Re: If not "univocal," then what? (fwd)
Lest my earlier comment on difficult texts in Pauline letters being difficult
in the RSV or NRSV also but considerably clearer in GNB (or TEV, as I am more
used to terming it), I certainly do not think an ambiguity (if we're smart or
lucky enough to recognize it) in the Greek should be resolved by eliminating
the ambiguity; that's precisely why I'd say RSV/NRSV is an "honest"--if not
very helpful--translation. I think I would also agree that all translation is
paraphrase, to which I would certainly add that I think some paraphrases are
demonstrably superior to others (although demonstrating it conclusively might
be an exhausting task). Where the Greek is ambiguous, I think I would really
prefer that a translator clarify this for the target audience by offering
parallel versions--unweighted, if possible--that express the alternatives.
Actually this is fairly common practice in several versions where we have a
footnoted alternative to the phrase printed in the continuous version.
On the other hand (and I find myself qualifying almost every judgment I set
down here; this is, we have to admit, no simple matter), I don't think we can
do all the hard work for the student of the Bible and relieve him/her from the
task of learning what can be known about the original context of the compo-
sition. This may come down to affirming what has already been well-put recently
in this thread,that Divinity students are done a disservice by being permitted
to bypass learning the original languages. Ultimately every student is
responsible for understanding the ancient text and helping to make it commu-
nicate to the "modern mind."
While there's more to say, I am rather pleased to find as much agreement here
on the decidedly negative view of one paraphrase, namely the _Living Bible_.
CARL W. CONRAD, C25001CC@WUVMD.BITNET OR C25001CC@WUVMD.WUSTL.EDU
Classics, Washington University, One Brookings Dr., St. Louis, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 935-4018