[b-hebrew] Alter's translation
bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Nov 23 15:30:27 EST 2005
>Alter's notes on vv. 1-3 include comments on _tohu wabohu_, "hovering,"
>and _ruax_, which he admits may be translated, "breath, wind, spirit."
This is an important point. Alter's work is a one-volume translation
*and* commentary. Those who are complaining about the translation
or ``philosophical presuppositions'' from bits they've read on the
internet are on the wrong track. Its clear that Alter did not intend
the translation to stand on its own independant of his commentary,
that's why its published as a single volume.
I checked Alter's comments on Gen 1:1-3 this morning and as Bryan
says he makes comments on tohu wabohu and ruah. In many places in
the Torah the writer(s), whoever you concieve he/them to be, use word
plays. Usually they are impossible to capture in English and are just
one type of loss readers of English have to accept. The sound of
the words tohu wabohu is an example. By using ``welter and waste''
as his choice of translation Alter has given his English readers
a flavour of the Hebrew not present in other common translations. For
KJV: without form, and void
NASB: formless and void,
NRSV: formless void
If you are going to complain about bad translation the NRSV has taken
two Hebrew nouns and translated one into an English adjective.
Bill Rea, IT Services, University of Canterbury \_
E-Mail bill.rea at canterbury.ac.nz </ New
Phone 64-3-364-2331, Fax 64-3-364-2332 /) Zealand
Unix Systems Administrator (/'
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