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Author Topic: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?  (Read 621 times)

delsydebothom

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2017, 02:38:pm »
DR can be quite difficult for many people to read. I wouldn't mind something that's a little bit easier to read, but doesn't destroy the meanings like the more modern versions. Certainly a difficult endeavor, but I'm sure some people could pull it off.

The main thing that would be lost is the distinction between singular and plural second person pronouns. The Thee/You distinction in early modern English more accurately reflects the underlying text. Modern English can't mimic this, unless one wants to employ colloquial solutions like "ya'll" or "youse".

Of course, English's main disadvantage--and this goes for the English of the Douay-Rheims as well--is our abysmal and meagerly productive participial system. Especially in passive forms, it is difficult in English to communicate all the grammatical data in Latin, Greek, or even Hebrew participles without creating extremely awkward constructs.

aquinas138

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 03:13:pm »
DR can be quite difficult for many people to read. I wouldn't mind something that's a little bit easier to read, but doesn't destroy the meanings like the more modern versions. Certainly a difficult endeavor, but I'm sure some people could pull it off.

The main thing that would be lost is the distinction between singular and plural second person pronouns. The Thee/You distinction in early modern English more accurately reflects the underlying text. Modern English can't mimic this, unless one wants to employ colloquial solutions like "ya'll" or "youse".

Of course, English's main disadvantage--and this goes for the English of the Douay-Rheims as well--is our abysmal and meagerly productive participial system. Especially in passive forms, it is difficult in English to communicate all the grammatical data in Latin, Greek, or even Hebrew participles without creating extremely awkward constructs.

This is true of any translation, though. The LXX and Latin Bibles produced some pretty awkward constructions to render Hebrew at times, as both languages lack, e.g., the causative inflections of Semitic languages, and the uneven way the LXX in particular moves from slavish literality to freer translation. There's a reason the classicists of antiquity thought those translations were barbarous Greek and Latin!
Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We venerate Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise and glorify. For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee. We call on Thy name. O come, all ye faithful, let us venerate Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy hath come into all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we praise his Resurrection: for by enduring the Cross, he hath slain death by death.

formerbuddhist

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 04:36:pm »
Overall the best archaic English traditional sounding Bibles are the KJV and the Knox. The Confraternity version is pretty solid too, although more modern. I find the RSVCE fairly decent too, including some of the notes.

Recently I've been reading the Study Quran in my exploration of Islam and I wish there were a Bible equivalent, something with good solid non faith destroying notes and commentary as well as little solid essays on various aspects of the faith. While I'm not Muslim the Study Quran gets this right. It's very reverent, has excellent commentary and the essays throughout.

The only Bibles I can think of that sort of have this quality is the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and the Orthodox Study Bible.


Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon

delsydebothom

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 05:43:pm »
DR can be quite difficult for many people to read. I wouldn't mind something that's a little bit easier to read, but doesn't destroy the meanings like the more modern versions. Certainly a difficult endeavor, but I'm sure some people could pull it off.

The main thing that would be lost is the distinction between singular and plural second person pronouns. The Thee/You distinction in early modern English more accurately reflects the underlying text. Modern English can't mimic this, unless one wants to employ colloquial solutions like "ya'll" or "youse".

Of course, English's main disadvantage--and this goes for the English of the Douay-Rheims as well--is our abysmal and meagerly productive participial system. Especially in passive forms, it is difficult in English to communicate all the grammatical data in Latin, Greek, or even Hebrew participles without creating extremely awkward constructs.

This is true of any translation, though. The LXX and Latin Bibles produced some pretty awkward constructions to render Hebrew at times, as both languages lack, e.g., the causative inflections of Semitic languages, and the uneven way the LXX in particular moves from slavish literality to freer translation. There's a reason the classicists of antiquity thought those translations were barbarous Greek and Latin!

It is harder to judge the LXX in every case, since we don't know exactly what the Hebrew text in front of its various interpreters had before them. Having said that, you are correct. And, even in cases in which Latin had a more elegant native way of saying something (like using an ut + subjunctive clause for purpose instead of an infinitive), St. Jerome's literalism usually meant abandoning it. Having said that, on-the-fly I can more intuitively generate "Christian" Latin to express myself than I can classical. But then, I'm from an old West Cheshire family, and much of the barbarism of my mead-gulping ancestors likely clings to my mouth. After all, I can't generate Greek on-the-fly at all.

aquinas138

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2017, 10:05:pm »
DR can be quite difficult for many people to read. I wouldn't mind something that's a little bit easier to read, but doesn't destroy the meanings like the more modern versions. Certainly a difficult endeavor, but I'm sure some people could pull it off.

The main thing that would be lost is the distinction between singular and plural second person pronouns. The Thee/You distinction in early modern English more accurately reflects the underlying text. Modern English can't mimic this, unless one wants to employ colloquial solutions like "ya'll" or "youse".

Of course, English's main disadvantage--and this goes for the English of the Douay-Rheims as well--is our abysmal and meagerly productive participial system. Especially in passive forms, it is difficult in English to communicate all the grammatical data in Latin, Greek, or even Hebrew participles without creating extremely awkward constructs.

This is true of any translation, though. The LXX and Latin Bibles produced some pretty awkward constructions to render Hebrew at times, as both languages lack, e.g., the causative inflections of Semitic languages, and the uneven way the LXX in particular moves from slavish literality to freer translation. There's a reason the classicists of antiquity thought those translations were barbarous Greek and Latin!

