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  1. December 30, 2012 3:18 pm

    I read with interest this review of Barnstone by A. E. Harsley in Journal of Theological Studies:

    If you do not institutional free access to the review, just let me know, and I’ll e-mail it to you.

  2. December 31, 2012 10:27 am

    Thank you, Theophrastus. I managed to get a copy of Harseley’s review. Don’t you think that he’s a little picky and some confused? Yes, he rightly notes the editorial failings to catch such unfortunate misprints as “I have caught the good fight.” And he correctly observes inconsistencies in English transliterations of the Greek spellings. But Harseley shows himself completely unfamiliar with the Hebraic terms Barnstone’s New Testament restores; for example:

    The result of these lexical ‘restorations’ is to give the text and unfamiliar appearance. Jesus becomes consistently Yeshua, he is Mashiah, born in Beit Lehem in Yehuda, and so forth — and a glossary is conveniently provided in case the reader has difficulties, as might well be the case, say, with Zeharyahu (Zechariah). But whether the conventional Englishing of already Graecized names has had quite the distancting effect that Barnstone argues for is perhaps questionable. Doesn’t ‘Isaiah’ already sound, as a name, totally un-English, indeed un-European, a representative of distinctly Hebrew culture? Does its foreignness need to be enhanced by the more literal rendering Yeshayahu?

    Those last three sentences make Harseley sound a little anti-semitic, and a good bit xenophobic and out of touch, which is exactly what Barnstone’s translation is confronting ironically.

  3. December 31, 2012 1:04 pm

    Hmm, well, I think calling Harseley remarks “a little anti-semitic” for those last three sentences is a bit too much — but he does seem to be ignorant of English Jewish writings about the Bible. Were “Isaiah Berlin” and “Isaiah Harris” and “Isaiah Washington” and “Isaiah Mustafa” and “Isaiah Kiplangat Koech” and so forth really “totally un-English, indeed un-European”?

    And how can he fail to recognize that Yeshayahu is very close to the Tetragrammaton — containing at the end three of the four letters containing God’s name.


  1. Hal Taussig’s “A New New Testament” (and the Open English Bible) | BLT

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