Saturday, 28 April 2018

Some of the disagreement about origins of the divine Name translation laid out

It is important to ground any research in other research - and all this Divine Name stuff I've been doing has been inspired by a number of scholarly perspectives and articles, that have seeped into my own perspective over time. The downside is it's pretty complex at times and does not all agree, but hopefully we can draw out some of the fascination that is there too (not least because it affects how we understand early perspectives of Jesus' conferred lordship among first and second century Christian communities). Of course, I've already mentioned Larry Hurtado as being one of the key figures that alerted me to the question of the anarthrous rule (no article) in the Greek translation of the Divine Name, Yahweh. I've also referenced already the great LXX scholar, Albert Pietersma, whose comments about indifference on the part of the Septuagint translators between Yahweh and Adonai in Psalms have spurred me on recently to document the different ways in which Yahweh and Adonai are translated into Kyrios in Greek (I have just emailed Dr. Pietersma about the evidence I describe in my post from October 2016 "Why This Research Matters" - if I hear back from him, I'll be sure to fill you in).

John Wevers is also a massive name in this field - he's passed away now, but he was able to respond to the question of the decaying consistency of the Kyrios translation in Psalms with respect to the Pentateuch and some of the other historical Hebrew books (which I have yet to get to). See the Hurtado hyperlink above.

Another contributor to my thought process was Larry Perkin's whose paper, which I reviewed and whose third point about the originality of the anarthrous Kyrios solution to the unpronounceable Yahweh problem, registered on my radar as a fundamental question. If we could demonstrate that the anarthrous solution was most stringently applied in the Pentateuch, but still applied in the other books of the Septuagint canon to a lesser degree, then we could unearth some potentially very interesting information about the Tetragrammaton conundrum as it was rolled out over time and maybe even over geographical locations. For Perkins and Martin Rösel, (see “The Reading and Translation of the Divine Name in the Masoretic Tradition and the Greek Pentateuch,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 31 (2007):  411-28), the translators came up with this directly (or Jewish religious authorities overseeing their Egypt-based translation). Emmanuel Tov, Koog Hong and others disagree, citing the lack of Greek Jewish papyri in support of the Kyrios solution. This problem is significant, and the Rosel camp that I think I belong to have yet to provide a satisfying solution to it, but the Pentateuch's perfection on the rule points to a much earlier placement than Tov and others suggest (he points to what has to be an impossible mechanical replacement of "iao", one of the extant early Greek options).

So with those few references in mind, we are ready to have a look at an interesting contribution by Koog Hong in my next post or two, who reasons in terms of Euphemism.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks very much for your feedback, really appreciate the interaction.