Newsletter of the United Bible Societies Translation Information Clearinghouse
Article: Happy Birthday(s) to the King James Bible, by Sarah Lind
Publication Notices on Bible Translation
Publication Notices on Biblical Studies
Publication Notices on Translation and Linguistics
Announcement and Conferences
News and Notes: Farewell to Harold Scanlin
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Happy Birthday(s) to the King James Bible
by Sarah Lind
The annals of English Bible translation have imposed a surfeit of anniversaries to be celebrated. It’s almost the KJV’s turn. In 1911 the 300th anniversary of the completion of the KJV was feted by programs and publications in Great Britain and around the United States; the 350th anniversary was also commemorated. We may expect that 2011 will bring more of the same.
But for some, final product dates are just not enough. Perhaps it is the current fixation on process over product that inspired the SBL panel discussion among English Bible scholars this November to mark the 400th anniversary, not of the publication, but of the proposal and king’s go-ahead for the new translation that would be known as the King James Bible, in January 1604. The panel was cosponsored by ABS and organized by David Burke, and will be followed up by a similar meeting in New York in June 2004.
Already in 1911, a bibliography of works about the English Bible, and the KJV in particular, goes on for pages (21 to be exact, in the ABS 1911 Bibliography of the King James Version), and the 20th century is peppered with many more such works. Now it seems these approaching KJV anniversaries are being heralded by an extraordinary profusion of histories and surveys and reflections on the English Bible.
One such publication, Alister McGrath’s In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, andCulture (Random House, 2001), was the focus of the SBL event, itself anticipated in the September issue of the new onlineSBL Forum by a number of articles and interviews on the KJV and a review of three recent historical treatments, including McGrath. (An extensive consideration of McGrath from a translator’s point of view is W.W. Wessel’s “A Translator’s Perspective on Alister McGrath’s History of the King James Version,” in The Challenge of Bible Translation: Communicating God’s Word to the World: Essays in Honor of Ronald F. Youngblood, G.G. Scorgie, M.L. Strauss, and S.M. Voth, eds., Zondervan, 2003, 199-211.) To access the SBL Forum issue, go to http://www.sbl-site.org/, select Search the Archive, put in a start date of 9/1/2003 and keyword “KJV.”
Many of the works cited below have already been noted in TT at one time or another. They’re brought together here, with a few new ones, to give a clearer picture of the remarkable amount of activity in this field.
Studies of the KJV
As Harold Scanlin wrote to me, “the field has been so well worked in the past nearly 400 years that it’s probably hard to come up with anything really new.The major exception was the discovery and study, from the 1960’s to 90’s, of some manuscripts and annotated working copies used by the KJV translators.”
That study has been carried out mainly by Ward Allen, most recently with Edward C. Jacobs inThe Coming of the King James Gospels: A Collation of the Translators’ Work-in-Progress (University of Arkansas Press, 1995). The authors collate the scribal notes in a copy of the Bishops’ Bible used to record revisions for the Gospels. The book reproduces the text of the Bishops’ Bible, the proposed revisions, and the final form accepted in the KJV. KJV translator John Bois’s notes were first published and annotated by Allen in 1969, and a more recently discovered earlier copy is collated with Allen’s copy by David Norton in “John Bois’s Notes on the Revision of the King James Bible New Testament: A New Manuscript” (The Library 1996 18/4:328-346). Bois’s notes, the only known notes of the committees’ discussions, “give a unique insight into the way the translators worked, and they show above all the translators’ sensitivity to the nuances of the Greek and the level of scholarship they brought to their work” (Norton, 328).
Another presentation of original work by the translators is The Translators to the Reader: The Original Preface of the King James Version of 1611 Revisited, probably written by Miles Smith, and edited by E. Rhodes and L. Lupas of the American Bible Society (ABS, 1997). This very helpful edition offers a facsimile of the original preface of the 1611 edition, a transcription in roman type adjusting the orthography to modern American usage and complemented by Lupas’s meticulous and erudite notes, and a “modern form” of the text, where archaic idioms and syntax have been replaced by modern language. A preface sets the Preface in its historical context.
