Working Through the Book of Matthew

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Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
This will be the thread devoted to suggested fixes and improved translation for the OEB for the translation of the Gospel of Matthew
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
Fix Type: Better Translation
Matt 2:6 currently reads:

     6  ‘And you, Bethlehem in Judah’s land,
         are in no way least among the chief cities of Judah;

But perhaps "chief cities" is better translated "rulers"  "kings" or "princes" instead? This appears to be the word in greek in question:

hēgemosin

http://biblesuite.com/greek/2232.htm



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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Fix Type: Better Translation

Matt 2:7-8 reads currently:

Then Herod secretly sent for the astrologers, and found out from them the date of the appearance of the star; and, sending them to Bethlehem, he said: “Go and make careful inquiries about the child, and, as soon as you have found him, bring me word so that I, too, can go and worship him.”

Consider removing the semicolons and making the sentences less of a run on sentences. Also consider some sentence simplifying.

Also: consider a better translation for "careful inquiries" to "careful search" or "search carefully" as the greek words seem closer to that: http://biblesuite.com/greek/exetasate_1833.htm  Also the word "date" may be better translated "time."

So consider this combination of fixes:

Then Herod secretly sent for the astrologers. He found out from them the time of the appearance of the star. Sending them to Bethlehem he said: "Go and make a careful search about the child. When you have found him, bring word back to me, so that I, too, can go and worship him."


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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
2:16 currently reads:
===
 When Herod found out that the astrologers had tricked him, he flew into a rage. He sent and put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and the whole of that neighborhood, who were two years old or under, guided by the date which he had learned from the astrologers.
===

"Neighborhod" is better translated "region"  and "date" is better translated "time."  So consider it better translated thusly:

===
 When Herod found out that the astrologers had tricked him, he flew into a rage. He sent and put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and the whole of that region, who were two years old or under, guided by the time which he had learned from the astrologers.
===
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Consider removing the non textual "headers" in the book giving titles to each section. These are foreign to the origital text and do not provide much help.

For instance, here are the first three:

The Birth, Parentage and Infancy

The Preparation

The Work in Galilee

Consider removing all of these....
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Brian J. Henry
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Timchambers wrote
Fix Type: Better Translation
Matt 2:6 currently reads:

     6  ‘And you, Bethlehem in Judah’s land,
         are in no way least among the chief cities of Judah;

But perhaps "chief cities" is better translated "rulers"  "kings" or "princes" instead? This appears to be the word in greek in question:

hēgemosin

http://biblesuite.com/greek/2232.htm
I don't think that's "kings," that'd be βασιλεῖς. I'd go with "leaders" or "rulers," and whichever you go for, using the singular in the next sentence too.

I'd also suggest "the land of Judah" instead, it flows nicer.

‘And you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
        are in no way least among the leaders of Judah;
    for out of you will come a leader
        who will shepherd my people Israel.’
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Brian J. Henry
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Fix Type: Better Translation

Matthew 1:1 is currently:
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham.
I do particularly love the opening "The book of the..." though, and think it should be included.

As for translating geneseōs though, I wonder what thoughts would be on using...well, "genesis"?

It seems like intentional usage, to recall the first book of the torah, just like its five-fold structure mimics the five books. The phrase biblos geneseōs is used in Gen. 2:4 and 5:1 in the LXX. Genesis isn't an unknown word, and in fact would make most people recall the book of Genesis (as it seems is the intention).

Alternatively, I do think "origin" sounds better than "genealogy," but that may be a personal preference. Only the Mounce and Lattimore translations use that though as far as I'm aware.

Proposed:
The book of the genesis of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham.
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

russellallen
Administrator
I have a soft spot for the KJV wording as well, but I don't know how appropriate it is.  In English 'book' would ordinarily refer to the whole physical bound book; in a Bible it could also maybe refer to a specific part of the 'book' - eg the book of Genesis, but it wouldn't ordinarily refer to the first couple of paragraphs. 

In this case, the author isn't intending to say that the whole of the Gospel of Matthew is about Jesus' ancestors, he is intending instead to set the stage for Jesus birth by placing Jesus in the historical context of his family tree and the history of the Jews.

I agree that this is most likely a deliberate referral back to the the start of the story in Genesis, in particular in Gen 5:1 I'm wary of being too opaque here, though. Bringing out a secondary meaning is great, but not at the expense of a primary meaning.

As a comparison, here are some other translations:

NET This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 
NRSV  An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 
CEV  Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors. 
NJB Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham: 
TEV This is the list of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Abraham. 
NIV This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: 
REB The genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. 
NLT-SE This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham: 
GWORD This is the list of ancestors of Jesus Christ, descendant of David and Abraham. 
HCSB The historical record, of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
CEB A record of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham: 

I don't think our current wording is that bad - its certainly within the scope of the other mainstream efforts.

Russell


On 26/12/2012, at 4:57 PM, bottleofink [via Open English Bible] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fix Type: Better Translation

Matthew 1:1 is currently:
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham.
I do particularly love the opening "The book of the..." though, and think it should be included.

As for translating geneseōs though, I wonder what thoughts would be on using...well, "genesis"?

It seems like intentional usage, to recall the first book of the torah, just like its five-fold structure mimics the five books. The phrase biblos geneseōs is used in Gen. 2:4 and 5:1 in the LXX. Genesis isn't an unknown word, and in fact would make most people recall the book of Genesis (as it seems is the intention).

Alternatively, I do think "origin" sounds better than "genealogy," but that may be a personal preference. Only the Mounce and Lattimore translations use that though as far as I'm aware.

Proposed:
The book of the genesis of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham.



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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

russellallen
Administrator
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Cool. Agreed. 

