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From:  Stuart Thiessen
Date:  Wed May 31, 2000  10:01 pm
Subject:  Re: Hello

You are mixing up your terminology when you mix translations and
paraphrases in the same sentence. A paraphrase is when you restate the
original document in your own words. A translation on the other hand will
attempt to recreate the original sentence in a form that the target
language will accept. Some translations may follow the sentence structure
of the original language, and some may focus more on transferring the
sentence into the sentence structure of the target language. So, in the
sentence you cite, the English translation, "In the beginning, God (Elohim)
created the heavens and the earth" is a proper _translation_. Technically,
your second rendition is a _paraphrase_. The concept of "emanations" is
not in the passage itself, which makes that an interpretation of the
passage rather than a strict translation as was the first sentence.
"Emanations" would be a concept more likely found in Hinduism or Buddhism
rather than Old Testament Judaism.

Also, it would not be surprising if the translation went verse by
verse. That is the order of the narrative. For Bible translations, it is
best to fit within the existing verse divisions because it makes it
possible for people to look in any translation and find the verse
regardless of which language or which translation. It may be possible that
the verse divisions will not always cut as neatly as it does for English,
but any good translation should follow the general pattern of the
narrative. Otherwise, it does become a paraphrase. It would, however, be
a surprise if it was a word for word rendition of an English translation
(or from the Greek or Hebrew originals).

Well, enough on that for now. Just wanted to clarify what seemed to me a
confusing post.

At 03:15 05/22/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>If the ASL versions of James are a new translation from Greek and Hebrew
>directly into ASL, it would be surprising if they did follow verse by verse
>an English translation which is at its best a paraphrase from the original
>Example of Hebrew into English.
>B'reishit b'ara Elohim hashamayim minhaaretz.
>As to origin created Elohim the heavens and the soil.
>As emanation from the Divine Self were the heavens and the earth brought
>At start, God made heaven, God made Earth. [ASL Gloss]
>Happen start Gods [the word is plural] made Heavens and Gods made Earth.
>[Accurate pidgin Signed English]

{A theological side note to your last comment: Technically, Elohim is
properly translated God rather than gods in your PSE translation. Elohim
is plural, but it is generally understood as a name for the One True God.
If you look further in the chapter, Elohim is referred to with a singular
pronoun in verse 27. This is an obvious indication that Elohim is intended
as a name or reference for the One True God. In Old Testament thought,
there is but one God. (Deut 6:4: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the
LORD is one.") Usually, the context is clear if it is referring to the gods
of the nations surrounding them, or the One True God. In this case, Elohim
is obviously referring to the One True God rather than to a plurality of gods.}

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