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

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Dec 22 15:55:11 EST 2004


All translations are paraphrases, at least to a certain extent.

First of all, on a grammatical basis, what is good grammar in one language often is nonsense in another. Already by adjusting the word order, one does a low level of paraphrasing.

Secondly, and more importantly, lexemes often have meanings in one language that have no equivelant in another. Sometimes it will be broader, including meanings that are rendered by two or three different lexemes in the target language, sometimes narrower, sometimes a sentence is required to explain a concept that one word does in the originating text. This is not even counting figures of speech, literary devices and euphamisms.

Because of these problems, all translations are paraphrases.

These same problems exist even working as a lexicographer, let alone translater.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim West" <jwest at highland.net>
> 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.  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- but "ideas" and hence they 
> paraphrase. 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).  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.
> There is, in sum, a great difference between translating, 
> translations;  paraphrasing, and paraphrases.
> Jim
> ++++++++++++++++++++
> Jim West, ThD
> Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies
> Quartz Hill School of Theology
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