Re: etymology and Semantic domains

Date: Fri Apr 24 1998 - 12:08:44 EDT

Rolf Furuli wrote:

> Thank you for a very fine post. Of course you are right that any kind of
> Bible translation is "a combination of all methods and sources", though
> with a very different stress, depending on whether a literal or an
> idiomatic transltion is sought. When I studied Applied linguistics and was
> immersed in the slogan "Take care of the meaning and the words will take
> care of themselves" (Danica Seleskovitch, Sorbonne), I asked myself, with
> the biblical text in mind. "Is there a way for the reader who wants to have
> a share in the translation process to achieve that? Which kind of
> translation can help the reader, at least in a limited way, to check the
> translators? Is it possible to measure the contents of theology and bias in
> a Bible translation to the effect that we can differentiate between what
> should be allowed and what should not be allowed?

Dear Rolf ~

It would appear that I am the reader you had in mind....

A sobering thought, eh?! :-)

My focus is the same, by the bye, with what little I have to offer.
ANYTHING that scholarship can to to help ease the intelligibility of
the Greek text is beneficial. Most readers who approach the Greek,
like me, will never achieve what can be termed 'competency'. They
just want to know what the Greek SAYS... And when they are given
hundreds of passage citations to help them understand a word's domain,
they are not being helped at the level of their competence, which is
either nil or not much better than nil. Text, Lex, Thought and Prayer
are about their only tools, as they stare at a hundred 'versions' of
the same text and head to the Greek in an effort to try to figure out
just what in God's name is going on. Telling them that they must
become scholars in order to understand the Greek is not helpful. Nor,
do I believe, is it truthful. And when told to someone whose every
Biblical moment is stolen from other pressing responsibilities, it is
not kind.

Yes, it does take work, and a lot of it... Yet it should not be made
inaccessible *in terms of intelligibility* to someone who simply wants
to check out a particular passage. There is a challenge for you, for
this kind of 'reader' of the Greek text. How to let this reader be
drawn in to further study, rather than be intimidated by its rigors.


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