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RE: [GTh] Special Jargon

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  • Judy Redman
    ... The French do it too. If you put Traditionsgeschichte into Google, you ll get pages in English, French and Italian as well as German. There s also one
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 5, 2005
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      Mike says:

      > Seriously, can someone enlighten me as to why German is the preferred
      > language for special terms in Biblical studies? Is it just
      > because everyone
      > does it? (Or do they - what about the French?)

      The French do it too. If you put "Traditionsgeschichte" into Google, you'll
      get pages in English, French and Italian as well as German. There's also one
      in Hebrew, but I don't think it really counts because it's just a
      bibliographic entry.

      Apart from the historical thing, I think it's also because German, a bit
      like Coptic, allows you to put lots of words together into one so German
      often provides one word where you need to use quite a few English words.

      Geschichte is a case in point. When I looked it up in my German-German
      dictionary (ie like an English dictionary, but in German) it told me that
      "Eine Geschichte" can be a history as we use it in English, but it can also
      mean "an oral or written text which reports events that actually happened or
      things that are invented/imagined that could have happened". So Geschichte
      is a nice, neat word that conveys something quite close to what I imagine
      everyone on this list understands the various gospels (canonical and
      non-canonical) to be. Tradition is the same in both languages. Adding an s
      to the end makes it genitive, so Traditionsgeschichte is a study of the
      passing on/down of oral or written texts which report events that actually
      happened or things that are invented/imagined that could have happened.

      Of course, there wouldn't be any hang over at all from a time when only
      clergy studied the Bible and felt that they had a duty to preserve the Holy
      Mystery from misuse by the laity, would there???? :-)


      >And - in
      > response to Judy's
      > lament about an English term whose connotations I feel as
      > well - why not use
      > 'textual analysis' instead of 'text criticism'?

      A good question - one that I asked in class as an undergraduate on a number
      of occasions! Unfortunately, the other is the accepted technical term and I
      suspect that it would take quite a number of fairly influential scholars to
      change it.

      Judy
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