Welcome, and Genesis

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Welcome, and Genesis

russellallen
Administrator
Hi all,

We are starting to get some subscribers to this mailing list, which is great to see. No traffic yet, though!

I've uploaded an early draft of Genesis to the server. You can download it as a Word doc at:


Let me know if another format would be more convenient. It is stored in USFM and I can generate most normal formats. 

At the moment, I'm very interested in the low hanging fruit.  By that, I mean:

- spelling errors (the draft should be in standard US spelling)
- punctuation issues
- versification issues (it should correspond to NRSV versification. I will also prepare a version with JPS versification where it differs)

and, very importantly:

- language which is not in standard, grammatically correct English. Bonus points if it is a repeating pattern that can be fixed in multiple places!

I'm obviously also interested in translation issues, but don't want to get too bogged down in unresolvable questions. The translation should aim to correspond to the underlying text of the Westminster Leningrad Codex as found at http://www.tanach.us/Tanach.xml#Home unless otherwise noted. In practice, translation choices should be attested to in a mainstream English translation, such as the JPS 1985, NRSV, REB, TEV, CEV etc or in some mainstream scholarly context.   

I have done an initial pass to fix issues but of course will have missed stuff!

If you do feel like helping, why not download the word doc, and share anything you find with the mailing list? 

Thanks for your interest,

Russell

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Re: Welcome, and Genesis

Brian J. Henry
Heya! So here are a few notes on some things I noticed while reading over the first 3 chapters.

Recurring oddities:
In Chapter 2 and 3, I notice there's no distinction for YHWH Elohim versus plain YHWH. Just using the LORD for both.
At 3:20, "Adam" comes out of nowhere, not having been previously used. It's also not even a proper noun in this verse I don't believe? (Although it is in the next verse)
The first use as a proper noun is 2:20. The ESV and JPS start using it there, while the NRSV starts using it in 4:25.

1:6-8 I'm pretty sure we've got three english words for the same hebrew word here... dome (as used for all these words by the NRSV), heavens (non-standard, especially since He names it the Heavens in the next verse), and expanse (ESV, NASB, others.) Expanse is used for this word in following verses.

1:10 Sounds awkward. At least add "waters He called Seas."
I like the NIV and JPS translation here, along the lines of "the gathered waters He called Seas" (and changing 1:9 to reflect this also, by using "gathered into one place")

1:28 "“Bear children, increase, people the earth, and conquer it;" Sounds a little awkward. Would recommend "Be fruitful and increase, fill the earth and conquer it;" (For consistency, also match up verse 1:22 earlier)

1:29 is difficult to read. Perhaps:
"See, to you I give every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit."
(for consistency, see also 1:12, which should be matched up)

1:30, 3:18 "herb" should be "plant" as used elsewhere

2:5 previous verses were gender neutral, this could be "there was no one." Also, it should all be connected "...rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the soil."

3:10 "he" should be capitalized

3:16 "To the woman he said." That period should be a comma.

3:17 "But to the man he said," The "but" should be dropped, or replaced with "then" or "and."  These aren't contrasting punishments, rather they're parallels. (No translation I can find uses "but" here, either.)

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Re: Welcome, and Genesis

russellallen
Administrator
Hi! Welcome to the mailing list!  Thanks for the feedback. I've made some comments below. Best wishes, Russell

On 13/10/2012, at 12:20 PM, bottleofink [via Open English Bible] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Heya! So here are a few notes on some things I noticed while reading over the first 3 chapters.

Recurring oddities:
In Chapter 2 and 3, I notice there's no distinction for YHWH Elohim versus plain YHWH. Just using the LORD for both.

OK, this needs fixing. I'll do this over the weekend when I can do a proper search.

At 3:20, "Adam" comes out of nowhere, not having been previously used. It's also not even a proper noun in this verse I don't believe? (Although it is in the next verse)
The first use as a proper noun is 2:20. The ESV and JPS start using it there, while the NRSV starts using it in 4:25.

2:20 is the first place Adam appears without an article in the Hebrew, but where to move from 'man' to 'Adam' should happen in English is pretty unclear. 

I had a look at where other translations use Adam before ch 5. Interestingly they form clusters:

OEB 3:20 3:21 4:1 4:25 (<-- us!)
TEV 3:20 3:21 4:1 4:25
CEV 3:20 4:1 4:25

ESV  2:20 3:17 3:21 4:1 4:25
JPS 2:20 3:17 3:21 4:25
NET 2:20 3:17 3:21 4:25

NSRV 4:25
REB 4:25

NIV 2:20 3:17 3:20 3:21 4:1 4:25 
HSBC 3:17 3:20 3:21 4:1 4:25 

I don't get any clear consensus out of this.  3:20 in a sense works narratively - it is where Eve is named. 

The 'coming out of nowhere' issue is worth considering. Having Adam earlier by itself only makes the 'Who is this Adam guy?" question happen earlier, especially when the word then disappears again for a chapter. 

The only way I have seen to avoid the 'coming out of nowhere' problem in English is to do what the CEB do, and have the first time 'Adam' appears linked to 'man' eg:

The man, Adam, named his wife Eve.

1:6-8 I'm pretty sure we've got three english words for the same hebrew word here... dome (as used for all these words by the NRSV), heavens (non-standard, especially since He names it the Heavens in the next verse), and expanse (ESV, NASB, others.) Expanse is used for this word in following verses.

I don't have an issue with a single Hebrew word mapping to multiple English words if we can use it to bring out the nuances in the Hebrew. In this case I think you are right - let's go with the NSRV 'dome'.  "Expanse" doesn't communicate anything really to me.

