Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
beowulf
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Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by beowulf » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:14 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4782856.stm


Several contemporary translations of a simple verse, Daniel 12:4 which was translated by teams of reputable translators :


1-Artscrol English Tanach, Stone Edition
12:4 As for you, Daniel, obscure the matters and seal the book, until the time of the End, let many muse and let knowledge increase

2-The Catholic Study Bible , Second Edition
12.4 As for you, Daniel, Keep secret the message and seal the book until the end of time; many shall wander aimlessly and evil shall increase

3-The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha
12.4 4But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back and forth, and evil* shall increase.’
(")Cn Compare Gk: Heb knowledge

4- The Oxford Study Bible, Revised English Bible
12.4 4But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many will rush to and fro, trying to gain such knowledge.

And the old, beloved Septuagint
5-The Septuagint
DANIEL / ΔΑΝΙΗΛ
http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-te ... 50&page=12
Daniel 12.4
4 And thou, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book to the time of the end; until many are taught, and knowledge is increased.
4 καὶ σύ, Δανιήλ, ἔμφραξον τοὺς λόγους καὶ σφράγισον τὸ βιβλίον ἕως καιροῦ συντελείας, ἕως διδαχθῶσι πολλοὶ καὶ πληθυνθῇ ἡ γνῶσις

Could anyone claim that their particular translation is the right one and that all the other translations , that don't agree with his darling one do it because they, are the victims of some social disease ,such as heresy , confessional infection, ignorance ...

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DCHindley
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by DCHindley » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:37 am

beowulf wrote:Several contemporary translations of a simple verse, Daniel 12:4 which was translated by teams of reputable translators:

[Some say "knowledge will be increased" and some say that "unrighteousness will be increased"]

Could anyone claim that their particular translation is the right one and that all the other translations , that don't agree with his darling one do it because they, are the victims of some social disease ,such as heresy , confessional infection, ignorance ...
It is not the translation, but the underlying text being translated.

(Dan 12:4 in the Hebrew text transmitted via the Masoretes) יְשֹׁטְט֥וּ רַבִּ֖ים וְתִרְבֶּ֥ה הַדָּֽעַת׃
Many will go on frantically, but knowledge will increase greatly

Unfortunately, of the 8 mss of Daniel found among the DSS, none preserves Dan 12. The only fragment from chapter 12 is an "adapted" form of Dan 12:10 quoted in 4Q174 (Florilegium), where it is explicitly said to have been written in the Book of Daniel the prophet. Could the DSS version been different than that preserved by the Masoretes? Who really knows, but imaginations run wild.

(Dan 12:4 in the Old Greek translation made by Jews) ἀπομανῶσιν οἱ πολλοὶ καὶ πλησθῇ ἡ γῆ ἀδικίας
Many will rage to the uttermost, and fill the land with unrighteousness

(Dan 12:4 in the later Greek translation of Theodotion preferred by Christians for their Old Testament) διδαχθῶσιν πολλοὶ καὶ πληθυνθῇ ἡ γνῶσις
Many will teach, and knowledge will increase

(Dan 12:4 in the Latin Vulgate) tu autem Danihel clude sermones et signa librum usque ad tempus statutum
many will pass to and fro and knowledge will be multiplied

You now have your choice of four underlying texts from which to translate into English. Some translations (Douay-Rheims) prefer to use a translation based on the Old Greek translation or Latin Vulgate, perhaps suspecting that the Hebrew of Daniel here as handed down by the Masoretes is not firmly established in the 1st century BCE, others prefer the Hebrew as it has been handed down by the Masoretes, others may prefer Theodotion's translation that Christians used in their "Old Testament."

DCH :shifty:

beowulf
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by beowulf » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:52 am

DCHindley wrote:
beowulf wrote:Several contemporary translations of a simple verse, Daniel 12:4 which was translated by teams of reputable translators:

[Some say "knowledge will be increased" and some say that "unrighteousness will be increased"]

Could anyone claim that their particular translation is the right one and that all the other translations , that don't agree with his darling one do it because they, are the victims of some social disease ,such as heresy , confessional infection, ignorance ...
It is not the translation, but the underlying text being translated.

