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Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 20 2019 12:58 PM

I have LITV, YLT, NASB, Transparent Version, The Five Books of Moses by E. Fox and The Hebrew Bible by Robert Alter. None of these are literal enough. I am looking for some translation that has been taken to the absurd level of literalness. I don’t mind if it is just for one chapter or one book, although the complete Hebrew Bible would be ideal. Can someone recommend something more literal than these I have listed? I suppose that what I am looking for is an interlinear type literalness but with English (or Spanish would work just as well) word flow. So that, for example, “מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙” would be rendered “from under the heavens” rather than “under the heavens.”

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:14 PM

I'm guessing you want something like The Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible. Anything with English word flow is not nearly absurd enough.

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:23 PM

I have several interlinears such as LHI (I use it all the time) and Young's to mention two. And this might be as good as it gets. Although I would like to see if there is something that uses English (or Spanish) word order. 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 1:49 PM

Gregorio Billikopf:

I have several interlinears such as LHI (I use it all the time) and Young's to mention two. And this might be as good as it gets. Although I would like to see if there is something that uses English (or Spanish) word order. 

I don't think I'd use english glosses for a translation, no matter how absurd ... LHI doesn't even try hard.

In the mid-1800s, there was frustration with not-real-original-languages. Young, as mentioned above survived, if only because he didn't go to the absurd.

Julia Smith set out to do a raw translation. She did the hebrew first, if I remember, then the greek. And it's pretty raw. Metzger, in his review of translations, thought she had achieved the absurd, especially in the handling of tenses. There is also another; I've forgotten, but starts with an 'S' also.

The problem with a raw translation is two-fold. For example in Smith's, she didn't try to out-guess words having limited examples. This was before Ugarit, Mari, and the large Mesopotamian archeological digs. So, she stuck with the common guesses (lexicons). Secondly, for a true raw translation, you'd almost have to use explanatory parens (similar to Amplified). Semitic is just not a good place for literal. Greek maybe.


Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 6:02 PM

Denise, I have spent several hours today in this effort and quite a bit of time on Julia's translation. I actually found the PDF and downloaded it and it is quite interesting and will be useful to me, for which I am most grateful. Yes, the tenses are very strange. And so is her desire to use the same English word for Hebrew words (that is quite absurd in itself). I have well over forty translations, so I am not looking for a version to use on a regular basis. I love the KJV for that. What I am looking for is something that gives the idioms in Hebrew and while retaining an English order to the words, includes the extra words used in the Hebrew even though they would not be used in English. Does that make sense? And something that retains Hebrew expressions that would not mean anything to us today. (I found the Concordant Bible which comes close to what I want for this particular purpose, but still not absurd enough. And I realize that the theological outlook of the authors can be a problem, but for this purpose, that is ok if they are from a very different outlook than mine.) In summary, you have been of great help in suggesting Julia Smith. Thanks! 

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 6:13 PM

If Julia Smith's version is what you're after, there is a Logos version.

I had to deal a painfully literal version, the English read-off of LHI would still be my pain of choice. Wink

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 8:22 PM

Lee:

If Julia Smith's version is what you're after, there is a Logos version.

I had to deal a painfully literal version, the English read-off of LHI would still be my pain of choice. Wink

I could be wrong, but I think they copied boilerplate from the ERV, instead of Julia Smith's product description:

https://www.logos.com/product/126595/the-holy-bible-containing-the-old-and-new-testaments-and-the-apocrypha-translated-out-of-the-original-tongues-being-the-version-set-forth-ad-1611-compared-with-the-most-ancient-authorities-and-revised 

The see-more has the correct:

https://www.logos.com/resources/LLS_HLYBBLJSMITH/the-holy-bible-containing-the-old-and-new-testaments-translated-literally-from-the-original-tongues 

But I doubt there's too many Julia Smith'ers.


Posts 170
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 20 2019 10:34 PM

Might I suggest the Berean Literal Bible:

https://literalbible.com/

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 8:22 AM

Lee, thanks for both suggestions. They are great. I didn't even know that the JSB was part of my collection!!!!! And yes, she does include the word "before" in Genesis 1:9, as I wished. I can always ignore some of the quirks in her translation, but she will certainly be very useful to me. 

