[b-hebrew] Psa 107:19-21 (was WAYYIQTOL)

Charles David Isbell cisbell at cox.net
Sun Mar 14 20:41:22 EST 2004


Rolf writes,

"I have worked with questions related to Bible translation for many years,
and I have also translated works from different Semitic languages into
Norwegian; so I am very sensitive for translation issues. By studying
different Bible translations, the scholar will see that the translators are
heavily influenced by the traditional views of the Hebrew verbs, which in a
way serves as a straitjacket. I will estimate that if the model of my thesis
was used instead of the traditional one, that would necessitate a change in
the English tenses of more than ten thousand verbs, and many, many other
changes would be necessary as well. So our view of verbs does have
consequences."

This is a bold assertion. "Ten thousand" errors by not following your model!
Perhaps the list could profit from seeing your English translation of Exodus
3.1-4.17 with this model. Or maybe you have another narrative passage that
you find more instructive. I appreciate that you are sold on your own
theory, but I cannot imagine the wholesale changes you predict, all of which
no one else has caught from LXX to JPS. And I cannot imagine the theological
gains to be made as a result. Bandying a new linguistic theory is one thing.
Claiming that your way of translation brings thousands of changes can only
mean that a new world of theology awaits. What have I missed?

I hope you are well today, that tomorrow you will be well, and that on
Tuesday you can say, "On Monday I was well."

Charles




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