The Schocken Bible, Volume II

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Deacon, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Translator's Preface

    By Nature, translation is a slow and painstaking process marked by constant rethinking and revision. Published works give an impression of finality, but in truth there is no end point for the translator, either in concept or in execution—only the ongoing attempt to draw nearer to the source. And like the experience of the performer on the stage or in the concert hall, the translator's perception of the source alters with time. It is only natural that I have made changes in my work over the years, from certain aspects of the overall approach to the rendering of individual words and phrases. The publication of this book gives me the opportunity to briefly explain some of them.

    I remain convinced that the best way to translate biblical texts is to try to reflect their aural quality. Whatever the Bible's origins, it is clear that most writing in antiquity was read aloud, and so to experience the Bible in its spokenness is a vital way to draw nearer to it. … My translation, therefore, aims to highlight features of the Hebrew text that are not always visible or audible to Western audiences. ...

    Franz Rosenzweig famously wrote that "to translate is to serve two masters." In this volume I have had to serve many more. I have by and large sought to present the text as we have it, but with the cognizance that it underwent significant alterations in the course of time. I have been and am constantly seduced by the earthiness and directness of biblical Hebrew and have sought to create an English that, while not reproducing it—echoes it. I have remained committed to weighing the multifaceted findings of scholarship, whose development is never-ending. Finally, I have kept my eye firmly in the concept of performance, which reexperences and reinvents the Bible every time it is read or heard—even when there is a printed text. …

    This last point is crucial. The translator of the Hebrew Bible is confronted with a work that turns multiple faces to the audience, and one could question how all of them could adequately be integrated, from sources to multiple reworkings, and from the earliest interpreters to those who continue to wrestle with it. How, indeed, is it possible to fully grasp the chameleon that is the Bible, the text that, more than any other, means all things to all people in the Western world? I freely admit that this cannot readily be done. My task, therefore, has been primarily to present the text anew, echoing the admonition of twenty-year-old Gershom Scholem almost a century ago, who wrote in his diary that "to translate the Bible, a person needs to write it all over again from scratch," …

    The Schoken Bible: Volume II, The Early Prophets; Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, A New Translation with Introductions, Commentary, and Notes. By Everett Fox. November 2014. Schocken Books, New York.

    Joshua 7:7-12

    7 Yehoshua said:
    Alas, YHWH God,
    why did you bring this people across, yes across the Jordan to give us into the hand of the Amorite, to have us perish?
    Would that we had resolved that we should stay across the Jordan!
    8 Please, O my Lord,
    what can I say after Israel has turned the back-of-its-neck to its enemies?
    9 When the Cannanites hear, along with all the settled-folk of the land,
    they will reverse course against us and cut off our name from the earth—
    10 YHWH said to Yehoshua:
    Arise;
    now why are you fallen on your face?
    11 Israel has sinned:
    yes,they have crossed my covenant that I commanded them,
    yes, they have taken from the devoted-things,
    yes, they have stolen,
    yes, they have lied
    yes, they have put it among their vessels!
    12 So the Children of Israel will not be able to rise before their enemies;
    the back-of-the-neck they will turn to their enemies,
    for they have become liable-to-destruction—
    I will not continue to be with you
    if you do not wipe out the devoted-things from your midst!
     
    #1 Deacon, Nov 7, 2014
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  2. Rippon

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    In the third paragraph there are two typos, and in verse 12 there is one. Can you find them?
     
  3. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Thanks, those were my errors, not the publishers.
    There is no electronic text available to the public ... yet.

    Rob
     

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