[B-Greek] Zechariah 8:3 (LXX)

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Wed Oct 14 14:47:52 EDT 2009


You may well be right, Leonard, that a mechanical translation of a  
Hebrew article is not an adequate explanation of what is going on in  
Zech 8:3. As you note, the article of HQQODESH is ignored. One thing  
seems certain, namely, that H IEROUSALHJM POLIS H ALHQINH is ambiguous  
for whatever reason. Should we understand it to mean: "Ierousalem  
(shall be called) a city that is true" (NETS) or "The city of  
Ierousalem (shall be called) the true/genuine one."  I suspect that  
the latter is the better one since elsewhere in The Twelve  
"Ierousalem" is never arthrous unless the source text gives explicit  
warrant for it. In such cases the Greek article represents Hebrew  
particles/prepositions )TH, B, and L.

As for translators' being deficient in Greek---John Lee argued nearly  
thirty years that this assumption has little if any explanatory power.  
Translators apparently did what they wanted to, not because they could  
do no better because they had flunked Gk 101. If translators worked  
predominantly at the lower level of constituent structure, as the  
Greek text as produced suggests, and moreover used a literal/ 
isomorphic mode of translating, it is not surprising that  
unintelligibility and ungrammaticality are inherent aspects of the  
Greek text.
Al
On Oct 14, 2009, at 1:43 AM, Leonard Jayawardena wrote:
>
>
> Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> =20
> =20
>> I think what we have here in the Greek LXX text is simply a literal
>> translation of the Hebrew construct-noun IR-hA-EMETH=2C in which case
>> the Greek definite article isn't functioning as it ordinarily does in
>> Greek usage.
>
> =20
> LJ: While your explanation is probably the correct one=2C it is  
> difficult t=
> o see how the translator of Zechariah could have rendered this  
> phrase in su=
> ch non-standard Greek. It cannot be that his knowledge of Greek was  
> defecti=
> ve because there are many absolute nouns in Zechariah and this is  
> the first=
> instance of it I have come across.
> Was his mind distracted that he transla=
> ted the parts of the absolute noun mechanically? If so=2C it must  
> have been=
> a very momentary distraction because only three words later he  
> translated =
> har hakkodesh (literally=2C 'mountain of the holiness') as OROS  
> hAGION=2C n=
> ot OROS TO hAGION. How does one explain this inconsistency?
> =20
> =20
> Leonard Jayawardena
> =20
>
> ----------------------------------------
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Zechariah 8:3 (LXX)
>> From: cwconrad2 at mac.com
>> Date: Tue=2C 13 Oct 2009 05:51:25 -0400
>> CC: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> To: leonardj at live.com
>>
>>
>> On Oct 13=2C 2009=2C at 2:27 AM=2C Leonard Jayawardena wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> KLHQHSETAI hH IEROUSALHM POLIS hH ALHQINH KAI TO OROS KURIOU
>>> PANTOKRATOROS OROS hAGION.
>>>
>>> POLIS hH ALHQINH is translated "a true city" in Brenton's
>>> translation and "a city that is true" in the NETS translation.
>>>
>>> What purpose does the definite article serve before ALHQINH? Why
>>> isn't in the form POLIS ALHQINH in parallel with OROS hAGION?
>>> Alternatively=2C why not OROS TO hAGION in parallel with POLIS hH
>>> ALHQINH?
>>>
>>> POLIS hH ALHQINH is literally "a city=2C the true one"?
>>
>> I think what we have here in the Greek LXX text is simply a literal
>> translation of the Hebrew construct-noun IR-hA-EMETH=2C in which case
>> the Greek definite article isn't functioning as it ordinarily does in
>> Greek usage.
>>
>>
>> Carl W. Conrad
>> Department of Classics=2C Washington University (Retired)
>>
>>
>> 		 	   		  =0A=
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—
Albert Pietersma PhD
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Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm




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