Re: Off topic: German question

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Jun 04 1997 - 11:55:53 EDT

At 1:37 AM -0400 6/4/97, kdlitwak wrote:
>I've gota sentence in German that's important to a paper I'm writing
>(on the verge of finsihing!) but it does not seem to make sense to me,
>which I READILY admit is due to my current lackof proficiency at German
>(which needs to improve). I'd really appreciate help with it. The
>phrase that is troubling to me is: gleichzeitige všllige
>Nichtbeachtung. It's a long sentence but here's most of it.
>Die deutlich Bevorzugung einiger Schriften (Ps, Gen, Dt. XII) und die
>gleichzeitig všllige Nichtbeachtung anderer Buecher (Jer, Ez, Dn)
>entspricht zeitgenoessicher judischer Zitier- und Auslegungspraxis.
>What I think this says is "The distinct preference for some writings
>...and the simultaneous thorough non-observanceof other books ... agrees
>with contemporary Jewish citation and exegetical practice." However,
>this must be wrong, because Paul in fact does refer to Jeremiah and
>Ezekiel. Indeed the author of this refers to several passages from Jer
>and Ezek. So "gleichzeitige všllige Nichtbeachtung" can'tmean what I
>think it means. Where have I gone wrong? Thanks.

"Gleichzeitig všllige Nichtbeachtung" is what Rodney Dangerfield gets atall
the time and what I get at a party when a charming young lady is present.

If David McKay's brilliant suggestion does not satisfy you, Ken, here's
another thought. I'd make that "the clear preference for some scriptural
texts and the simultaneous complete failure to take into account other
books ..." This is not so very far from what you had, but I don't think (to
judge from the snippet you've offered) it is a matter of whether Paul has
"observed" or "is cognizant" of these particular scripures (Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Daniel), but rather that at this point he deliberately chooses to
ignore them in reaching a judgment on the issue at hand. And your author is
saying that this is perfectly consistent with contemporary Jewish
rabbinical exegesis: one is not obliged to weight all items of scripture
equally in the balance and one is perfectly free to ignore those that don't
suit one's purposes. Regardless of whether this is true or not, I think
this is what your writer, whosoever he may be, means to say.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(704) 675-4243

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