Category Archives: Translation

Augustine on the Angels’ Creation

In City of God 11.9, Augustine considers the creation of the angels, or rather, Scripture’s relative lack of attention to it. Genesis doesn’t mention the creation of the angels explicitly, but since Genesis purports to be comprehensive (“created the heavens and the earth,” “rested … Continue reading

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Anti-Adamic Job

Protesting his innocence before God and men, Job distinguishes himself from Adam (the first and only mention of the person Adam in the OT outside of Genesis 1-5): “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my … Continue reading

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A Theory of Translation

Newman offers this obiter dictum regarding translation in his 15th Oxford University Sermon: Language is a sort of analysis of thought, and, since ideas are infinite, and infinitely combined, and infinitely modified, whereas language is a method definite and limited, and confined to … Continue reading

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Aaron’s rod and its prophetic interpreters

Numbers 17:1-11 relates how the LORD causes a “rod” with Aaron’s name on it to blossom and bring forth flowers and almonds, while the rods belonging the princes of the twelve tribes remain barren. This sign demonstrates the LORD’s election … Continue reading

Posted in Ezekiel, Intertextuality, Isaiah, Jeremiah, LXX / Old Greek, Numbers, Translation, Vulgate, Zechariah | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Does Your Language Shape How You Think?”

So asks Guy Deutscher in a Times Magazine article last year: The short answer: Yes! A couple of instances from my own experience of language: 1. Articles: Most languages have them; Latin does not, and this means that in … Continue reading

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Phenomena or Legomena?

It’s common enough usage in ordinary English to say — when feeling a bit pretentious — “phenomena” where one might equally say “things.” A phenomenon is some furnishing within the universe. Robert Jenson loves to stress that dead metaphors have … Continue reading

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Translating Gen 21:6

Here are a number of renderings of Genesis 21:6. First, the Hebrew (MT): וַתֹּאמֶר שָׂרָה צְחֹק עָשָׂה לִי אֱלֹהִים כָּל־הַשֹּׁמֵעַ יִֽצְחַק־לִֽי׃ The LXX: “εἶπεν δὲ Σαρρα γέλωτά μοι ἐποίησεν κύριος ὃς γὰρ ἂν ἀκούσῃ συγχαρεῖταί μοι” The Vulgate: “dixitque Sarra … Continue reading

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What is “forever”?

I’ve been thinking about two phrases typically glossed in Scripture by the English, “forever”: in Greek, eis aiwnon, and in Hebrew, le olam. Both are prepositional phrases, whose preposition carries a directional sense, as in “to.” The objects in both … Continue reading

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