Re: Translation: Glossing, Domains, Arguments

Date: Mon May 22 2000 - 07:50:19 EDT

In a message dated 00-05-22 06:38:56 EDT, writes:

<< I agree.
 We even have extremely good translations. The normal pastor cannot translate
 any better. Therefore it is not needed to produce yet another
 "least-common-denominator" translation for preaching purposes. It is better
 to use three or four of the best translations we have. It is not possible to
 produce "better" translations.>>

As I remember, this question started out talking about the task of exegesis.
Therefore, I do not think this issue is limited to pastors (though it may
include them). I basically agree and disagree with the thoughts expressed in
this e-mail and Clay's. For while it is true that if a student or exegete or
pastor only translates the Greek text into English, he or she is not making
any true progress toward "thinking in Greek" (though I believe that
translation is one step toward thinking in any language), and while it is
true that most Greek students will not produce "better translations"--I must
insist that the task of the exegete is EXHGHSIS: he or she must therefore
narrate, describe, explain, translate or interpret a particular passage or
passages for his or her audience (John 1:18). So it seems to me (and Carl has
already said this) that an exegete has to translate somewhere along the way
and not just accept the rendering of others.

Lastly, I think we also need to recall that one list-member (Rolf Furuli) has
pointed out how theology and even bias may affect the way one renders a text.
I might add that tradition also deeply influences the translation of a text
many times. For that reason, I like to check behind EVERY translation that I
read. This process entails, however, not just reproducing my own translation;
such work entails becoming aware of what the Greek text says and rendering it
in an intelligible manner for me. But in order to do this, one must go beyond
translation; one must read the text as discourse at the linguistic and
paralinguistic levels. At the same time, I think that translation has its
place for the exegete and the traditional Greek student. On the other hand, I
am aware that not all "exegetes" or pastors need to study Greek as intensely
as those working in the classical field. :-)

Best regards,
Edgar Foster


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