[b-hebrew] Verbs, text-segmenting and clause-types

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Jul 30 06:47:07 EDT 2005

On 30/07/2005 09:30, Rolf Furuli wrote:

>... My view of Bible 
>translation is that the translators should refrain from exegesis as much as 
>possible and instead whenever possible make a text that gives the reader the 
>opportunity to do the interpretation. ...

Thank you for this clear statement. While I don't agree with this, at 
least for typical target audiences, this is a clear and rational 
principle. This seems to mean that where there is an ambiguity in the 
meaning of the original, translators should make no attempt to resolve 
the ambiguity but should present an ambiguous text to the readers. In 
general I don't think this is possible, but it is a reasonable aim.

>... There may be situations where the 
>temporal reference is ambiguous in the original text and where the 
>translators will preserve this ambigousness. But in most instances it is the 
>duty of the translator to make decisions regarding the temporal reference of 
>the verbs and convey these to the readers. In other words, the reader should 
>be able to in an easy way to find the temporal reference of a passage in an 
>English Bible translation.

But now you seem to be contradicting your principle. For, rather than 
refraining from exegesis and preserving the ambiguity, you now insist 
that with verb forms translators should make the exegetical decision 
concerning the temporal reference and resolve the ambiguity in the 

So how do you reconcile this apparent contradiction between your general 
principle and your instructions for this case?

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

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