Thursday, August 12, 2010

Martin Rösel and Translation Culture (LXX 6)

For general orientation to this series of posts see here.

Martin Rösel, ‘Schreiber, Übersetzer, Theologen. Die Septuaginta als Dokument der Schrift-, Lese- und Übersetzungskulturen des Judentums’ in Die Septuaginta - Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten: Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 20.-23. Juli 2006 (ed Martin Karrer & Wolfgang Kraus; WUNT 219; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 83-102.

Rösel surveys the evidence and understanding of translation and bilingualism in the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical sources in pre-Hellenistic and Hellenistic times. He further investigates the social environment within which the Greek translation arose, highlighting the complexity of having multiple translations, revisions and geographical locations to consider.

Rösel takes a balanced view being sympathetic to a library or museum provenance by learned translators, but without excluding the possibility that the translators also moved in "synagogal" circles from where many common words such as διαθήκη for ברית, νόμος for תורה and δικαιοσύνη for צדקה arose. He also argues for the existence of word-lists or concordances used in the translation task (94-95).

Μυρτώ Θεοχάρους

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