Transliterate names, translate titles

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Van, May 26, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van
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    If we were to settle on a translation principle for names, what would it be? To transliterate only, and so the word would appear phonetically correct - sound just like the name pronounced in the original language. Then Jesus would by Yashua (Ya - shoe - ah) and not Hey sous or Joshua. Sheol would be Sheol and not hell or Hades. Hades would be Hades and not hell. Gehenna would be Gehenna and not hell. Yahweh would be Yahweh and not LORD or the LORD.

    If we did this we would be a lot closer to what the original authors wrote - the question is why is not this principle found in any well-published translation?

    The practice of changing the names leads, I think, to confusion. Take Messiah. This is a transliteration of the Hebrew word for anointed one. So why not translate it, why leave it as a transliteration. Christ is a form of the word Christos which is a transliteration of the Greek word for anointed one. So why not translate it as anointed one, why leave it as a transliteration or a modified transliteration? If it was a name and not a title, then it would be ok. But this willy-nilly skipping back and forth from transliteration to translation just adds confusion.

    If this principle was adopted, they instead of Jesus Christ we would have Yashua the Anointed. When the text says Sheol, it would say Sheol and a footnote could explain the contextual meaning either the physical grave or the afterlife abode of the dead.

    Other than clinging to the traditions of men, does anyone see why this muddle is perpetuated in even the best translations?

    One reason is that the New Testament writers, writing in Greek, when they translated or perhaps quoted a translation, they followed the practice of the translation and translated names. Thus when Psalm 16:10 says God “will not abandon my body to Sheol” when Luke quoting Peter writes this verse in Greek in Acts 2:27, he writes “will not abandon my soul to Hades.” But as long as the principle was to transliterate names from the written text in the written language, then we would have a consistent principle. And again, a footnote could explain that Hades is the Greek word for the afterlife abode of the dead, just as Sheol sometimes is in Hebrew.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I like it. YHWH instead of Jehovah would be a legitimate start. Torah instead of Law.

    Real issue is translators who made a word into a proper name. All proper names have a "meaning" and it is just guesswork and often confusing to have it appear in a text as a proper name when the context obviously means NOT a person but what the word actually meant.

    Example: "O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm."

    The hebrew word = "boastful one" or metaphorically "proud one". It is also the proper name of an OT whore brought into the covenant of God.

    Now why did the translators make this a "proper name"?? (And the NASB, NIV, NRSV etc all do this). It is talking about those who "talk back" to the powerful God - the "boastful" person and NOT Rahab the person.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    BTW, the Complete Jewish Bible (a favorite translation of mine) does the Hebrew word rather than more familiar words of MANY concepts - worth checking out!
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    Thanks, I will check it out.
     
  5. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    What Van points out is why scholars of the Scripture study in the original languages.

    But, I think that he is onto something here. A translation should BE a translation, not a commentary from a certain editorial point of view, which is what the choice becomes.

    But, the moment we try this, the KJVO folks will come out of the woodwork claiming that we are (once again) "changing the Bible" they not knowing (I guess...) what is actually written when read in the original languages.
     

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