Date: Wed Jun 09 1999 - 10:38:01 EDT

In a message dated 6/8/99 11:44:17 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< and in light of the
 fact that the word translates a hebrew word that also envisions the
 same posture, and not much else-- and in light of the fact that there
 is another word, even a technical term, that means "worship"--
 oughtn't we translate proskunew simply as "bow down" or, even better,
 "prostrate (oneself) before" and not as "worship" at all? Especially
 since proskyneseis are made to all sorts of people without any
 implication of worshipping them at all, and may be made in a context
 of worship, but by no means necessarily. >>

        This discussion is reaching translation philosophy, and perhaps
coincidentally is related to a recent discussion of one of its roots: PROS.
Personally I usually attempt to translate words using the most "primitive
(?)" practical English word. Hence my suggestion that PROS should be rendered
as "in front of" as often as possible. When we offer "worship" or "obeisance"
or other not quite synonyms for possible usage, we are using a language with
2000 years theological, philological, philosophical, historical development,
based on the parsing agendas of people in the past promoting their religious
and political agendas by interpreting the words of the Bible. What could the
author of Song of Solomon know about the Christian religious controversies
that would swirl about Alexandria 700 years later, or 1100 years later, or
now? If he said the angels bowed down, a technical footnote might explain
when and where Alexandrian Jews bowed down, but whether that means they are
worshipping or abasing them selves or something else is not apparent from the
text. This is a stage direction. The audience will interpret it as it pleases.

        (And, of course, I break my own rule, when versifying, since I am
bound by the rules of meter!)

Tony Prost
All Nonnos All Day

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:30 EDT