Any other English translations of Josephus

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Premo316
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Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by Premo316 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:10 pm

Does anybody here know if there are other English translations, besides William Whiston's,
available?

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spin
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by spin » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:57 am

Premo316 wrote:Does anybody here know if there are other English translations, besides William Whiston's,
available?
There are two Loeb editions. Look for Josephus here. It has links to Archive editions of Josephus (ie online) as well as the currently sold Loeb editions. Thackeray, Marcus & Feldman each have edited and translated sections of the works of Josephus for Loeb.
Dysexlia lures • ⅔ of what we see is behind our eyes

Premo316
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by Premo316 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:11 pm

spin wrote:
Premo316 wrote:Does anybody here know if there are other English translations, besides William Whiston's,
available?
There are two Loeb editions. Look for Josephus here. It has links to Archive editions of Josephus (ie online) as well as the currently sold Loeb editions. Thackeray, Marcus & Feldman each have edited and translated sections of the works of Josephus for Loeb.
Thanks

steve43
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by steve43 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:05 pm

Whiston is what I use.

Is there anything hugely controversial about his translation?

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spin
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by spin » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:46 pm

steve43 wrote:Whiston is what I use.

Is there anything hugely controversial about his translation?
It's centuries old, less accurate, uses words and word senses that will confuse the reader and a system of numbering that is obsolete. Besides that, it's free.
Dysexlia lures • ⅔ of what we see is behind our eyes

steve43
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by steve43 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:13 am

Less accurate in any substantive way? Thanks for being specific.

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spin
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by spin » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:45 pm

steve43 wrote:Less accurate in any substantive way? Thanks for being specific.
A few rough examples from AJ 18.63-64:

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful ("one ought") to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles ("Greeks"). He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him ("stop", ie stop loving him), for he appeared to them alive again the third day, because the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand ("innumerable") other wonderful things concerning him; and the sect ("tribe") of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

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DCHindley
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by DCHindley » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:56 pm

steve43 wrote:Less accurate in any substantive way? Thanks for being specific.
If you want to think that a translation made in 1737 is just as accuirate as one made in the 19th, 20th or 21st century, good luck with that.

Whiston had lots of kooky ideas (Josephus was a secret Christian) and obsessions (mainly about chronology)! I know of a perfect example of his kookiness.

To make his reconstruction of patriarchal chronology fit the following* scheme, he was faced at Ant Bk 1, Ch 6 sect 5 (Ant 1.148-153) with a Greek text that clearly says Ναχώρης δὲ Θέρρον εἰκοστὸν αὐτὸς [ἔτος] καὶ ἑκατοστὸν ἤδη γεγονὼς ἐγέννησε (Nahor begat Terah when he was one hundred and twenty years old). AHHHHH! Whiston could not bring himself to accept that!

Look at the 1960 Kregal edition of Whiston's translation, and you will find Whiston has made the text say "Mahor (sic, a completely made up name) begat Haran (sic, changing Terah into Haran, Abraham's brother) when he was one hundred and twenty years old." Then he asserts that the "original" text of Josephus says Nahor was 79 years old at the birth of Terah, with a variant being 28 or 29.

The truth is, it is the LXX portion of codex Alexandrinus that has 79 years (codex Vaticanus says 179 yrs) and the Masoretic Text that has 29 years. The critical text of Josephus by Benedict Niese (1885-1895) has 120 years. Whether the earlier critical Greek text used by Whiston (edited by Arnoldus Arlenius, 1544) had a different number here I do not know.

In other words, it is difficult to tell at first glance where he had made an emendation of the text without saying anything about it, or noting it in some odd corner of a Dissertation.

