Friday, April 12, 2013

Knox on Translation

"If you translate, say the Summa of St. Thomas, you expect to be cross-examined by people who understand philosophy and by people who understand Latin; no one else.  If you translate the Bible, you are liable to be cross-examined by anybody, because everybody thinks he already knows what the Bible means." -from On Englishing the Bible

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems, mostly, that the readings adopted by the translators of the AV have so thoroughly penetrated the culture that people are hostile to a Bible that renders a verse otherwise. Even where the AV rests on poor manuscripts or inaccurately conveys what manuscripts underlie it. The harping on the NAB at "First Things" seems mostly to come from ex-Protestants like the late Neuhaus. Gen 1:1, for instance, conveyed by many later translations as a periodic sentence: When God began to create, etc.

I'm glad that the NABRE kept this reading. Gen. 2:4b-7, in the 1970 NAB, is a beautiful sentence. I don't think I'll switch to the NABRE, though, until the new NT is ready.

--Dustin

Biblical Catholic said...

Hence the 'KJV Only' crowd.

But it is nothing new, St Jerome experienced the exact same complaints about his revisions of the Latin Bible.

And it is not limited to the English language either, many Spanish speaking Protestants are very devoted to the 1909 Reina Valera and refuse to read any other. many German Lutherans refuse to use anything but Luther's translation.

Timothy said...

4 Such origin heaven and earth had in the day of their fashioning. When heaven and earth God made, 5 no woodland shrub had yet grown, no plant had yet sprung up; the Lord God had not yet sent rain upon the ground, that still had no human toil to cultivate it; 6 there was only spring-water which came up from the earth, and watered its whole surface. 7 And now, from the clay of the ground, the Lord God formed man, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and made of man a living person.[a]

Footnotes:

Genesis 2:7 There is, here, a play upon words in the Hebrew; Adam, man, was made out of the ground, adamah. In the Latin text, the word Adam is translated ‘the man’ up to verse 18, and ‘Adam’ thenceforward.

rolf said...

"On the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, there was not yet on the earth any shrub of the fields, nor had any plant yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not made it rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the earth, but a mist went up from the earth and watered the surface of the earth. Then the LORD God formed Man, dust drawn from the clay, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and Man became alive with breath. (CCB, I replaced Yahweh with the LORD to make it flow better).

It picked up the Christian Community Bible (CCB) today and as I was browsing through its commentary notes, I was struck with how more relevant they are now with the election of Pope Francis. The CCB notes have been criticized in the past (not on this blog) of being to social justice orientated (at the expense of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church). But as I read through these notes and read the changes that Pope Francis is making at the Vatican, I think this Bible and its commentary notes has become a little more relevant, considering our new Pope is from Latin America and the this Bible is born out of that region. The CCB is also available on Kindle now for those who were not fans of the smaller print used in portions of the Old Testament (to reduce space?).

Servus Dei said...

Irony happens here. CCB is known for (and also criticized) "liberation theology", while NCB is known for being "too Ecumenical".

Given that Pope Francis had already embarked on a journey of a changing Church for the poor, the Holy Father still hold strong to the Catholic dogmas and doctrines, though we may see a gradual change of the Ecclesial tradition.

I am aware that the Word of God and the Sacred Tradition are both equally vital to Catholic faith. But in able for the Church to make its way to New Evangelization, I believe that though we can't anymore change the Word of God and must not be in any case, somehow we may need to partly change the Sacred Tradition although holding fast to our beliefs so that we can adopt to our present situation. Remember that the Vatican II was organized for this purpose in the past.

In my opinion, it is good to be traditionalist when it comes to doctrines and beliefs, but we must have an open mind to accept changes that our world demands us given that these changes are morally appropriate.

Biblical Catholic said...

I honestly have no idea what that means....what I will say is that anyone expecting any kind of changes in anything other than administrative manners, reform of the curia and so on, is going to be deeply disappointed. Neither Church teaching nor the liturgy is going to undergo any kind of significant change. A change is emphasis is inevitable since every Pope has his own concerns, but nothing really big or meaningful.

CJA Mayo said...

As Biblical Catholic points out, and I will take to its conclusion:

A big change (or even a small one) on actual matters of the Faith would be as good as proving the Roman Catholic Church was not the one spoken of in Matt 16:19-20.


The entirety of Catholic claims are bound up with, contra An Essay on Development of Doctrine, the Vincentian canon, and the infallibility of a Roman pontiff - if one changes (i.e. contradicts) a previous pontiff (or states dogmatically something that can be proven untrue, such as "evolution is Christian", or "Teilhard was orthodox", or "Mary is the mother of Christ but not God", or many smaller, and bigger, matters) the entire structure comes tumbling down. That this has not happened in a way that can be unarguably demonstrated is a great testimony to the Church; for, the Orthodox have a great redundancy, with many equal bishops, whereas Catholics have no redundancy: the Pope fails once, the Church fails with him.

If a Pope would change even one doctrine, it would be as sufficient, ultimately, as declaring "Christianity is Buddhism" - either he is an antipope or it's time to look to the East.