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Sunday, 8 May 2016

Translational Consequences

André Lefevere focuses on one of the key differences between a conservative and a "spirited" transaltor:

Wherea the conservative translator works on the level of the word or sentence, the "spirited" translator works on the level of the culture as a whole, and of the functioning of the text in that culture. Yet, in the course of time, many translations succeed each other and sometimes they are diametrically opposed to each other.

This is perhaps no more evident that in the interpretation of the letters in the New Testament and the subsequent interpretations of Judaism. What is now known as the 'Old Perspective' saw Judaism as a religion of fear and merit-earning works, earning merit by legalistic obedience. Paul's letters were interpreted in that light, needing to override certain obvious disconnects and discrepancies with that view. The Old Perspective still has its fans today - mainly, perhaps, in the Reformed tradition who tend somewhat to idolise Luther, Calvin and the other fathers of the Reformation. The 'New Perspective', so named by Dr James D G Dunn, following the ground-breaking work of E P Sanders. Once the New Perspective demonstrated that Judaism is and always was a religion of grace and faith, that allowed a complete re-interpretation of Paul's letters, to the extent that Mark Nanos and other scholars are now writing about "Paul within Judaism", a far cry from the Old Perspective.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:00am Comment Comments: 0