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Gender Issues in Ancient and Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4$
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Helen Kraus

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600786.001.0001

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The Problem of Translation

The Problem of Translation

(p.7) Chapter 1 The Problem of Translation
Gender Issues in Ancient and Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4

Helen Kraus

Oxford University Press

This chapter sets out the difficulties encountered by translators. No language corresponds exactly with another as regards grammar, syntax or semantic domain. True translation is therefore impossible, which forces translators to make compromises. In Bible translation the situation is even more complex as the context of faith has a bearing on interpretation and may ultimately influence the formulation of doctrine. There are two main approaches to translation: firstly the precise linguistic or philological (e.g. Jerome) and, secondly, the hermeneutical, the cognitive and affective or ‘inspired’ (e.g. Augustine). Rabbinic writings make a similar distinction with peshat and derash respectively. Issues of ‘political correctness’ of both source and receptor languages may also have to be taken into account, as do semantic shifts.

Keywords:   Bible translation, grammar, syntax, doctrine, linguistics, philology, hermeneutics, peshat, derash, semantic shifts

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