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Transformations in the Septuagint : towards an interaction of Septuagint studies and translation studies

"This is the first study that connects Septuagint research, mainly the domain of theologians, to insights from Translation Studies. Of the different approaches in TS I consider especially historical TS and the linguistic (or early) TS relevant for the study of the Septuagint. From a survey of views of language and translation in Antiquity it appears that the same differences of opinion existed among Greeks, Romans, Jews and Egyptians. The ‘frontlines’ between views of language and translation by no means coincided with religious borders. That there would exist ‘a Jewish view of translation’ prescribing literalness, as is commonly believed, is evidently mistaken. This myth in fact harks back to the anti-Jewish propaganda by the church father Jerome (Hieronymus). Many ‘modern’ insights in language and translation were common knowledge in Antiquity, albeit less systematic and in a different terminological garb. The chapters 4-6 consist of an analysis of the transformations (or ‘shifts’, changes in form or content that necessarily or intentionally occur in the process of translation). I analyzed the LXX translations of Genesis 2, Isaiah 1 and Proverbs 6. Before ascribing ‘deviations’ to the translator’s ideology or to a different Hebrew Vorlage, one should of course first exclude the possibility that the deviation arose from translational factors. Every transformation has a cause, and by categorizing the rationales behind the transformations we can trace the translational hierarchy that guided the translator(s), consciously or unconsciously. The conclusions show that both Septuagint Studies and Translation Studies greatly profit from this cross-fertilization."

Author(s):  van der Louw, Theodorus Anthonie Willem
Publisher:  LISOR, Faculty of Theology, Leiden University
Publication City:  Leiden
Date:  2006