[b-hebrew] "I Am" vs. "I Will Be"

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Fri Jun 30 07:22:31 EDT 2006

On 30/06/2006 00:29, JAMES CHRISTIAN READ wrote:
> Peter's evidence as to the meaning 'I was, I am and I 
> always will be' is rather convincing and I tend to agree 
> with him.
> Where I disagree with Peter is that based on this meaning 
> 'I am' is the best translation. ...
> It is exactly for examples like these that it is that I 
> insist that concept translation is of far more value 
> than any form of grammatical translation. In order to 
> translate such a concept in English it is necessary to 
> do an empirical analysis of the English language in its 
> entirety and ask the question 'What would be the normal 
> thing to say be for a person who wishes to express his 
> belief that he has always existed and always will 
> exist?'
James, I entirely agree with you here in this last paragraph. Bible 
translation is indeed a matter of translating meanings and concepts, not 
grammatical forms. I do not claim that "I am" is an ideal translation, 
just that it is the best short translation and better than "I will be". 
The problem with the kind of expansive translation which you suggest is 
that it tends to distort the balance of the passage. But in this case it 
may be necessary to do something like you suggest.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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