RE: Translation, Anglophiles and Ancient Texts

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Oct 13 1997 - 06:42:36 EDT

>From: Clayton Bartholomew []
>Sent: 12 October 1997 21:50
>To: b-greek
>Subject: Translation, Anglophiles and Ancient Texts
>There seems to be an endless preoccupation on this list
>with questions of how to render this or that Greek word or
>phrase into English. Does this type of question really merit
>the kind of attention it receives?

Certainly! We need to communicate with people who do not speak Greek,
translate the text, explain why we disagree with this or that translation,

>Do we really get any
>closer to the meaning of the ancient text by constantly
>fussing about which is the preferable English gloss for a
>particular Greek word?

Probably. When we discuss how to render something, we invariably discuss the
actual force of the original. Our discussion of the gloss "Soul" for LOGOS
led to some discussion of the hellenistic use of that word, and both Will
and Carl brought up some very interesting information.

Of course, if anybody suggests X as a translation, without explanation of
the original force, I'll simply respond with:

"I'll bite - why X?"


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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