(Dan 12:4 in the Hebrew text transmitted via the Masoretes) יְשֹׁטְט֥וּ רַבִּ֖ים וְתִרְבֶּ֥ה הַדָּֽעַת׃
Many will go on frantically, but knowledge will increase greatly

Unfortunately, of the 8 mss of Daniel found among the DSS, none preserves Dan 12. The only fragment from chapter 12 is an "adapted" form of Dan 12:10 quoted in 4Q174 (Florilegium), where it is explicitly said to have been written in the Book of Daniel the prophet. Could the DSS version been different than that preserved by the Masoretes? Who really knows, but imaginations run wild.

(Dan 12:4 in the Old Greek translation made by Jews) ἀπομανῶσιν οἱ πολλοὶ καὶ πλησθῇ ἡ γῆ ἀδικίας
Many will rage to the uttermost, and fill the land with unrighteousness

(Dan 12:4 in the later Greek translation of Theodotion preferred by Christians for their Old Testament) διδαχθῶσιν πολλοὶ καὶ πληθυνθῇ ἡ γνῶσις
Many will teach, and knowledge will increase

(Dan 12:4 in the Latin Vulgate) tu autem Danihel clude sermones et signa librum usque ad tempus statutum
many will pass to and fro and knowledge will be multiplied

You now have your choice of four underlying texts from which to translate into English. Some translations (Douay-Rheims) prefer to use a translation based on the Old Greek translation or Latin Vulgate, perhaps suspecting that the Hebrew of Daniel here as handed down by the Masoretes is not firmly established in the 1st century BCE, others prefer the Hebrew as it has been handed down by the Masoretes, others may prefer Theodotion's translation that Christians used in their "Old Testament."

DCH :shifty:
Thank you DH.
Where did you find this translation?, please
Many will go frantically, but knowledge will increase greatly



The Greek Translations
(Dan 12:4 in the Old Greek translation made by Jews) ἀπομανῶσιν οἱ πολλοὶ καὶ πλησθῇ ἡ γῆ ἀδικίας
Many will rage to the uttermost, and fill the land with unrighteousness
The Septuagint translation is not like the one translated by Jews,


And the old, beloved Septuagint
5-The Septuagint
DANIEL / ΔΑΝΙΗΛ
http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-te ... 50&page=12
Daniel 12.4
4 And thou, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book to the time of the end; until many are taught, and knowledge is increased.
4 καὶ σύ, Δανιήλ, ἔμφραξον τοὺς λόγους καὶ σφράγισον τὸ βιβλίον ἕως καιροῦ συντελείας, ἕως διδαχθῶσι πολλοὶ καὶ πληθυνθῇ ἡ γνῶσις

Should we use the " Old Greek translation made by Jews"?
Should the Old Greek translation made by Jews and the Masorets translation be almost the same?

semiopen
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by semiopen » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:36 pm

It's easiest for me to go by a few general rules.

Jewish translations are always better than Christian ones. This is probably the result of the Christians having Yoshkieitis clouding their judgment.

JPS 1985 (TNK) is the best overall English translation -
"But you, Daniel, keep the words secret, and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will range far and wide and knowledge will increase." (Dan 12:4 TNK)
JPS 1917 is also pretty good except the translators thought they were in Medieval England -
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' (Dan 12:4 JPS)
I don't see any big problems with the Hebrew text.

Beowulf, I don't know much about the Septuagint, but Daniel is a very late work and I doubt if the same nice Jewish boys who translated Exodus for example, were the same guys who translated Daniel.

beowulf
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by beowulf » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:35 pm

Thank you, semiopen,

I have used the JPS Study Bible for years , but I did not include it in my list because the Stone Edition is much the same .

Bible translations are always confessional, after all a bible is a confessional declaration of religious faith. I have no religion, but I understand why religious people prefer one version over another and I like them to quote freely from their religious texts . Then I may choose to comment on what it is presented. In some cases I present an alternative translation as my personal understanding of a particular passage.

The verse 12:4 seems to say , according to the commentary of the Stone Edition, that the text was made obscure by divine design and there is little point in glorifying one version and insulting the other if the text was made to be the cause of confusion.