(There's a secondary question - should we use "Sky" rather than "heavens"?)

1:10 Sounds awkward. At least add "waters He called Seas."
I like the NIV and JPS translation here, along the lines of "the gathered waters He called Seas" (and changing 1:9 to reflect this also, by using "gathered into one place")

Let's go with:

\q2 \v 10 And God called the dry land Earth 
\q2 and he called the gathered waters Seas. 


1:28 "“Bear children, increase, people the earth, and conquer it;" Sounds a little awkward. Would recommend "Be fruitful and increase, fill the earth and conquer it;" (For consistency, also match up verse 1:22 earlier)

How about:

\q1 \v 28 Then God blessed them, and said to them:
\q2 "Be fruitful, grow in number,
\q2 fill the earth and govern it; 
\q2 rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, 
\q2 and over every living thing that crawls on the ground,”

'Conquer' is too adversarial I think. The word used is also translated elsewhere as 'enslave' but that wouldn't work either. NET Bible notes suggests that a paraphase would be "harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit" and then choose 'Subdue' which I don't think meets their own criteria. 'Govern' is used in NLT-SE, other translations use 'master' which is a bit clunky I think. CEV uses " bring it under your control" which is very tempting.


1:29 is difficult to read. Perhaps:
"See, to you I give every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit."
(for consistency, see also 1:12, which should be matched up)

Done.

1:30, 3:18 "herb" should be "plant" as used elsewhere

Done.

2:5 previous verses were gender neutral, this could be "there was no one." Also, it should all be connected "...rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the soil."

Done.

3:10 "he" should be capitalized

Done.

3:16 "To the woman he said." That period should be a comma.

Done.


3:17 "But to the man he said," The "but" should be dropped, or replaced with "then" or "and."  These aren't contrasting punishments, rather they're parallels. (No translation I can find uses "but" here, either.)

I think you are right, and I've dropped the 'but'. Interestingly there is a translation that uses 'but' - the NET Bible. They don't explain why though.



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Re: Welcome, and Genesis

Brian J. Henry
Thanks! Whew, I'm glad that went over well haha. I'm excited to help out, let me know if I can do anything more efficiently.  

russellallen wrote
3:20 in a sense works narratively - it is where Eve is named.

The 'coming out of nowhere' issue is worth considering. Having Adam earlier by itself only makes the 'Who is this Adam guy?" question happen earlier, especially when the word then disappears again for a chapter.

The only way I have seen to avoid the 'coming out of nowhere' problem in English is to do what the CEB do, and have the first time 'Adam' appears linked to 'man' eg:

The man, Adam, named his wife Eve.
Hm. The NLT handles it this way too. Perhaps in this case that works best?

I don't have an issue with a single Hebrew word mapping to multiple English words if we can use it to bring out the nuances in the Hebrew. In this case I think you are right - let's go with the NSRV 'dome'.  "Expanse" doesn't communicate anything really to me.

(There's a secondary question - should we use "Sky" rather than "heavens"?)
I like dome as well. As for the secondary question, personally I lean towards Sky, but I can't give a strong reason for or against either of them.

'Conquer' is too adversarial I think. The word used is also translated elsewhere as 'enslave' but that wouldn't work either. NET Bible notes suggests that a paraphase would be "harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit" and then choose 'Subdue' which I don't think meets their own criteria. 'Govern' is used in NLT-SE, other translations use 'master' which is a bit clunky I think. CEV uses " bring it under your control" which is very tempting.
I like 'govern' very much! I was trying not to be too picky about word choices and stick to what was already there while still making it readable, but I agree with you completely.

I'll continue going through it this week!
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Re: Welcome, and Genesis

mystiscool
Just a quick question - I'm starting to read through Genesis, and I was wondering what sources to use for checking word translations. Right now I've got Xiphos (a Linux GUI for the SWORD project) and I've been looking things up using the KJV with Strong's concordance. Is that the right way to go about it?

I'll try to come up with a few suggestions as soon as I get into the swing of things, but it's great to see some work happening already!
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Re: Welcome, and Genesis

russellallen
Administrator
Hi,

If you're not confident with Hebrew, I'd recommend getting access to as many different professional translations as possible. This will give you an idea of the range of meaning which are likely to be possible. Strongs will only get you so far - it isn't a dictionary so much as a concordance to the KJV.

Good starting points are the NET Bible and its notes ( net.bible.org ) and the NRSV ( bible.oremus.org ).

YouVersion.com has a large number of translations as does BibleGateway.com 

If you can get hold of a copy of the REB somewhere I would recommend it but it isn't online for free.

The main thing is to check both in the Tyndale/KJV traditions (eg NSRV, ESV, etc) and also in other alternative translations  ( GNB, CEV,  NIV etc).

Personally I use Accordance ( accordancebible.com ) on a Mac. It's a great piece of software, but it can be expensive.

Hope this helps,

Russell

On 17/10/2012, at 2:23 PM, mystiscool [via Open English Bible] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Just a quick question - I'm starting to read through Genesis, and I was wondering what sources to use for checking word translations. Right now I've got Xiphos (a Linux GUI for the SWORD project) and I've been looking things up using the KJV with Strong's concordance. Is that the right way to go about it?

I'll try to come up with a few suggestions as soon as I get into the swing of things, but it's great to see some work happening already!


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
http://forum.openenglishbible.org/Welcome-and-Genesis-tp5p13.html
To start a new topic under Open English Bible, email [hidden email]
To unsubscribe from Open English Bible, click here.
NAML