Translating (Away) The Son of God

I’ve been meaning for some time to come back to a topic that has been garnering attention, the news that some Bible translations aimed at predominantly Islamic contexts were not using the phrase “son of God”, ever since I circulated an online article mentioning the news and was met with expressions of concern because that [Read More...]

Yahia Yuhana: How Do You Translate a Name and its Translation?

The characteristic introduction in the sections of the Mandaean Book of John focused on John the Baptist (pictured above from Lidzbarski’s edition) reads “Yahia teaches in the nights, Yuhana in the evenings of the nights…” In the translation above, I’ve merely transliterated the names used. But what we have in the text is synonymous parallelism, [Read More...]

The “Original Aramaic Lord’s Prayer” is None of the Above

After it came up on this blog a while back, I’ve wanted to return to the topic of the “Original Aramaic Lord’s Prayer.” Why? Because the thing that can be found online referred to in this way is not original, not Aramaic, not a translation, and not the Lord’s Prayer. Let me elaborate further. This [Read More...]

Review of Roberge, The Paraphrase of Shem

My review of Michel Roberge’s book The Paraphrase of Shem (NH VII,1): Introduction, Translation and Commentary has been published in Review of Biblical Literature. Click through if you’d like to read it. [Read more...]

Paul’s Rhetoric and Rhetorical Questions

A friend of mine has begun looking into the subject of rhetorical questions in Paul’s letters. He is interested in both the background in ancient rhetoric – might Paul have been familiar with what earlier rhetoricians had said on the subject – and in what is involved in translating such rhetorical questions when translating the [Read More...]

More on Ancient Language Acquisition

Amber Baker shared contrasting experiences of learning Hebrew. Brian Schultz posted about fluency and reading comprehension. Jim Davila did better on Daniel Streett’s quiz than most. Steve Caruso asked us to try the same quiz with Aramaic. Jim Davila shared information about a course on Zoharic Aramaic (with links to pdfs of the text). [Read more...]

Discussion Continues about New Testament Study, Languages and Methods

Here are some posts that are part of or relate to the ongoing discussion of the essential languages and tools for New Testament Study. Daniel Streett posted about the difference between reading a language fluently and being able to translate it word for word. Anyone who has learned to speak a modern language fluently will [Read More...]

The Weirdest Bible Translation Ever?

The blog On The Main Line recently had a post entitled “The weirdest Bible translation ever.” Can you guess which one the author had in mind? No, it isn’t the Klingon Bible. It is The Orthodox Jewish Bible: Tanakh and Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha by Phillip E. Goble. You can take a look at it [Read More...]

Is the Bible Better in the Original Klingon?

IO9′s article on dramatic works that should be performed in sci-fi languages reminded me of an activity I did once in a class on religion and sci-fi, getting students to “translate” (in actual fact, imagine they are explaining) a passage from the Bible or other Scriptures to someone from another planet. It provides an interesting [Read More...]

Review of Mark S. Smith, God in Translation

I am grateful to Eerdmans for sending me a free review copy of Mark S. Smith’s book God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World (published by Eerdmans in 2010, originally published in 2008 by Mohr Siebeck). The book looks at a relatively neglected aspect of ancient Israelite, early Jewish and early [Read More...]

The Mandaic Book of John

As an update on the Mandaean Book of John translation project, let me share the news that a blog has been created for the purpose of posting completed drafts of both the typed Mandaic text and English translation of the Mandaean Book of John. It can be visited at http://rogueleaf.com/book-of-john/ Please keep in mind that, [Read More...]


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