The Old Greek of Isaiah

The Old Greek of Isaiah: An Analysis of Its Pluses and Minuses

Mirjam van der Vorm-Croughs
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 592
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1287n57
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  • Book Info
    The Old Greek of Isaiah
    Book Description:

    A concise study of a large number of examples of pluses and minus providing insight into translation from Hebrew to Greek

    Van der Vorm-Croughs focuses this translation study on the processes leading to pluses and minuses including linguistic and stylistic aspects (i.e., cases in which elements have been added or omitted for the sake of a proper use of the Greek language), literary aspects (additions and omissions meant to embellish the Greek text), translation technical aspects (e.g., the avoidance of redundancy), and contextual and intertextual exegesis and harmonization. This work also covers the relation between the Greek Isaiah and its possible Hebrew Vorlage to try to determine which pluses and minuses may have been the result of the translator's use of a different Hebrew text.

    Features:

    Eleven categories for the pluses and minuses of the Greek IsaiahExamination of translation techniques and translator errorsUse of Joseph Ziegler's critical edition

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-980-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-30)

    In recent decades the inquiry into the Greek translation of Isaiah has gained in popularity. Whereas in the course of the previous two centuries studies were only sporadically dedicated to this translation, more recently quite a number of publications on the Greek Isaiah have appeared. Apparently, the study of this document has an increasing attraction for scholars. This is not surprising, though, as the lxx of Isaiah provides an exceedingly fascinating and rich source for examination. The multifaceted nature of the translation offers ample opportunity for scholars to choose different aspects of the work to analyse and illuminate.

    One of...

  6. Chapter 2. EXPLICITATION
    (pp. 31-62)

    A phenomenon that can be encountered in translations throughout the centuries, is the making explicit of information that the source text contains only in an implicit way. This technique has in translation studies been labelled as “explicitation.”¹ The Septuagint of Isaiah displays such a tendency too. Many of its pluses can be classified as “explicitating” additions. By way of explicitation, the translator may primarily have attempted to make the now and then somewhat cryptic text of Isaiah more understandable for his public. Yet, the clarification of the text was probably not his only motive for applying this technique. Another reason...

  7. Chapter 3. IMPLICITATION
    (pp. 63-82)

    The analysis of lxx Isaiah would be less complicated if we were able to outline a consistent and uniform translation method which was applied by its translator. But in fact, the opposite appears to be true. The Greek Isaiah is typified by contrasting translation tendencies. While chapter 2 has shown that many pluses in the Greek Isaiah can be explained by the translator’s inclination towards making his text more explicit, the present chapter will deal with his penchant forimplicitation. “Implicitation” is a term used in translation studies to indicate that an element which in the source text is stated...

  8. Chapter 4. THE ADDITION AND OMISSION OF PARTICLES
    (pp. 83-98)

    In their use of particles the mt and lxx of Isaiah display an abundance of differences. Sometimes these may be the outcome of a different Hebrew manuscript underlying the two documents, but in most cases they were probably inserted or left out by the translator himself. The present chapter will present a short overview of these variations in the employment of particles, with the purpose of giving an impression of when and for what reasons the Isaiah translator has added or omitted these words.

    Especially in the appearance of the copulative conjunctions καί and ו a large diversity exists between...

  9. Chapter 5. FREE TRANSLATION OF HEBREW IDIOMATIC AND GRAMMATICAL FEATURES
    (pp. 99-140)

    The pluses and minuses that will be discussed in the present chapter are related to the translator’s aim to use the Greek language and its grammar correctly. In classical rhetoric this component of writing is called “correctness” and forms a subcategory of style.¹ More precisely it denotes speaking or writing in a manner consistent with the conventions of vocabulary and syntax, grammar and usage that predominate in a given language.²

    Deviation from stylistic correctness was known as “barbarism”—the use of non-standard or foreign speech.³ One of the forms in which this could occur was “Hebraism,”⁴ which means that a...

  10. Chapter 6. DOUBLE TRANSLATION
    (pp. 141-186)

    The well-known phenomenon that one segment of the Hebrew text is represented twice in a Greek translation has received different names in Septuagint studies. Except for “double translation,” terms such as “doublet,” “translation doublet,” “double reading,” “Doppelung,” and “Doppelübersetzung” have also turned up. The following list will give some examples of terms and definitions that have been offered by various scholars (italics are mine):¹

    Doubletsare “the juxtaposed double renderings of certain Hebrew words and phrases.” The origin of these can lie in the work of the translator himself, or in the revision(s) to which the translation was subjected after...

