[B-Greek] Gen 32:30 GOT (32:29 in English) anddemonstrative

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Wed Jan 29 11:00:04 EST 2003

It seems to me there are at least two different questions involved in the Gen
32.29: (1) what CAN the Greek  mean and (2) what was it likely INTENDED to mean?
Regarding (1), I would agree with Carl that at least at the phrasal level TOUTO
might be construed with TO ONOMA. Whether this then makes sense at the CLAUSAL
level, I am less sure of.  Regarding (2) I would side more with Iver. That is to
say, if one first reads the source text (the Hebrew), it becomes unlikely that
that TOUTO should be construed with TO ONOMA, since the Hebrew cannot be so read.
I would construe the Hebrew as: WHY THIS: YOU ASK FOR MY NAME. If that is correct,
the intended meaning of the Greek is likely: WHY IS IT THAT YOU ASK NAME.
It is of interest to note we have in fact an isomorphic representation of the
source text by the target text. Such representation of course need not mean that
the Greek is unidiomatic, but in Septuagint texts it often  signals precisely
that. Is it the case here? Iver thinks it borderline. To me that is as generous as
one can afford to be.
Two further comments. I am of course not suggesting that, when determining what
the intended meaning of the LXX is, one simply superimposes the meaning of the
Hebrew on the the Greek. That would be a gross violation of Greek as a linguistic
system. What I am suggesting, however, is that the source text can point us to the
linguistic option within Greek that might best be exercised.
Lastly, to return to (1) and (2) above. (2) focuses on what might be called the
constitutive  character of the translated text. (1) focuses on reception history,
i.e. might be made of the translated text in the history of interpretation.
Sorry for the long note.

Jonathan Robie wrote:

> At 09:07 AM 1/29/2003 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> > >As you say, it looks like a very literal translation here in Gen 32, so it
> > >is probably borderline Greek. Could it be understood as: "Why are you asking
> > >this (thing), i.e., my name?
> > >It seems too odd to me to construe it directly with TO hONOMA MOU.
> >
> >But I suppose it's possible that the LXX spoke "Cockney" Greek...
> I would be very interested in the answer to Iver's question - the rendering
> he proposes makes good logical sense, and I would like to know whether it
> is a likely rendering in Greek.
> Jonathan
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Albert Pietersma
Dept of Near&Middle Eastern Civilizations
4 Bancroft Avenue
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1C1
albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
homepage http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~pietersm/

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