In his detailed and thought-provoking work, Philip Goodwin conducts a thorough analysis of the challenges facing the Biblical translator, with particular focus on the problematic dominance of the King James Version of the Bible in our imaginations – a dominance which has had a deleterious effect upon the accuracy and originality of the translator’s work.
Goodwin considers the first two chapters of the Lukan narratives in depth, comparing and contrasting a breadth of widely disparate translations and drawing on a rich body of Biblical scholarship to support his thesis. A wide-ranging discussion of other linguistic issues is also conducted, touching on such vital matters as incorporating the contextual implications of the original text, and the attempt to challenge the reader’s pre-existing knowledge.
Goodwin develops a fresh and comprehensive answer to the difficulties of the translator’s task, and concludes by providing his own original and charming translation of the first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel. Translating the English Bible provides a fascinating insight into the processes of translation and will interest anyone seeking accuracy and fidelity to the Scriptural message. It will also enlighten readers seeking a challenging translation of Luke that casts off the shackles of the ‘Holy Marriage’ tradition of Biblical translation.
Note to the Reader
1. The Holy Marriage
David Daniell and the lost art of translation
The rules of the art
The problem of fidelity
The curse of the Holy Marriage
The need for theory
What kind of theory?
2. Challenging the Holy Marriage: Relevance Theory and Translation
What is relevance theory?
Relevance Theory of Translation (RTT)
Why Relevance Theory?
How RTT is used in the present work
3. Start as you mean to go on? Syntax in Luke 1.1-4
The Source text: relevance in context?
Contextual implications from Luke’s preface
Translating Luke’s preface
4. When is a priest not a priest? The Semantics of ἱερεύς in Luke 1
The case of a certain priest: ἱερεύς τις
Achieving relevance in context
ἱερεύς in translation
Challenging the consensus
The persistence of the ἱερὸς γάμος tradition
Alternative translations for ἱερεύς
5. Still looking for clues
Clues arising from semantic representations
Clues arising from syntactic properties
Clues arising from phonetic properties
Clues arising from semantic constraints on relevance
Clues arising from formulaic expressions
Clues arising from onomatopoeia
Clues arising from stylistic value of words
Clues arising from sound-based poetic qualities
Are there other clues?
Uses and abuses of communicative clues
6. Repetitive Texture and Four Kinds of Literalism
Repetitive texture in translation
Concordance: A non-topic?
Concordance and literalism
Four motivations for literalism
The Perfect translation
Final remarks: The Experimental translation
Appendix: Experimental translation of Luke 1-2
Endorsements and Reviews
Suitable for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the fields of translation, linguistics, and biblical studies … His exploration of Relevance Theory provides valuable insights for interpreters and translators of the biblical text.
Joshua P. Steele, Beeson Divinity School, in Theological Book Review , Vol 25, No 2
… some insights and interesting discursive studies.
James A.E. Mulroney, in The Expository Times, Vol 127, No 1