Thursday, January 21, 2010

Translating the New Testament


Eerdmans has a new book out (HT: Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni):

Stanley E. Porter / Mark J. Boda (eds.), Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology (McMaster New Testament Studies), Eerdmans 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8028-6377-5.

You can order the book from Eisenbrauns here.

The contributions come from the 2005 Bingham Colloquium Lectures at McMaster Divinity School, with the same title "Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology." I think it is great that this material has finally been published. In my monograph on Jude from 2006 (p. 256 n. 77) I actually referred to Robinson's essay "Rule 9" as forthcoming 2007. I suppose the editors had to wait for a long time for one or more contributors to get their work done.

In any case, there is a lot of textual criticism in this book, several contributions by co-blogger Maurice Robinson, and Barbara Aland and Philip Comfort. I wish I had been there to listen to the debate between Robinson and Aland over NA27.

Barbara Aland, "New Testament textual research, its methods and its goals", 13-26

Maurice A. Robinson, "Rule 9, isolated variants, and the "test-tube" nature of the NA27/UBS4 text : a Byzantine-priority perspective", 27-61

Philip W. Comfort, "The significance of the papyri in revising the New Testament Greek text and English translations", 62-89

Barbara Aland, "The text of Luke 16", 93-95

Maurice A. Robinson, "The rich man and Lazarus - Luke 16:19-31 : text-critical notes", 96-110

Philip W. Comfort, "Two illustrations of scribal gap filling in Luke 16:19", 111-113

And the summary chapter: Richard N. Longenecker, "Quo vadis? : from whence to where in New Testament text criticism and translation", 327-346

10 comments:

  1. You can pre-order it from Eisenbrauns, but not actually buy it yet.

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  2. Thanks Pete! Perhaps James Spinti can fix that? For now I have changed "buy" to "order."

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  3. This may be an excellent book about textual criticism. However, it claims to be about translation, and as such it seems to be seriously lacking. Mike Aubrey rightly asked when he reported its publication more than two months ago:

    So why aren’t there any professional translators in the list of contributors. ... We’ve got theologians, text critics, NT scholars, OT scholars, but not translators. There is not a single scholar on this list whose central academic specialty is translation.

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  4. Thanks PK. I can't speak for the editors, but I guess it may reflect the fact that it is primarily a conference volume, so the question then is why professional translators were not invited to that conference in the first place. Maybe some were but couldn't come... I am just guessing (but I know of at least one other text-critic who was invited could not come, C. M. Martini).

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  5. Perhaps the main problem is with the title, then. But imagine what you would think of a book entitled "Textual Criticism of the New Testament" which was a collection of essays by translators and theologians with none by textual critics.

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  6. PK: "But imagine what you would think of a book entitled 'Textual Criticism of the New Testament' which was a collection of essays by translators and theologians with none by textual critics."

    God forbid!

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  7. Well, sometimes it is interesting to get the perspective of an interested outsider.

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  8. TW:
    In my monograph on Jude from 2006 (p. 256 n. 77) I actually referred to Robinson's essay "Rule 9" as forthcoming 2007.

    It's actually note 78.

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  9. Daniel, you spotted a scribal error, thanks.

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  10. I was at U of T studying with Al Pietersma, and Longenecker, etc. I don't remember any academics trained in both translation and ancient languages apart from Gleason (Greek and Ling. but not Hebrew.) Later at SIL, I met few ancient lg specialists.

    I did my translation courses in Toronto in English/French translation, which was an exercise in learning lists of dictionary entries of functional equivalents for legal terms and other things.
    Since English/French translation is vital to the functioning of our country, we can hardly fool around with anything other than a functional equivalents.

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