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Dear Rick,


Given the fundamental caveat of traductor traditor, choice of translation depends on what qualities one is seeking.  A literal equivalence translation is best for discerning the underlying Hebrew and Greek (NT) structure, and for preserving intertextual allusions and verbal echoes.  For these purposes, I usually recommend either the Revised Standard Version or the New Revised Standard Version to my students.  A dynamic equivalence translation, however, can often capture and communicate emotional content, subtle nuances, and literary quality (such as the dense elegance of Second Isaiah or the grammatical inadequacies of Mark) better than a more literal version.  Here, the Jerusalem Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible are occasionally outstanding; the New International Version, the Revised English Bible, the New American Bible Revised Edition, are all critically responsible versions.  Every version, however, has weak points and strong points. 
 Many--even among the critically respected translations--are theologically tendentious in unexpected places.  Many have text critical biases that are not always apparent from their footnotes.  For Hebrew Bible, I would single out the New Jewish Publication Society translation as especially useful.  But my general recommendation would be to consult more than one version.

Jerry Walsh







>________________________________
> From: Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask] 
>Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:55 PM
>Subject: Re: Strange Gods?
> 
>On 1/12/2012 12:14 PM, Jerome Walsh wrote:
>> An oblique comment on the phrase "strange gods," from a linguistic
>> perspective. "Strange" and "alien" are common traditional translations
>> of the Hebrew root nkr, which simply means "foreign." Both terms often
>> have heavily nuanced connotations in contemporary English--"strange"
>> meaning "bizarre" and "alien" meaning "outré." But those connotations
>> are not present in the Hebrew and, if read into the biblical phrase
>> "strange gods," miss the point. "Strange gods" in the Hebrew Bible are
>> simply "foreign gods" or "gods other people worship that you shouldn't."
>
>Seems like "gods other people worship that you shouldn't" was what Eliot
>had in mind in ASG.
>
>My search actually led me first to http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/32-16.htm
>which has parallel translations of the verse from different versions of the
>Bible.  Some of the newer versions do use "foreign gods" in the translation.
>
>Which version(s) do you recommend for a good translation of the Hebrew?
>
>Regards,
>    Rick Parker
>
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