BT2013 just finished up in Dallas, TX. Bible translators and consultants, ethnologists and musicologists, and biblical studies scholars all met and presented papers on topics ranging from the history of Indonesian Bible translation to translation strategies for clause chaining languages. It was fun. I learned a lot. I got a t-shirt.

Some papers, handouts, and PPTs from BT2013 have been posted on MAP.


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An Exposition of Faith: A New English Translation (Chapter 2 Begins)

I am starting the translation of chapter 2 for the Marcellian document, Exposition of Faith, and I am running into some problems – as to be expected from a novice. Any help would be appreciated.

2.1 Πιστεομεν μοως ες τ πνεμα τ γιον, τ πντα ρευνν “κα τ βθη το θεο,” ναθεματζοντες τ παρ τοτο φρονοντα δγματα.

2.2 οτε γρ υοπτορα φρονομεν ς ο Σαβλλιοι λγοντες μονοοσιον κα οχ μοοσιον κα ν τοτ ναιροντες τ εναι υἱόν.

2.3 οτε τ παθητν σμα φρεσε δι τν το παντς κσμου σωτηραν, νατθεμεν τ πατρ.

2.1 Credimus similiter in Spiritum sanctum, qui omnia scrutatur etiam profunda Dei. Dogmatius nutem omnibus quae his contraria fuerint, anathema dicimus.

2.2 Neque enim Filio Patrem agnoscimus qui unius sit substantiae, non vero consubstantialius, ut volont Seblliani, qui hoc pacto Filium pentius tollunt.

2.3 Neque etiam patibile corpus, quod propter totius mundi salutem gestavit, attribuimus Patri.

2.1 We believe also in the Spirit, the Holy (Hebrews 10.5), the searcher of all things, even the depths of God (1st Corinthians 2.10). Cursed is he who is against this doctrine.

2.2 Niether, for the Son-Father, of which Sabellius speaks, acknowledges the monoousian but not the homoousian, and he destroys the Son’s existence.

2.3 Neither, the suffering body, by which he saved all the world, given by the Father.

I am not happy with the beginning of verse 2 and 3. The ‘οτε γρ’ and ‘οτε τ‘ is throwing me. Please, help! I am thinking that the author intends to state that those that, like Sabellius, deny the Consubstantiality of the Father and Son, referring to think the Son is a ‘nickname’ (patripassianism) are accursed as well, as are those that destroy the notion that Christ had a body.

Marcellus’ problem for a long time had been that he was unfairly categorized a Sabellian by his opponants – unfair because Marcellus never denied the disctinction in time of the Incarnation and never professed that the Son was realy the Father, but with a different name. It is only natural that along with other heresies, the author places Sabellius.

Theophilus and Bible Translation – Should names/titles be translated?

First, allow me to state that I am new to Bible Translation, having only worked in this area for some two years. I still hope to be new some 60 years from now.

Here is a question that is on my mind. Granted, I have not yet begun Luke-Acts, but this is still something that is useful for other uses.

Luke-Acts (I presume these books written by the same author to the same ‘person’) is addressed to one by the name of Theophilus. Would it be implausible to translate the ‘name’ directly to it’s base meaning instead of mere transliteration?

Luke 1.3

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

εδοξεν καμοι παρηκολουθηκοτι ανωθεν πασιν ακριβως καθεξης σοι γραψαι κρατιστε θεοφιλε

It can be translated as ‘friend of God’ or ‘beloved of God’, or as Robertson suggests, ‘God-lover’. It is my opinion, and I owe much of that opinion to Peter Doble’s book, the Paradox of Salvation, that Luke-Acts was written with a central theologia crucis in mind. Could the addressee be a part of that plan?

From Wikipedia comes this possible suggestion as to who Theophilus was:

A growing belief points to Theophilus ben Ananus, High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem from 3741 A.D. In this tradition Theophilus would have been both a kohen and a Sadducee. That would make him the son of Annas and brother-in-law of Caiaphas, raised in the Jewish Temple. Adherents claim that Luke’s Gospel was targeted at Sadducee readers. This might explain a few features of Luke. He begins the story with an account of Zacharias the righteous priest who had a Temple vision of an angel (1:5-25). Luke quickly moves to account Mary‘s purification (niddah), Jesus‘ Temple redemption (pidyon ha-ben) rituals (2:21-39), and then to Jesus Temple teaching when he was twelve (2:46). He makes no mention of Caiaphas’ role in Jesus’ crucifixion and emphasizes Jesus’ literal resurrection (24:39), including an ascension into heaven as a realm of spiritual existence (24:52; Acts 1:1). Luke also seems to stress Jesus’ arguments with the Sadducees on points like legal grounds for divorce, the existence of angels, spirits, and an afterlife (Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead). If this was the case then Luke is trying to use Jesus’ rebuttals and teachings to break down Theophilus’ Sadducean philosophy. One could also look at Luke’s Gospel as an allegorical (רֶמֶז remez) reference to Jesus as “the man called the Branch” prophesied in Zechariah 3:8; 6:12-13, who is the ultimate high priest foreshadowed by the Levitical priesthood.

And it could be, and let’s say it was (I don’t believe it, but…). That Theophilus is long dead, and yet the audience for Luke-Acts remains. Would be it acceptable to translated Theophilus to ‘Friend/Beloved of God’?

Really, I guess no matter what, the audience to Luke-Acts remains, so shouldn’t the addressee be the present community, that of the Friends of God? Or, incase of the Church, the Beloved of God?

To be fair, to follow that line, should we then discard other names as addressee’s? I wouldn’t so, since Timothy and Titus and others are recognized as actually existing people or places, etc… Theophilus, since I don’t buy the above suggestion, does not fall into that category.

I would recommend translating in this case the name to the base meaning, and not attempting a mere translation.

I can see Luke saying, “O Friend of God, let me tell you more about the things that happened after Jesus did begin to do and teach.”

KJVO Nonsense

Yes, that is right. KJVO Nonsense.

The wonderful ‘teacher’ is shallow. Shallow? Yes. Shallow. Why? Because she is comparing English translations to English Translations. I debate often with KJVO (King James Version Only) followers and the simple question to ask them is: Show me your scriptural authority for such a doctrine. They can’t, so like usual they will revert to name calling, etc… and their ole stand by defense: accusing us of not having an inerrant bible.

They blame the fall of the ‘Christian’ culture here in the U.S. on the lack of usage of the KJV.