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Did a Septuagint Hellene spin enable Odd Gospel Greek imbibing?

August 7, 2013

What do you think?

  1. The LXX translator’s Hellene for David’s Hebrew (Psalm 23:5)
  2. Albert Pietersma’s English translation
  3. Lancelot Brenton’s English
  1. καὶ τὸ ποτήριόν σου μεθύσκον ὡς κράτιστον
  2. “and your cup was supremely intoxicating”
  3. “and thy cup cheers me like the best [wine].”
  1. Odd Gospel Greek (John 2:10)
  2. Ann Nyland’s English translation
  3. Willis Barnstone’s English
  1. πᾶς ἄνθρωπος πρῶτον τὸν καλὸν οἶνον τίθησι[ν] καὶ ὅταν μεθυσθῶσι[ν] τὸν ἐλάσσω
  2. “Everyone serves the best wine first and then brings out the worse stuff when the guests have got drunk–”
  3. “Everybody serves the good wine first, and when the guests are drunk brings out the inferior kind.”

related posts:

Interpretive Spins and Literary Sparks in the Ψαλμοὶ: pt 3, intemperate David

Psalms 22 LXX (23); Septuagint Studies

John 2:10 – Drunk freely? Mistranslation?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2013 9:01 am

    That’s just brilliant. Definitely a hmmm moment. And I also enjoyed the “Drunk freely” post in the related section.

  2. August 9, 2013 10:57 am

    The New English Translation of the Septuagint renders Psalm 22:6 (23:6 in the Masoretic Text): “…your cup is supremely intoxicating.”

  3. August 9, 2013 11:27 am

    Thanks, James. In this post, I really should have connected the odd gospel greek (attributed to Jesus’s as spoken Hellene) – Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός – with the LXX translator’s Hellene for David’s Hebrew (Psalm 23:5). Some time ago at another blog, I did just that with a post, “The Good, the Baad, and the Translation of Psalm 23.”

    Brant, Thanks for that note. Suzanne (my co-blogger here at BLT, some time ago at another blog), has posted “Psalm 23 in stereovision,” in which she fully lines out the Hellene with the NETS rendering.

  4. August 9, 2013 11:39 am

    I wonder if Suzanne helped Pietersma with his translating. Suzanne? You have acknowledged that “Al Pietersma editor of the New English Translation of the Septuagint, an encourager and a friend” of yours, adding: “He taught me to translate without a crib.” My guess is that he gained a good bit from your observations.

    Going along with the stereovision idea, this sure has been a helpful and thought-provoking post, Suzanne: “The Bilingual Nature of the Septuagint” (excerpting Pietersma’s essay “A New Paradigm for Addressing Old Questions: The Relevance of the Interlinear Model for the Study of the Septuagint.”)

  5. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    August 10, 2013 1:30 am

    I don’t think Al Pietersma learned much from me. I do know that we were so naive in those days that we never even thought of looking for an English translation for certain books that we read, like Maccabees 4 and Susannah and the Elders, and Tobit, and so on. We just slogged along with the Greek, and the biggest dictionary we could find in the library.

  6. August 10, 2013 7:29 pm

    I’m sure your translations of “Maccabees 4 and Susannah and the Elders, and Tobit, and so on” are the better for your working so carefully through them. I am very impressed with your understanding of LXX Greek (and of course other languages, some I would guess Dr. Piertersma does not know yet).

    Have you read Michael Asser’s English translation of the Greek translation (LXX) of the Psalms? He has the following for the bit under discussion here:

    and like the best wine doth Thy cup inebriate me.


  1. Biblical Studies Carnival: August, 2013 | NEAR EMMAUS

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