On 25/12/2012, at 4:57 PM, Timchambers [via Open English Bible] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fix Type: Better Translation

Matt 2:7-8 reads currently:

Then Herod secretly sent for the astrologers, and found out from them the date of the appearance of the star; and, sending them to Bethlehem, he said: “Go and make careful inquiries about the child, and, as soon as you have found him, bring me word so that I, too, can go and worship him.”

Consider removing the semicolons and making the sentences less of a run on sentences. Also consider some sentence simplifying.

Also: consider a better translation for "careful inquiries" to "careful search" or "search carefully" as the greek words seem closer to that: http://biblesuite.com/greek/exetasate_1833.htm  Also the word "date" may be better translated "time."

So consider this combination of fixes:

Then Herod secretly sent for the astrologers. He found out from them the time of the appearance of the star. Sending them to Bethlehem he said: "Go and make a careful search about the child. When you have found him, bring word back to me, so that I, too, can go and worship him."





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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

russellallen
Administrator
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Hmm. I thought I had already changed neighbourhood? Apparently not! OK, done now and also throughout the NT.

Agreed on time rather than date.


On 25/12/2012, at 5:11 PM, Timchambers [via Open English Bible] <[hidden email]> wrote:

2:16 currently reads:
===
 When Herod found out that the astrologers had tricked him, he flew into a rage. He sent and put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and the whole of that neighborhood, who were two years old or under, guided by the date which he had learned from the astrologers.
===

"Neighborhod" is better translated "region"  and "date" is better translated "time."  So consider it better translated thusly:

===
 When Herod found out that the astrologers had tricked him, he flew into a rage. He sent and put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and the whole of that region, who were two years old or under, guided by the time which he had learned from the astrologers.
===


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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Brian J. Henry
In reply to this post by russellallen
Yup, good points. Just tossing around late night ideas. :)
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Pleonic
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Just to jump in here, to upgrade the OEB's headers I suggest comparing them with those of a modern scholarly version such as the NRSV, NET, or the new Lexham English Bible. Their headers, in the narrative sections of Scripture particularly, reflect generally agreed upon pericopes (scholarly jargon for self-contained stories or units of thought) and are phrased in a neutral way. If some of our headers are doctrinally slanted, unclear, interrupt a narrative unit, etc., they should be adjusted to reflect, say, the NRSV's (without plagarizing, of course).

I definitely agree that headers should be included to help readers "orient themselves." People new to Scripture are often greeted with great stretches of not only unfamiliar but undifferentiated text. A 'modern' vernacular  translation especially should include periodic friendly waymarks to guide them through, I think. That's one thing the Twentieth Century New Testament did admirably.
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Pleonic
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Brian J. Henry
Agree with the other changes to vs. 6, but I'd like to put in a word for "Bethlehem in Judah’s land" rather than, "Bethlehem in the land of Judah." "In Judah's land" sounds less like traditional Authorized Version Bible language and has a whiff of the ancient epic to my ears. Many of the "X of Y" formations in Tyndale-descended translations are just reflections of the Greek syntax behind it ( Βηθλέεμ γῆ ούδα,) rather than the natural way we speak. "In Judah's land" reads better as a modern speech translation, I think.
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Brian J. Henry
True. I think I just find "the land of Judah" easier and nicer to read aloud because it makes a parallel with "the leaders of Judah."
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Pleonic
Hadn't thought about the parallelism, good point.

Maybe:

‘And you, Bethlehem in Judah’s land,
are in no way least among Judah's rulers;
for out of you a ruler will come —
who will shepherd my people Israel.’

?
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
In Matt 3:5-6 it reads:

"At that time Jerusalem, and all Judea, as well as the whole district of the Jordan, went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins."

This sentence structure seems a bit awkward or confusing. Perhaps this is better and fits the greek as well:

"Then people from Jerusalem, and all Judea, as well as from the whole district of the Jordan went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, as they were confessing their sins."
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
One more winding sentence to clean up a bit:

"Going further on, he saw two other men who were also brothers, James, Zebedee’s son, and his brother John, in their boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them,"

How about:

"Going further on, he saw two other brothers: James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in their boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them,"
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
Matthew 6:2 currently reads:

Therefore, when you do acts of charity, do not have a trumpet blown in front of you, as hypocrites do in the Synagogues and in the streets so that people will praise them. There, I tell you, is their reward!

Again to clean up the flow a bit, and I'm suggesting some better current words and phrases... how about:

"So when you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet sound in front of you, as hypocrites do in the Synagogues and in the streets, so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth: there is all the reward they will ever get!"
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
And Matt 6:3-4 currently reads:

But, when you do acts of charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your charity may be secret; and your Father, who sees what is in secret, will reward you.

Maybe like before we translate it more clearly in this fashion:

But, when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be secret. And your Father, who sees what is in secret, will reward you.
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Re: Working Through the Book of Matthew

Timchambers
In reply to this post by Timchambers
OK: onto the Lord's prayer in Matt 6:9-13. It reads:

You, therefore, should pray like this --
    ‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
    may your name be held holy,
    your kingdom come, your will be done —
    on earth, as in heaven.
    Give us today
        the bread that we will need;
     and forgive us our wrong-doings,
        as we have forgiven those who have wronged us;
     and take us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.’

I'd suggest removing the overuse of semicolons and cleaning up the sentence structure a bit.
Proposed new translation. I've also tried to find some more commonly used English words in several places:

"Pray then, in this way:

    ‘Our Father in Heaven, may your name be honored as Holy,
    May your kingdom come, your will be done on this earth, as it is in heaven.
    Give us today the bread that we will need for the day,
    and forgive us our wrongs, as we have forgiven those who have wronged us.
    Take us not into temptation, but liberate us from evil.’

One question: I saw that the word translated "temptation" could also be translated "trail" - I wonder if "dark testing" might be a better translation than "temptation." Any thoughts?
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