6- "Artscroll English Tanach , Stone Edition.
12.4 as for you, Daniel, obscure the matters and seal the book, until the time of the End, let many muse and let knowledge increase (*)
(*) write the prophecies in an obscure manner so that the exact meaning remains unclear. People will have to investigate thoroughly and search hard to discern the true intent of these prophecies."

The Book of Daniel is found in the Writings section of the Jewish Bible , while Daniel is included in the Prophets section of Christian Bibles. That alone is a big difference that should be respected if two people want to talk about Daniel.

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DCHindley
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by DCHindley » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:37 am

beowulf wrote:
DCHindley wrote:Thank you DH.
Where did you find this translation?, please
Many will go frantically, but knowledge will increase greatly
The Septuagint translation is not like the one translated by Jews,

Should we use the " Old Greek translation made by Jews"?

Should the Old Greek translation made by Jews and the Masorets translation be almost the same?
They are "glosses" made by highlighting each Greek or Hebrew word in BibleWorks (which is the bible text program I tend to use for source language materials) and then "translating" them to mean something like the original text cited.

The critical Hebrew text, usually based on the Leningrad codex, is the text plus vowel pointing not in the original Hebrew that was preserved my the Jewish Masoret scholars, dated somewhere after 400-600 CE (I think). This is often known as the Masoretic Text (MT). However, we also know from the DSS biblical fragments that the Hebrew text of various books existed with significant variant readings in the 1st couple centuries BCE.

Some scholars (particularly F M Cross) group a set of DSS variant readings and usually call it the "Palestinian Text," and another set called the "Egyptian Text," and a third the "Babylonian Text." Most of the time the wording and grammar is pretty much the same across text types, but sometimes they can be significantly different.

The Samaritan Hebrew text of the five books of the Law, for instance, most closely resembled the variant text tradition the aforementioned scholars call the "Palestinian Text."

The Greek translation of the Law (the Lxx) and most of the Old Greek translations of other books preserved in the Christian OT most closely resemble the "Egyptian text."

The Masorets preserved the Hebrew "Babylonian Text" type.

Clear as mud? :scratch: Good ...

So, assuming the classifications Cross came up with are not in fact circular in reasoning, there were three variant Hebrew textual traditions floating about in antiquity.

From these, various Greek translations were made in the first couple centuries BCE. Unfortunately, not all books of Hebrew sacred writings represented by these three textual traditions were translated into Greek, or if they were, they have not been preserved or preserved only as fragments.

The set of Greek translations preserved by Christians as their Old Testament was pretty much the Greek translations made by Jews of Alexandria from the Egyptian textual tradition of the five books of the Law (the Lxx, or "Seventy (two)" = Septuagint), and the other books (now called "Old Greek" versions). The Christians basically used the Greek translations made by Jews that were commonly available in the 1st century and later.

When the Christians started to make claims about the superiority of Christian doctrines based on the Lxx or Old Greek translations, some Jews made attempts at retranslating some of these books (mainly from the Prophets and Writings) usually from the Babylonian Hebrew text type, if I remember correctly, in the first couple centuries CE. The quality of the translations could vary from nice flowing prose to rough super literal glosses.

The translation of Daniel by the Jewish translator Theodotion was so literal that the Christians actually adopted it over smoother Old Greek translation they had previously used, because it allowed them to form even more bizarre interpretations that "prophesized" Jesus as the Christ.

Thus you have a pool of three Hebrew versions and sometimes more than one Greek translations based on these different Hebrew text types. Based on what an English translator thinks the "correct" Hebrew text, sometimes reconstructed with the help of the various Greek translations, the various English translations may be miles apart from one another.

The Hebrew MT, based on the Babylonian text tradition, says something akin to "Many will go on frantically, but knowledge will increase greatly."

The Old Greek translation of Daniel, probably based on the Egyptian Hebrew text tradition, says something like "Many will rage to the uttermost, and fill the land with unrighteousness," which is quite different from what was in the Babylonian textual tradition.

Theodotion's later Greek translation of Daniel says something like "Many will teach, and knowledge will increase," suggesting it was probably based on the Babylonian Text tradition.

So, English translation is a lot like "chef's choice" when eating at a diner.

DCH :crazy:

ficino
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by ficino » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:35 am

semiopen wrote:It's easiest for me to go by a few general rules.