Regarding the LHI, thanks again. I made a duplicate entry side-by-side my LHI in which I only view the Hebrew and the interlinear with the English. Or, just in case, can I do better than that? Is there a version of the LHI, which I use constantly, with the English in a different fashion? 

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 8:24 AM

Thanks, Denise.

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 21 2019 8:42 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I downloaded their study Bible as well as three of their New Testaments. They specialize in the literal version of the New Testament, but not the Hebrew Bible. Still, thanks so much. 

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 7:50 AM

Thanks for all the answers and all of the help. My wife says I often jump into the middle of a thought and expect others to understand what I am doing. So, I am going to now explain not only the “what” but also the “why” of my search. I am taking concurrently, a few on-line courses on Biblical Hebrew and I am studying the inseparable prepositions. I found an example in Genesis 1:9, “מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙” which literally has “from under the heavens.” That is what I see in my BHS, but almost no translation into English incudes the word “from.” In other words, in English the word from is superfluous. (Ok, so I have over 40 translations of the Hebrew Bible, so I was not looking for a recommended translation for everyday use.) I was looking for the absurdly literal translation that would include the word “from” the way some of my interlinears do. And obviously, not just this preposition, but others that may be left untranslated. And not just prepositions, but other grammatical details so that when I am working on my homework, I can do searches and look for examples in the Hebrew Bible. I learn better by looking at how real examples look in the Hebrew Bible than by just doing my assignments. So, the good news. I finally found, after looking for absurdly literal versions, one version that is perfect for my grammatical needs. It is the The Concordant Version of the Old Testament: Complete One Volume Large Print Edition Hardcover – 2014 (Hardcover). I downloaded the free PDF from the Concordant website. The pretty cool thing about the PDF is that I can search for specific examples throughout the Hebrew Bible, such as “bf” for “before,” or “bt” for “between” regardless of how the translator decided to render this word into English. And so my absurdly literal Hebrew Bible turns out not to be so absurd after all. But if you find another absurdly literal Hebrew Bible please recommend it (but please check Genesis 1:9) before doing so. Thanks to each and every one of you for the many interesting recommendations.

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Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 8:12 AM

Prepositions are notoriously idiosyncratic across languages. I don’t think this is a case of it being *not* translated; it's simply not required in good English, just as English does not use a marker for definite direct objects (Heb 'et).

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 10:55 AM

Ben, I hope that it makes some sense to wish to begin with an absurdly literal translation in order to recognize these grammatical forms. With time, this is going to be less important to me. I think. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 22 2019 11:28 AM

Gregorio Billikopf:
That is what I see in my BHS, but almost no translation into English incudes the word “from.” In other words, in English the word from is superfluous

Okay, let me suggest a flaw in your approach. The unit of meaning in a language is not a word but a sememe. From Wikipedia:"sememe (from Greek, Modern σημαίνω (sēmaínō), meaning 'mean, signify') is a semantic language unit of meaning, analogous to a morpheme. The concept is relevant in structural semiotics. A sememe is a proposed unit of transmitted or intended meaning; it is atomic or indivisible." Your question should be "where is the meaning of the Hebrew preposition captured in the English?"

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 240
Gregorio Billikopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 25 2019 5:59 PM

MJ, can you please help me understand the intended meaning of the expression "מִמֶּ֖נָּה" so frequent in early Genesis. Or, to phrase it the way you do, where is the meaning of מִמֶּ֖נָּה captured in the English?  (I note YLT sometimes uses "of it" or "from" but these sometimes drop

MJ. Smith:

Gregorio Billikopf:
That is what I see in my BHS, but almost no translation into English incudes the word “from.” In other words, in English the word from is superfluous

Okay, let me suggest a flaw in your approach. The unit of meaning in a language is not a word but a sememe. From Wikipedia:"sememe (from Greek, Modern σημαίνω (sēmaínō), meaning 'mean, signify') is a semantic language unit of meaning, analogous to a morpheme. The concept is relevant in structural semiotics. A sememe is a proposed unit of transmitted or intended meaning; it is atomic or indivisible." Your question should be "where is the meaning of the Hebrew preposition captured in the English?"

off the final version).

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 25 2019 9:13 PM

Gregorio Billikopf:
MJ, can you please help me understand the intended meaning of the expression "מִמֶּ֖נָּה" so frequent in early Genesis.

Sorry my Hebrew is pretty basic.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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