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Thread: NETS Septuagint translation

  1. #1
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    Default NETS Septuagint translation

    Any hopes of getting the NETS Septuagint translation released? I may be misunderstanding a release from another company, but it sounds like the electronic version is available from the publishers for Bible software companies.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
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  2. #2
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    Default mille-man

    Michael
    Is, or do you think the NETS Septuagint Translation to be as good or better than The Apostolic Bible Polyglot?
    Looking forward to aringwhat you have to say and anyone else who will chime in.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mille-man View Post
    Michael
    Is, or do you think the NETS Septuagint Translation to be as good or better than The Apostolic Bible Polyglot?
    Looking forward to aringwhat you have to say and anyone else who will chime in.
    I haven't read enough of either to know, but I'm hoping for the chance to find out
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  4. #4
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    Default Already available...kind of

    The text of NETS is already available online (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/).

    Regarding the comparison between the Apostolic Bible Polyglot and NETS I cannot say too much (mainly because I'm not familiar with the Polyglot). I have read parts of the NETS translation, and I must say it is absolutely invaluable. Each book was translated by a scholar who specializes in Septuagint studies. The introductions to each book are worth the price of the book alone. Where a book has two versions (like Daniel's Old Greek and Theodotion texts), the texts are displayed in parallel for the sake of comparison.

    I will be very happy if and when BW takes up this translation and makes it available to users. It supercedes Brenton's translation by a longshot.
    Last edited by jdarlack; 11-30-2007 at 11:59 AM. Reason: gontroppo's nitpicking
    Jim Darlack - Associate Director of Goddard Library /
    Reference Librarian at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Gloucester Assembly of God | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    The 'Unofficial' BibleWorks Blog | Old in the New | Facebook | LibraryThing

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdarlack View Post
    Regarding the comparison between the Apostolic Bible Polyglot and NETS I cannot say too much (mainly because I'm not familiar with the Polyglot)... It supersedes Brenton's translation by a longshot.
    Hi, Jim:

    I have the Apostolic Bible Polyglot in printed form as well as electronic form, and I am extremely impressed with the format and the massive amount of work that went into it.

    Having said that, I am not completely in agreement with some of its translation, but then, I am not in agreement in places with Brenton or NETS either.

    With regard to NETS, I have read only a little, but I can tell you that no native Greek who is also fluent in English -- and I emphasize fluent -- at least none that I know, would approve the translation of Genesis 1:2 as NETS has translated it, i.e., "divine wind" instead of "Spirit of God."

    In fact, the text doesn't say "divine wind," as the context is utterly prohibitive of such a rendition (the very next verse and following is conclusive), not to mention that the Greek word for divine and wind is not in the text, but rather the Greek word for God and Spirit is in the text, and thus only by a wild leap of the imagination can it be made to say that. As I said, I've only read a little of NETS, but if that is the direction it is headed in translation, then in my opinion it is not only far inferior to Brenton, but it's flat out radically inaccurate in places.

    However, I think you'll find that all three versions have their strengths and weaknesses, and I also think you'll find that native Greeks who are fluent in English will prefer Brenton over NETS, at least from the little I've read of NETS. Of course, I can't speak for every native Greek, but I know my own friends and how they think.

    Thus, as usual, you'll find some who prefer the Apostolic Bible Polyglot in places, Brenton in others, and NETS in others.

    If I had to pick one from a purely translational standpoint, I'd go with Brenton. However, I do love the Apostolic Bible Polyglot, and since I'm not forced to pick only one, I'll more than likely consult all three, albeit, in the Old Testament, I always prefer the Hebrew over the Greek without exception.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 11-27-2007 at 09:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default breathe on me breath of God

    I don't think I'd be willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater because of its rendition of Genesis 1:2. From what I understand, the NETS has tried to follow the NRSV unless the LXX diverges from Hebrew (in that case they change the English for ease of comparison). See page xiv in the foreward. Interestingly enough, the NRSV translates the text "while a wind from God" with a footnote that states "Or while the spirit of God or while a mighty wind." Susan Brayford's translation "breath of God" in the Septuagint Commentary Series is similar.

