Saturday, November 18, 2006


Reading Lawrence Hoffman's JourneyHome - nice introduction to Jewish thought. His section on translation (literal, contextual-historical, spiritual) reminds me that my translations so far are mostly literal - even to the point of keeping Hebrew word order for the most part. You have to start somewhere. Some of my translations are not 16th century pious literal - He restores my soul becomes he repairs my life. Some are surprising - mercy and reproof will follow me - because the presence of God in reproof is proof of presence and therefore also mercy and loving kindness - but it makes you stop and think.

I have done about 10% of the psalter in this first five month period. I am still a child - hardly at the point where I can sound out the Hebrew words. I am a long way from Ugaritic or textual criticism - but I have focussed on structure - a point which most if not all translations ignore. One day I may do a Berrigan (Uncommon Prayer, A Book of Psalms) but never a Baumann (Ancient Songs Sung Anew) - but first I will be straight up with the words and transfer them to my era only as they move themselves in me.

Working on 10,11,12 and 89 ...

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