DCH

*Dissertation V
Text:
Josephus
Josephus
Josephus
Josephus
Josephus
Name: Calculated year of birth (Anno Mundi) Age at birth of son per text Calculated year of birth of son (Anno Mundi) age at death per text Calculated year of death (Anno Mundi)
SARUG 2927 132 3059 Not given
NAHOR 3059 79 3138 Not given
TERAH 3138 70 3208 205 3343
ABRAAM 3208 100 3308 175 3383

It should have been
Text:
Josephus
Josephus
Josephus
Josephus
Josephus
Name: Calculated year of birth (Anno Mundi) Age at birth of son per text Calculated year of birth of son (Anno Mundi) age at death per text Calculated year of death (Anno Mundi)
SARUG 2927 132 3059 Not given
NAHOR 3059 120 3179 Not given
TERAH 3179 70 3249 205 3384
ABRAAM 3249 100 3349 175 3424


andrewcriddle
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:32 pm

I think Mahor is a typo Introduced in Nimmo's late 19th century edition of Whiston's translation.

Andrew Criddle

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DCHindley
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Re: Any other English translations of Josephus

Post by DCHindley » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:16 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:I think Mahor is a typo Introduced in Nimmo's late 19th century edition of Whiston's translation.

Andrew Criddle
You may be right about Mahor being a typo.

The Kregal 1960 edition says "This new edition of the COMPLETE WORKS OF FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS is a combination of the William Whiston translation published by William P. Nimmo, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1867 and the Standard Edition published by Porter & Coates, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [ca. 1875]."

The Porter & Coates "Standard Edition" is undated, but believed to have been published in mid 1870s, and appears to be identical to that published by William Milner, Halifax, in MDCCCL(?) or 1850. Milner's edition has this misspelling as well. I can find earlier editions than these that do not contain the misspelling.

As a result, Milner's edition, rather than Nimmo's edition, may be the source for the typo. In other words, Nimmo pirated Milner's edition.

On the other hand, volume 1 of A. R. Shilleto's revision of Whiston's translation, part of the Bohn's Standard Library series, published by George Bell & Sons, London, 1889, the text "Nahor begat Haran" is corrected to "Nahor begat Terah" in line with the Greek editions used by both Whiston and Shilleto. Per BibleWorks 8, Niese's edition of the Greek text is nearly identical, differing only in the placement of the word "ἔτος" in line 149.

As for the question of the general quality of Whiston 's translation, Shilleto says in his preface:
THESE three volumes, comprising the “Life” and “ Antiquities,” form the first instalment of a revision of Whiston’s well-known translation of Josephus, which first saw the light in 1736, and has since that time retained the field, not so much from its intrinsic merit, as from the fact that the magnitude of the work, and the want of a good critical edition of Josephus’ Greek Text, has deterred scholars from the Atlantean labour of a new translation. In my revision there is, indeed, not much of Whiston left, though I have retained him where practicable. In revising him, I have amended his baldness, pruned and curtailed his archaisms, corrected his misspelling of names and mistranslations, and generally speaking been throughout close to the text where he has been turgid and paraphrastic. There are also frequently short omissions in Whiston’s translation. These I have restored.

With regard to Whiston’s Notes, some I have retained, some curtailed, some erased. Those I have omitted have been omitted on the following grounds. Many of them are puerile, many irrelevant, some based upon a less pure Greek text, some obtruding Whiston’s very strange and erratic notions on religion, some absolutely incorrect. I have added a W to all the Notes of Whiston which I have retained. The few critical Notes are my own.

Sir C. W. Wilson, one of the heroes of Khartoum, and well known earlier as one of the pioneers of Palestine Exploration, is responsible for the Geographical and Topographical Notes.

Josephus and his works are so well known, and so deservedly popular, that there is no need here to say anything about him or them. But one word is due as to the text which I have used in this revision. Neither the edition of Niese, nor the first instalment of that of Naber in the Bikbliotheca Teubneriana, appeared in time for me to make any use of them. I have translated from the edition of Diudorf, in the Didot collection of editions of Classical works, Paris, 1865.

With these few words I commend my revision of Whiston to the theological and general reader. These three volumes will at no distant date be followed by two more, which will contain “ The Jewish War,” and “Josephus on the Antiquity of the Jews against Apion.”

Cambridge,
September, 1889.
DCH :whistling:

Post updated 1/15/14, changes indicated in red

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