    I lean towards the traditional Christian translation "Spirit of God" myself. (I am, after all, a Pentecostal. ) I just don't think I'd consider Genesis 1:2 to be a litmus test to the usefulness of a translation. Traducir es traicionar (translation is betrayal). In this case we have a translation of a translation. So would that be betrayal squared?

    We have the luxury of being "picky" with myriad English translations of the Hebrew text. We don't have the same luxury with the LXX (with only Thomson & Brenton as the only English alternatives--both over a century old). Any modern translation of the LXX is quite welcome.

    On a side note, the fact that the semantic range of ruach includes both wind and S/spirit helps one to see a connection between Genesis 1:2 and 8:1, where a "new creation" began with the God-made ruach blowing dry the waters of the flood. I'd go as far as saying that the "creation" of Israel happened with similar circumstances as the ruach blew them a path through the Red Sea (Exodus 15:8, 10).
    Last edited by jdarlack; 11-30-2007 at 11:59 AM. Reason: gontroppo's nitpicking
    Jim Darlack - Associate Director of Goddard Library /
    Reference Librarian at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Gloucester Assembly of God | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    The 'Unofficial' BibleWorks Blog | Old in the New | Facebook | LibraryThing

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jdarlack View Post
    I don't think I'd be willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater because of its rendition of Genesis 1:2.
    Well, I agree. In fact, I very much applaud the NETS transaltion in Genesis 1:4 -- "And God saw the light, that it was good."

    As opposed to the modern translations of "And God saw that the light was good."

    I'll let a book entitled Literary Guide To The Bible, Edited By Robert Alter And Frank Kermode, Harvard University Press, explain the very palpable difference (I'll include the entire paragraph so as to retain the context) --

    "For one kind of reader the Authorized Version's "And God saw the light, that it was good" (Gen. 1:4), is a better translation than such modern equivalents as the New English Bible's "and God saw that the light was good" or the the New American Bible's "and God saw how good the light was," because it sounds better, more impressive in its slightly odd syntax. Another kind of reader prefers the modern versions because they are straightforward, and therefore probably more accurate. For this group the Authorized Version's oddness is an archaic obstacle to understanding. Also, the reader dedicated to the notion of narrative efficiency will find the modern renderings more attractive because they describe God's action naturally, diluting "see" to the point where it means nothing more than "realize." The Authorized Version's rendering, in contrast, takes a definite view of what God actually does: its syntax gives "saw" its fullest sense, that of looking into the light. The difference is almost as great as the difference between saying "I saw the book he had written" and "I saw that he had written a book." The older version is the more anthropomorphic and, for that reason, is likely to be more attractive to many readers, but not to those who prefer an abstract God." op. cit., pg. 647

    So while I don't know if the intention of the author of this passage in the NETS translation was purposeful, i.e., whether or not he was merely trying to differentiate from modern translations, or whether he actually thought this is what the text actually meant, I very much applaud his translation in this instance as capturing the most accurate meaning of both the Hebrew and the Greek (the Hebrew and Greek is absolutely emphatic here in favor of the Authorized Version, NETS, Brenton, and so forth), as well as the intended theological meaning of what the text actually says, as the Authorized Version and the NETS translation points distinctly to Jesus Christ, whereas the modern translations obliterate that distinction entirely.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 11-28-2007 at 12:57 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Nitpicking; can't help myself.

    Jim: a tick for supersede, but a cross for forward, as opposed to foreword.

    And, I spose you know Spike Milligan's famous foreword? He thought he had been asked for four words, and so wrote:
    Please buy this book.
    David McKay
    Aussie Christian
    http://gontroppo.blogspot.com/
    What I'm Reading
    http://themusickeplace.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Rasberries

    Quote Originally Posted by Gontroppo View Post
    Jim: a tick for supersede, but a cross for forward, as opposed to foreword.
    Thbbbbbt!*
    Jim Darlack - Associate Director of Goddard Library /
    Reference Librarian at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Gloucester Assembly of God | Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    The 'Unofficial' BibleWorks Blog | Old in the New | Facebook | LibraryThing

  10. #10

    Default

    Any update on getting the NETS into BW?
    Ben

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