  11. Chapter 7. CONDENSATION
    (pp. 187-216)

    While in the previous chapter we have looked at the tendency of the Isaiah translation to render a single Hebrew expression by two Greek ones, the present chapter will show that the reverse pattern also typifies the Greek Isaiah, that is, the rendering of two synonymous or identical Hebrew elements by only one in the translation. The frequent occurrence of this phenomenon in lxx Isaiah has been observed by,inter alia, Ziegler, van der Kooij, and Goshen-Gottstein.¹ In the present study I will indicate this technique with the termcondensation. The same term has previously been used by Polak and...

  12. Chapter 8. PLUSES AND MINUSES CREATING OR IMPROVING RHETORICAL FIGURES
    (pp. 217-298)

    With one of the most beautiful poetic parts of Scripture before him, the Greek translator of the book of Isaiah was faced with a challenging task. This makes one wonder how he was to deal with the special nature of his text. Was he to be concerned to reflect the poetic features of the Hebrew in his translation? And what role might have been played by the rules concerning style and literature current in his own time?

    Hardly any investigations have yet been made into this stylistic or poetic aspect of the lxx of Isaiah. When scholars did acknowledge it,...

  13. Chapter 9. ANAPHORIC TRANSLATION
    (pp. 299-454)

    The present chapter will discuss pluses and minuses in the Greek translation of Isaiah that may be related to the translator’s borrowing of elements from other places in the Bible. This adoption of textual elements from elsewhere in Scripture is a well-known phenomenon in early Bible translations. In studies on the Septuagint it has been designated in various ways, for instance the following:

    Homer Heater: “As a translation technique, ‘anaphoric translation’ refers to the interpolation or adaptation of words or phrases from other passages of Scripture where the underlying idea is the same or similar.¹

    Theo van der Louw: “Anaphoric...

  14. Chapter 10. SOME OTHER FACTORS THAT MAY HAVE MOTIVATED THE TRANSLATOR TO ADD OR OMIT ELEMENTS
    (pp. 455-470)

    In the previous part of this study we looked at various tendencies that the lxx of Isaiah displays, giving rise to pluses and minuses in the translation. It became clear that certain factors in particular seem to have motivated the translator to add or omit elements, such as his wish to produce correct Koinē Greek, regularly embellished with rhetorical figures; his concern to extend the number of allusions to other biblical passages; and his inclination to make his text more explicit, but, on the other hand also to abbreviate the translation and to remove redundant or repetitious information from it....

  15. Chapter 11. PLUSES AND MINUSES CAUSED BY TRANSLATION MISTAKES
    (pp. 471-476)

    Besides elements which the translator added to or omitted from his text deliberately and for specific reasons, another category of additions and omissions consists of those that he may have caused erroneously. Two kinds of such errors which regularly occur in translations, and which result in missing text units, are haplography andparablepsis. Below one will find a collection of minuses in the Greek Isaiah that could be the outcome of these translation mistakes.

    Haplography entails that the copyist or translator accidentally skipped one of two identical or similar adjacent text elements, which was thus not represented in his text.¹...

  16. Chapter 12. PLUSES AND MINUSES CAUSED BY A DIFFERENT VORLAGE
    (pp. 477-514)

    Everyone engaged in the study of ancient Bible translations knows how complicated this research is made by the everlasting uncertainty surrounding the origin of variant readings. Have they been caused by the translator himself or by an underlying Hebrew text that was different from the mt? This complication also affects the Greek translation of Isaiah. Even if there is some consensus on the idea that the majority of its numerous variants are the achievement of the translator, the possibility of a differentVorlageshould not too easily be dismissed.

    In order to identify pluses, minuses and variant readings in lxx...

  17. Chapter 13. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 515-522)

    In this study I have attempted to provide a systematic and comprehensive survey of the pluses and minuses in the Greek translation of Isaiah. For this purpose I have collected and compared as many cases of pluses and minuses in the translation as possible. After having done this, it appears to me that the large majority of these cases can be assigned to one of the following twelve categories, which indicate their possible origin:

    1.Explicitation: Quite often the Isaiah translator has added expressions which are implied by the Hebrew but not stated explicitly. In this way he has attempted to...

  18. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 523-534)
  19. INDICES