It is harder to judge the LXX in every case, since we don't know exactly what the Hebrew text in front of its various interpreters had before them. Having said that, you are correct. And, even in cases in which Latin had a more elegant native way of saying something (like using an ut + subjunctive clause for purpose instead of an infinitive), St. Jerome's literalism usually meant abandoning it. Having said that, on-the-fly I can more intuitively generate "Christian" Latin to express myself than I can classical. But then, I'm from an old West Cheshire family, and much of the barbarism of my mead-gulping ancestors likely clings to my mouth. After all, I can't generate Greek on-the-fly at all.

Most of the literalism can be traced to the Vetus Latina rather than Jerome; he just tried to maintain its diction in his first two psalters; his juxta Hebraicum, on the other hand, is interesting to compare to the Gallican. I've never really read a study on it, but it would be interesting to know more about Jerome's Hebrew sources and how they compare to the Masoretic text.
Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We venerate Thy Cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise and glorify. For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee. We call on Thy name. O come, all ye faithful, let us venerate Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy hath come into all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we praise his Resurrection: for by enduring the Cross, he hath slain death by death.


MagisterMusicae

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2017, 04:20:pm »
Why don't a group of trad Bible scholars (fluent in Latin, Hebrew and Greek) get together and produce a translation of the Vulgate, compared with the Hebrew and Greek, into modern English? With the traditional names (Josue, Elias, 1 Paralipomenon, Isaias, Abdias etc).

That's precisely what Msgr. Knox was attempting to do. Make a more modern translation of the Vulgate, using the Greek and Hebrew for comparison. Granted his translation isn't word-for-word, but if that's what you're looking for then take the Challoner edition of the D-R (which is what most of us are familiar with). Or propose to simply change the wording in the Challoner to more modern phraseology.

Mark Williams

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Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 03:32:pm »
Why don't a group of trad Bible scholars (fluent in Latin, Hebrew and Greek) get together and produce a translation of the Vulgate, compared with the Hebrew and Greek, into modern English? With the traditional names (Josue, Elias, 1 Paralipomenon, Isaias, Abdias etc).

That's precisely what Msgr. Knox was attempting to do. Make a more modern translation of the Vulgate, using the Greek and Hebrew for comparison. Granted his translation isn't word-for-word, but if that's what you're looking for then take the Challoner edition of the D-R (which is what most of us are familiar with). Or propose to simply change the wording in the Challoner to more modern phraseology.

Modern, but not modernist!  :grin:
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists." - St. Pope Pius X

Credidi Propter

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 07:04:pm »
I think it could be helpful if someone would make a sort of revised Douay-Rheims. They could translate it from the Latin with the same idea of fidelity, but use today's Standard Written English, keeping in mind the formality and poetry that is in character with sacred scripture.  There's nothing especially holy about "blessed are the paps that gave thee suck" or "Paralipomenon."

MagisterMusicae

Re: Why no modern English trad Bible translation?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2017, 04:55:pm »
There's nothing especially holy about "blessed are the paps that gave thee suck" or "Paralipomenon."

How about this instead : "A woman in the multitude said to him aloud, "Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the breast which thou hast sucked." And he answered, "Shall we not say, 'Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it?'"

That sounds fairly faithful to the original, without the bizarre archaic language ("pap" fell out of common usage for "breast" nearly 400 years ago).

It's from Knox.

I think it could be helpful if someone would make a sort of revised Douay-Rheims. They could translate it from the Latin with the same idea of fidelity, but use today's Standard Written English, keeping in mind the formality and poetry that is in character with sacred scripture.

Listen, I'm not a Knox apologiist, nor do this his translation is the best. (I, for instance, despise some of his psalms when he decides to depart from his stated purpose and goes all alphabetical on us like in Psalm 118-- sure the Hebrew is that way, but in English it's just kitschy, not a great works of literature.)

Anyway, I just don't see why people are desirous of a modern redaction of the Douay-Challoner:

1. It is reinventing the wheel

There are plenty of decent Catholic translations into English : Knox, RSV-CE, Jerusalem Bible (not the NJB), Confraternity, etc.). Why are these so insufficient that the Challoner needs to be redacted to modern language?

2. It smacks of a certain fundamentalist Protestant spirit which wants to have a "perfect" translation of scripture (because it is the foundation of their privately developed "faith").

No Bible translation will every be 100% accurate to the original inspired texts. That's because those texts are no longer extant and any translation will fail to completely convey the meaning of the original.

What we have to settle for is what the Magisterium teaches us about scripture (since we're not able to privately interpret) : the Vulgate is, in morals and doctrine, substantially equivalent to the inspired texts. When the Church teaches what scripture means it comes from this text, or another which bears the same characteristic of substantial equivalence to the original (no others have been so defined).

The problem is that no translation from the Vulgate, Greek or any other early version will ever be good enough to be used for us defining doctrine or moral teaching, because that's not our job. Thus any reasonably accurate translation would be fine to study scripture and back up what the Church already teaches.

Thus, a word-for-word literal translation is somewhat pointless unless you're trying to study Latin or Greek.

Pick the version or versions that best help you to understand the text. Don't seek some "perfect" translation. It doesn't and will never exist.

Mark Williams

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"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists." - St. Pope Pius X


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