Jewish translations are always better than Christian ones. This is probably the result of the Christians having Yoshkieitis clouding their judgment.
semiopen, I've been curious, and I finally can't contain my curiosity: why do you generally use the name Yoshke? I don't see anyone else on here use it, and the standard English is, of course, Jesus. What does its use accomplish?

Just wondering,

cheers, f

semiopen
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by semiopen » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:02 am

ficino wrote:
semiopen wrote:It's easiest for me to go by a few general rules.

Jewish translations are always better than Christian ones. This is probably the result of the Christians having Yoshkieitis clouding their judgment.
semiopen, I've been curious, and I finally can't contain my curiosity: why do you generally use the name Yoshke? I don't see anyone else on here use it, and the standard English is, of course, Jesus. What does its use accomplish?

Just wondering,

cheers, f
I do it to honor my late father who introduced me to the term.

If you use Jesus, you are perilously close to using the C word.

beowulf
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by beowulf » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:31 am

DCHindley wrote:They are "glosses" made by highlighting each Greek or Hebrew word in BibleWorks (which is the bible text program I tend to use for source language materials) and then "translating" them to mean something like the original text cited.

The critical Hebrew text, usually based on the Leningrad codex, is the text plus vowel pointing not in the original Hebrew that was preserved my the Jewish Masoret scholars, dated somewhere after 400-600 CE (I think). This is often known as the Masoretic Text (MT). However, we also know from the DSS biblical fragments that the Hebrew text of various books existed with significant variant readings in the 1st couple centuries BCE.

Some scholars (particularly F M Cross) group a set of DSS variant readings and usually call it the "Palestinian Text," and another set called the "Egyptian Text," and a third the "Babylonian Text." Most of the time the wording and grammar is pretty much the same across text types, but sometimes they can be significantly different.

The Samaritan Hebrew text of the five books of the Law, for instance, most closely resembled the variant text tradition the aforementioned scholars call the "Palestinian Text."

The Greek translation of the Law (the Lxx) and most of the Old Greek translations of other books preserved in the Christian OT most closely resemble the "Egyptian text."

The Masorets preserved the Hebrew "Babylonian Text" type.

Clear as mud? :scratch: Good ...

So, assuming the classifications Cross came up with are not in fact circular in reasoning, there were three variant Hebrew textual traditions floating about in antiquity.

From these, various Greek translations were made in the first couple centuries BCE. Unfortunately, not all books of Hebrew sacred writings represented by these three textual traditions were translated into Greek, or if they were, they have not been preserved or preserved only as fragments.

The set of Greek translations preserved by Christians as their Old Testament was pretty much the Greek translations made by Jews of Alexandria from the Egyptian textual tradition of the five books of the Law (the Lxx, or "Seventy (two)" = Septuagint), and the other books (now called "Old Greek" versions). The Christians basically used the Greek translations made by Jews that were commonly available in the 1st century and later.

When the Christians started to make claims about the superiority of Christian doctrines based on the Lxx or Old Greek translations, some Jews made attempts at retranslating some of these books (mainly from the Prophets and Writings) usually from the Babylonian Hebrew text type, if I remember correctly, in the first couple centuries CE. The quality of the translations could vary from nice flowing prose to rough super literal glosses.

The translation of Daniel by the Jewish translator Theodotion was so literal that the Christians actually adopted it over smoother Old Greek translation they had previously used, because it allowed them to form even more bizarre interpretations that "prophesized" Jesus as the Christ.

Thus you have a pool of three Hebrew versions and sometimes more than one Greek translations based on these different Hebrew text types. Based on what an English translator thinks the "correct" Hebrew text, sometimes reconstructed with the help of the various Greek translations, the various English translations may be miles apart from one another.

The Hebrew MT, based on the Babylonian text tradition, says something akin to "Many will go on frantically, but knowledge will increase greatly."

The Old Greek translation of Daniel, probably based on the Egyptian Hebrew text tradition, says something like "Many will rage to the uttermost, and fill the land with unrighteousness," which is quite different from what was in the Babylonian textual tradition.

Theodotion's later Greek translation of Daniel says something like "Many will teach, and knowledge will increase," suggesting it was probably based on the Babylonian Text tradition.

So, English translation is a lot like "chef's choice" when eating at a diner.

