Re: Translation: Glossing, Domains, Arguments

From: Kimmo Huovila (
Date: Mon May 22 2000 - 09:36:53 EDT

I wonder if translation is necessary for exegesis. After all, if one
wants to make a good translation, one has to consider target language
peculiarities that are outside of the realm of exegesis proper. An
exegesis is complete when one has explained the original text regardless
of any problems in translation. Of course, if one wants to make an
exegesis with no translation in the process, that requires thinking in
Greek (in the case of the NT), but not to the degree that it would be
practically impossible. Should we perhaps encourage separating
translation from exegesis to underline the difference between the two?

Kimmo wrote:

> 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.

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