[b-hebrew] Genesis 3:15 "bruise"

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Dec 22 14:39:42 EST 2004

On 22/12/2004 17:53, Jim West wrote:

> At 01:45 PM 12/22/2004, you wrote:
>> Yes, this is precisely as I said.
>> george
>> gfsomsel
>> ___________
> Now make up your mind.  Are you using paraphrase as Peter is or as the 
> dictionary is- because you seem to be changing your mind.  A 
> paraphrase is taking words and simplifying them for a wider audience- 
> which is what the NWT does. ...

I don't know what the New World Translation has to do with this, but it 
is not a paraphrase in any sense as far as I know.

> ... It is not a translation- as I have already said.  It is a 
> paraphrase.  A translation renders, as closely as possible, words from 
> one language into another.  The American Standard Version is a 
> translation; the NIV is a paraphrase, as are most modern renderings.  
> Why?  because their interest is not in translating words ...

Words cannot be translated. They can perhaps be glossed, but a 
concatenation of glosses is not a translation and is in fact 
meaningless, except possibly between very closely related languages. Try 
reading the interlinear gloss line of an interlinear text from some 
non-European language which you don't know.

> ... - but "ideas" and hence they paraphrase. ...

Beware, Humpty Dumpty at work.

> ... The KJV is a paraphrase as well, seeing as how it simply 
> paraphrased Wycliffe and other english versions (while of course 
> pretending to consult the originals). ...

Here, oddly enough, you have reverted to the dictionary definition of 
"paraphrase", although I don't think this is actuallly justified by the 

> ... If you want to translate hebrew into english that's one thing.  
> Something totally separate is taking what you think the words mean and 
> rendering them in another way in order to simplify for the unwashed 
> masses.

Jim, I am a professional translator, whose aim is to make the meaning of 
a text accessible to the general population of the target language 
group, irrespective of their personal hygiene habits. I resent your 
attempt to hijack my profession by redefining "translation" as something 
it never has been. Even the most literal translations pay attention to 
the meaning of words and phrases in context. Apart from that what you 
call "translation" gives a quite meaningless result, understandable only 
by those who already know the source language.

> There is, in sum, a great difference between translating, 
> translations;  paraphrasing, and paraphrases.
Yes, but the difference is in a quite different place from where you 
think it is.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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