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Re: [ANE-2] What happened at the first of ELOHIM creating the skies and the land?

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  • George F Somsel
    This is, of course, an abuse of the literal approach to reading the text. It simply takes the lexical meanings and sets them down together without any thought
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 16, 2007
      This is, of course, an abuse of the literal approach to reading the text. It simply takes the lexical meanings and sets them down together without any thought to what is meant in context. It is as though I were to take the sentence "He kicked the bucket" and resolve it into an action involving the use of one's leg and foot applied to a cylindrical container designed for carrying liquids and solids. While this may be a very literal understanding of the words, it totally misses the significance which is that this is a slang expression signifying that "He died." Such a practice is not truly a translation at all.

      george
      gfsomsel

      Therefore, O faithful Christian, search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.

      - Jan Hus
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      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Ariel L. Szczupak <ane.als@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2007 8:00:49 PM
      Subject: [ANE-2] What happened at the first of ELOHIM creating the skies and the land?

      Unfortunately I have very little time for ANE matters right now, just
      for quick glances. From time to time something catches my attention -
      sometimes it's something amazing like the Tel Rehov apiary, and sometimes ...

      The Original Bible Project is preparing the "Transparent English
      Bible". It says about its translation method:

      "The problem is that an overly naive literalism easily becomes
      nonsense, while "recasting thought" can end up obscuring or even
      altering the richness of the original text.The Transparent English
      Bible is decidedly on the "literal" side of this spectrum, although
      the concept of transparency better conveys its theory and method. The
      basic idea of transparency is that one should be able to "peer
      through" the English translation, and, to whatever extent possible,
      see, hear, and even feel, the dynamics of the original text."

      http://originalbibl e.com/2005/ 04/30/original- bible-project- overview. htm

      They released Gen 1-6 ...

      http://originalbibl e.com/2007/ 09/04/translatio n-sample- release-genesis- 11-through- 68-bereshit. htm

      ... and there's a guide to the conventions they use at:

      http://originalbibl e.com/category/ translation- guides/

      I took a peek expecting YABT (Yet Another Bible Translation) . I
      didn't expect the first sentence to be "at the
      first of ELOHIM creating the skies and the land", period.

      In my limited knowledge and understanding this is neither a literal
      translation nor one that enables one to "see, hear, and even feel,
      the dynamics of the original text". It is grotesque in the sense of
      something twisted out of its natural shape.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong:

      In a no-frill translation of meanings, of semantic contents, in the
      context of this specific phrase, "bereshit" is simply "initially".

      The word is a construct of "be" & "reshit" ("be" meaning "in the" or
      "at the" and "reshit" is "beginning") . A translator may wish to
      capture that. E.g. "atypical" can be "translated" (into English) as
      "deviant" or as "unusual", with the later capturing the negating
      element in "a-typical". In this case the classical "in the beginning"
      captures the "be-reshit" construct.

      "Reshit" is not "first" - "rishon" is "first". Both "reshit" and
      "rishon" are derived from "rosh" (meaning "head") but there is no
      direct (grammatical/ semantic) link between the two. It's like
      replacing "a capriole" with "a cab" because they are both derived
      from the Latin "capreolus".

      And I don't understand why, if the translators really wanted to use
      "first", they chose "at the first of" instead of simply "at first".
      The "the" is marked in the translation, according the guide, as
      "words not in the Hebrew but supplied for smoother English style". Eh?

      Next, the rest of Gen 1:1 is a simple past phrase - "Elohim created
      the skies and the land". The translators used instead a continuous
      form, resulting in a description of a process which is not a complete
      grammatical phrase, i.e. "(the process of) Elohim creating the skies
      and the land".

      So the translators have taken a perfectly good sentence in Hebrew,
      high prose Biblical Hebrew, and made it into an inaccurate and
      incomplete phrase in English.

      And that's just the first sentence - don't miss the adventures of
      soil-man ... OME :( [Oh My Elohim]

      Ariel.

      [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

      ---
      Ariel L. Szczupak
      AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
      POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
      Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
      ane.als@gmail. com






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