Question: Off topic? More

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Sat Mar 16 20:45:11 EST 2002

Christian, I agree with you that explanation and application go beyond
what is necessary for translation. And application is one of the steps
listed by Stuart (I don't have Fee to hand), so I was wrong to say that
we follow all of Stuart's steps. According to the definition of exegesis
I work with, explanation (exposition) and application are separate from
exegesis. But definitions vary. So perhaps our only difference is in our
terminology, in which case we shouldn't waste time arguing.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christian M. M. Brady [mailto:cbrady at]
> Sent: 16 March 2002 23:10
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Question: Off topic? More
> On 3/16/02 4:38 PM, "Peter Kirk" <Peter_Kirk at> wrote:
> > No, I disagree here. Translation is not a matter of mechanical
> > substitution of words without understanding. Translators cannot
> > translate if they don't understand what they are translating, and
> > process of understanding is what we mean by exegesis. Indiviudual
> > interpretation is another matter, and should not be added into a
> > translation; but I have to agree with Liz that it is impossible to
> > translate without introducing to some extent one's own
> >
> > So we teach translators to use all of the steps of exegesis outlined
> > Fee in "New Testament Exegesis" and by Stuart in "Old Testament
> > Exegesis", although those books are intended for preachers, not
> > translators. The same process of exegesis is fundamental both to
> > preaching and to good translation.
> Peter,
> You have obviously provided your credentials, but I still insist that
> there
> is (ought to be) a distinction between the kind of understanding
> for a good translation and "drawing meaning out" of a text. And let's
> clear: I never suggested that translation was mechanical nor that it
> involved a mere "substitution of words without understanding."
> A good translator is required to understand the full range of meanings
> a
> given word in a variety of contexts and will make a choice of one (or
> possible a few) words to represent the MT based upon that. Exegesis,
> the
> steps outlined by Fee and Stuart take one far beyond translation. It
> one into interpretation (some of which is of course present in
> translation)
> and on into application (which cannot/should not be in translation).
> two dictionaries define "exegesis" as "critical /analysis/ and
> /explanation/
> of a text, especially the Bible." It is the explanation that takes one
> beyond translation.
> Take the Isa. 7.14 passage. Lis told us earlier that Childs translates
> this
> as "maiden." That is a pretty good choice. It conveys the ambivalence
> ambiguity of the Hebrew text allowing room for the *exegete* to
> from
> within their tradition.
> Cb
> cbrady @
> --
> Chris   M   M    Brady
> Director * Jewish Studies * Tulane University
> The Newsletter for Targumic and Cognate Studies

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