure is to find one single English
word to represent each Hebrew word where this is possible. This English word
should represent the core meaning of the Hebrew concept, and the target
group should, on the basis of the use of this word in the Bible, be able to
clothe this word "with flesh," exactly what was necessary in the case of
Luther and the KJV. Given the principles of a literal translation, it is a
blind alley to ask what "time indefinite" means for the average English
speaker and whether it is regularly used in daily speech (but it was of
course proper for Kelton to ask about its meaning). The question is whether
it adequately can represent the core meaning of the Hebrew word (WLM, and
whether it effectively can be used by the English target group to get some
idea of the Hebrew concept behind (WLM. My answer is Yes! BTW, I personally
think the reference of Ecc 1:4 is eternality, but I think "to time
indefinite" is the best rendeering inthis verse.
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
University of Oslo
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