[b-hebrew] The most difficult

Will Parsons wbparsons at alum.mit.edu
Sat Jul 24 19:20:23 EDT 2010

On Sat, 24 Jul 2010 15:08:15 -0700, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> James:
> What is the role of tradition in translating? Connected with this, would a
> translation that is out of the stream of tradition be rejected, even though
> it may be more accurate?
> The reasons for the questions is because how many words and semantic fields
> are defined not by linguistic patterns, but by tradition? The modern
> translation follows the KJV follows the Vulgate follows the LXX and if the
> LXX made a mistake, all the others follow that same mistake? Even though a
> translation may be directly from the Hebrew, could it be that the
> understanding comes through the translations that were made previously with
> the new translation based on that understanding?

While prior translations tend to influence subsequent translations, it is
certainly not true that texts are not re-examined - old mistakes do not
automatically get passed on.  Modern English translations do *not* in
generally follow the KJV (the translation known as the "New King James
Version" obviously being an exception).  Neither did the KJV version
follow the Vulgate (though it was heavily influenced by other English
translations) - part of the point (and an area of contention with
Roman Catholics) was that it was made anew from the Hebrew rather than
the Vulgate.  And in turn, the Vulgate itself did not slavishly follow
the LXX - Jerome was a man ahead of his time by going back to the
Hebrew text rather than following the LXX.

William Parsons

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