Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Loveliness of Knox

Just doing some reading today from my Knox Bible and found myself in Ecclesiasticus (or Sirach) chapter 47 concerning the praise of David.  I just love how Knox renders verses 2-4.  I will put the NRSV translation first, followed by Knox.  This is how a dynamic equivalence translation can be of true merit.

NRSV:
"As the fat is set apart from the offering of well-being, so David was set apart from the Israelites. He played with lions as though they were young goats, and with bears as though they were lambs of the flock. In his youth did he not kill a giant, and take away the people’s disgrace, when he whirled the stone in the sling and struck down the boasting Goliath?"

Knox:
"Only the fat from the sacrifice, only David out of all Israel; the Lord must have ever the best! Here was one that would use lion or bear as playthings for his sport, tussle with them as if they had been yearling lambs. Such was his boyhood; and who but he should save the honour of his people, by slaying the giant? He had but to lift his hand, and the stone aimed from his sling brought low the pride of Goliath."

15 comments:

Gerald de Belen said...

For comparison, much better...

Jerusalem Bible:

"As the fat is set apart from the communion sacrifice, so David was chosen out of all the sons of Israel. He played with lions as though with kids, and with bears as though with lambs of the flock. While still a boy, did he not slay the giant, and relieve the people of their shame, by putting out a hand to sling a stone which brought down the arrogance of Goliath?"

David Garcia said...

Gotta love the 1966JB!! I would love to see this bible get a second life as it's just such a wonderfully poetic and fresh translation even 50 years later!

David Garcia said...

I actually really love the Knox as well but lament the fact that he stuck with old book naming conventions as well as old proper names (ie like the DR) . Had he updated the book names and especially the proper names his translation would be a more frequent go-to for me.

Timothy said...

David,

I find myself gravitating to more dynamic translations. They often are more poetic, avoid Bible-English, as well as being found in formats that are much more friendlier for long readings. With Knox in particular, he occasionally uses a word I have never seen before, which upon looking up really gives a good sense of the word being translated. He has increased my vocabulary!

David Garcia said...

Tim
Oh I've done that too with Knox! Lol! I really do love his translation. And I agree that the more I read from the 1966JB, the CEB, the NLT and even the Message the more the Bible speaks to me. So there must be something to it. I just wish there were more catholic editions of translations available like these and in the more reader friendly formats you referenced.

But alas, isn't that the whole reason your blog was launched to begin with??? :)

Timothy said...

Dave,

If only the publishers would listen to me. 😀

Gerald de Belen said...

Tim,

Interestingly enough, I am also gravitated to the dynamic versions, to my amazement. Hence, the choice of CTS Bible. And I agree to most of your observations.

But in my opinion, for Bible starters, a start must be a formal translation. And after readers became aware of the Biblical phraseology, translational issues, and becoming familiar with the Bible, that's the time that the shift to dynamic translation should be done.

David Garcia said...

Gerald
The cts is basically the old 1966JB with Lord substituted for Yahweh and the grail psalms instead of the jb (really dislike the Grail psalms). I think the jb falls somewhere between dynamic equivalence and formal. It's not as loose as the NLT or CEB (at least thats how it reads to me). I think it falls on a unique place in the translation spectrum which is why I like it so much. There is simply no other translation like it!

David Garcia said...

I can say this though... Since starting the OBOY this year I have basically used the CEB and JB. I have been loyal to those two and can say with some confidence that I will probably not use another translation going forward. :)

Timothy said...

Dave,

I am very much in the same boat as you, although with two different translations.

David Garcia said...

Tim
I'm guessing the nrsv and either the knox or the nabre :)

Timothy said...

Yes. Two of those three. In a recent work I could use one of them exclusively, but that just doesn't seem possible.

rolf said...

I have narrowed it down to four (which is an improvement for me) :-) The Rsv-2CE, NABRE, Jerusalem Bible and the REB.

David Garcia said...

C'mon Rolf keep going!!!

rolf said...

David, it hurts just to talk about it. I use the RSV-2CE and the NABRE almost interchangably as my main Bible but then once in awhile I like to switch to a more dynamic translation. But overall I prefer formal translations!