Re: LOGOS

From: Paul Schmehl (baldeagl@airmail.net)
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 22:53:40 EST


Bible Translation - http://BibleTranslation.listbot.com/

English is replete with transliterated words, and yet English has a
vocabulary larger by far than any other language.

While I don't mean to imply that LOGOS is the correct way to handle
this particular problem, I couldn't help but notice that you used "hoi
polloi" in your post. Sometimes, translation doesn't do justice to a
word or phrase, and so the culture absorbs the transliterated term
(and the understanding of what it means) rather than lessen its
impact. Chutzpah, forte, hoi polloi; they're all words imported into
our language because they carry with them nuance's of meaning that
require entire phrases to properly translate

pauls@utdallas.edu (Paul Schmehl)
Technical Support Services Manager
http://www.utdallas.edu/~pauls/
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wayne Leman" <wleman@mcn.net>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Cc: <BibleTranslation@listbot.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: LOGOS

Thumpity, thumpity, thump, thump...
Approaching hoofbeats:

>Jason suggested:
>
>>ăIn the beginning was the LOGOS, and the LOGOS was with God, and the
LOGOS
>>was God.╚
>>
>>You think? This would lead people to ask, "What is this 'LOGOS'?"
Then
it
>>could be understood that the writer meant something deeper than
"word."
>
>I hear the approaching hoofbeats of Wayne Leman riding up to declare
that
>this is not a good English translation because Logos is not a
commonly
>understood English word. I do understand, and agree, with that.
>
>If it were decided, however, that LOGOS carries implicit information
which
>is philosophical as well as linguistic, the use of transliteration
>**could** signal a technical term that bears intentional connotation
which
>lies outside the culture of American (or British) English.
>
>Would such a "translation" then be justified?

George, it would be IF we are willing to say that there are some terms
in
the Bible which are impossible to translate into another language and
which
require a teacher to explain their meaning to those who want to
understand
the Bible in their language. It is parallel to saying that HOI POLLOI
can't
understand the Bible properly on their own, so they must hear it only
in
Greek or Hebrew or Latin, even if they don't speak or understand any
of
these languages.

I'm not willing to buy these assumptions yet, and too much blood was
spilled
by those who had the Bible translator shoulders I stand upon to give
up on
the idea of translating the Bible into the vernacular. I don't think
we
should give up on any biblical term, no matter how hard it is to
translate.
I *would* be willing to consider leaving LOGOS in the translation text
if we
honestly believed we could find no English word or words which come
close to
getting at its *essential* meaning, IF we footnoted it and clearly
explained
its meaning there. I believe in footnotes, but I don't think we should
use
them as crutches when we aren't willing to do the tough translational
work
(after the tough exegetical work) to state the meaning of the source
texts
in the vernacular.

Thumpity, thumpity, thump, thump...
riding off into the sunset,
Wayne

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