DCH :crazy:
The bible seems to have been a very popular book in ancient times, attracting all sort of readers .The amazing thing is that still does ! Innovators are even now rewriting the NT with new unlikely heroes and ever more weird story lines.


Lawrence Schiffman writes that "as for the reading of the Torah, it is virtually certain that the Greek Bible texts, of which the Septuagint is an example, were in use ".He adds, " The Septuagint began to take shape in the third century BCE in response to the need of the Alexandrian Jewish community. By the second century the books of the latter prophets, then the former , were translated as well. Some of the Writings had also been translated by the beginning of the second century BCE ,whereas others were rendered into Greek only in the first century."


The Greek Bible texts were currently in use for some two centuries prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and it would have been the " God inspired" bible of the Diaspora for both Jews and Gentiles. The Septuagint is the most ancient translation of the most ancient Hebrew text.


Should we be using English translations of the Greek Bible , instead of the modified masoretic versions of around the eighth century?


Lawrence Schiffman :From Text to Tradition, A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism
http://www.amazon.com/Tradition-History ... 0881253723
Page 89, 92.

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DCHindley
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Re: Baa Baa Black Sheep and Baa Baa White Sheep

Post by DCHindley » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:19 am

beo,

I don't own a copy of Schiffman's book, but I am going to guess that the rhetorical question "Should we be using English translations of the Greek Bible , instead of the modified masoretic versions of around the eighth century?" is yours and not Schiffman's.

There's a book out, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (I think), that translates the major variants in the biblical books found near Qumran. From what I understand, among the various DSS scrolls or fragments have been found of all the books of the Hebrew Bible except Esther (my memory may be faulty, as I am home sick today and fairly miserable). Some of them are found in multiple discreet copies while others in maybe one copy or a passage cited by one of the "sectarian" texts, such as manuals of conduct, apocalypses and other revelations. While a few fragments from Old Greek translations of the books of the Law and maybe some of the Prophets also survive, I do not think that the "Greek additions" to Daniel or other "Deutero-canonical" books were found.

If you are investigating the worldview of early Christians, then the Lxx (5 books of the Law) and Old Greek translations, especially those preserved by Christians as part of the "Old Testament" (the Jews wouldn't have considered them "Old" as they did not accept the Christian's "New" testament), are key. There are citations of Judean scripture in the NT (which is 100% written in Greek) that seem to be closer to the Hebrew of the MT than to the Lxx or Old Greek transmitted as the Christian OT, but whether this indicates any familiarity on their part with Hebrew is subject to debate. They just might reflect the text of other Greek translations floating about at that time which have not been preserved whole.

If one is looking for a devotional reading, might as well use the English translations that use the Hebrew MT, as it is by far the best attested. Most of the translations, especially the most recent ones, will incorporate the variants found among the DSS if they seem to preserve a superior reading (and there are some good examples of this illustrated in the DSS Bible.) Some of the Catholic sponsored bibles, like the New American Bible, follow the Hebrew primarily but give more value to the readings from the Lxx and Old Greek than other (mainly Protestant sponsored) translations do.

Grendel (cough, wheeze) :goodmorning:
beowulf wrote:The bible seems to have been a very popular book in ancient times, attracting all sort of readers .The amazing thing is that still does ! Innovators are even now rewriting the NT with new unlikely heroes and ever more weird story lines.

Lawrence Schiffman writes that "as for the reading of the Torah, it is virtually certain that the Greek Bible texts, of which the Septuagint is an example, were in use ".He adds, " The Septuagint began to take shape in the third century BCE in response to the need of the Alexandrian Jewish community. By the second century the books of the latter prophets, then the former , were translated as well. Some of the Writings had also been translated by the beginning of the second century BCE ,whereas others were rendered into Greek only in the first century."

The Greek Bible texts were currently in use for some two centuries prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and it would have been the " God inspired" bible of the Diaspora for both Jews and Gentiles. The Septuagint is the most ancient translation of the most ancient Hebrew text.

Should we be using English translations of the Greek Bible , instead of the modified masoretic versions of around the eighth century?


Lawrence Schiffman :From Text to Tradition, A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism
http://www.amazon.com/Tradition-History ... 0881253723
Page 89, 92.

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