Re: post.prepared for anglican (reversible translation)

From: Paul Zellmer (
Date: Fri May 23 1997 - 10:44:00 EDT

I thought I could leave this alone now, but the light of day (and
Michael's posts) showed I really wasn't thinking when I posted before.
Of course, both translation and paraphrase include interpretations. So
what, in my opinion, is the difference?

Please let me limit my thinking to the Bible. The concepts may be
tranferable to other works, but the Bible has a special (sacred?)
standing in the minds of its readers.

Both paraphrase and translation involve the transfering of thoughts to
new words. The difference (IMO) is the source of the thoughts being
transfered. What Michael describes as his translation process involves
a continued focus on the thoughts in the original (in this case, Greek
NT) text. His thought transfer does not gel until the idea is
satisfactorily expressed. Lee, OTH, responded with a two-step process
in which there is first a translation and then *that translation*
becomes the source for the next thought transference. There is a
gelling of the first translation. I put forth that, as long as this
gelling has taken place, it really does not matter whether the next step
is in the same language or not.

My point is that, with regard to the Bible, the point of focus in what
is called a translation is the original text. In a paraphrase, the
point of focus is at least one stage removed from the original. It is a
matter of the level of confidence that the thoughts found in the final
stage could at least be a possibility in the original text.

I see the situation as similar to engineering design. If all
measurements are taken directly off a single reference point, error in
one measurement does not effect another. If a measurement is taken off
a point which is itself a measurement off a point, there may well be an
aggregation of errors.

Let me put forth another question on the issue that may reveal whether
I'm all wet or not. Would a good translation into English of the LXX
(using a compiled version, so we can avoid the multiple versions that
Bill Thurman brought up a couple weeks ago) result in what would be
considered an OT translation or a paraphrase. I put forth that it would
be a paraphrase, and some of the ideas that come out will be an English
view of a Greek view of a Hebrew text.

I hope that my .02 has run out.


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