Since the records of the revision work are so scant, a number of writers over the centuries have tried to imagine how the work might have gone. A notable example is Rudyard Kipling’s short story “Proofs of Holy Writ,” where the translators enlist the help ofShakespeare. With a little more knowledge of the circumstances, Norton attempts a small reconstruction, first of the committee at work on the Revised Version (1885), then projecting back to a KJV committee in session (“Imagining Translation Committees at Work: The King James and the Revised Versions,” 157-168 in Bible as Book: The Reformation, O’Sullivan, O., ed., British Library; Oak Knoll Press in assoc. with the Scriptorium, 2000).
Finally, on the subject of the original work, several publishers have brought out a form of the 1611 edition. Hendrickson’s presents the text with its original marginal notes, preface and other introductory material, as well as including the Apocrypha, which has frequently been omitted, especially since the 19th century. While the page layout of the original 1611 edition is retained, the text is set in modern type (I wasn’t able to check which 1611 edition was used or whether the errors of the edition have been retained.) Alfred Pollard’s classic essay (1911) on pre-1611 English translations and the history of the KJV is also included (Holy Bible, 1611 Edition, Hendrickson, 2003). Oxford University Press had done the same thing in 1911, with both a facsimile edition and an edition in roman type, with Pollard’s introduction and compilation of historical documents relating to the translation and publication of the English Bible from 1525-1611. Nelson also has a 1611 edition (1989, 1993), and Vintage Archives has a full-sized replica of one of the 1611 editions (2000).
Many of the new histories of the KJV are aimed at the general reader, each with its own particular focus. Adam Nicolson’s Power and Glory: Jacobean England and the Making of the King James Bible (HarperCollins, 2003) concentrates on the political context of James’s court and his bishops. (U.S. title: God’s secretaries: The making of the King James Bible.) McGrath, cited above, pays special attention to the impact of the development of the printing press and consequent technological innovations that affected the creation and influence of the KJV.
While their books cover much more territory than just the KJV, David Daniell (The Bible in English: Its History and Influence, Yale University Press, 2003) and David Norton (A History of the Bible as Literature, Cambridge University Press, 1993) provide highly informative and well-documented discussions of the making of that Bible.
David Neff(“A Translation Fit for a King,” Christianity Today 2001 45/13: 36-39,75) explores ways in which the availability of the Bible and its language of freedom, even in the relatively conservative form of the KJV, promoted the secular politics of liberty.
There’s even a book aimed at teenagers. Phyllis Corzine (The King James Bible: Christianity’s Definitive Text, Lucent Books, 2000) describes how the KJV came to be, the scholars involved, sources used, and the religious and political environment. She compares various translations of the same passages, calling attention to how the language changed.
Influences on the KJV
A number of studies set the stage for the KJV by looking at earlier translations and translators. Lynne Long (Translating the Bible: From the 7th to the 17th Century, Ashgate Publishing, 2001) goes all the way back to the 600s in a literary study of the processes involved in Bible translation. She investigates translation practice from Bede and Caedmon to Alfred and Aelfric, to Wyclif and the impact of printing, to Tyndale, concluding with the KJV. Her interest, unlike the social/political/religious histories of the books that follow, is in using translation theory as a tool for the literary analysis of texts.
Benson Bobrick’s starting point is somewhat later (Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and Revolution It Inspired, Simon and Schuster, 2001). He assesses the impact of the English Bible on religion, speech, and politics as he tells the story of the early translators and reformers such as Wyclif, Tyndale, and Coverdale.
Brian Moynahan’s biography of Tyndale, God’s Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible—a Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal (St. Martin’s Press, 2002), is told with the narrative excitement of a bestseller itself (British main title: If God Spare My Life, published by Little, Brown). David Daniell’s more scholarly biography appeared in 1994 (William Tyndale: A Biography, Yale U Press).
Vivienne Westbrook (Long Travail and Great Paynes: A Politics of Reformation Revision, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001) analyzes the work of seven Renaissance Bible translator-revisers (Tyndale, Joye, Rogers, Taverner, Coverdale, Becke, Whittingham) and argues for a new agenda to replace what she views as the inappropriate one of evaluating these Bibles according to the extent of their influence on the KJV. Each text reflects something of its historical setting, and English Renaissance Bibles, with their ever-changing text and paratext, have their own stories to tell.
Covering the next period of revisers/translators, Cameron MacKenzie, in The Battle for the Bible in England, 1557-1582 (Peter Lang, 2002), tells the story of the Geneva, Bishops’, and the Rheims NT in their various editions and analyzes the material that accompanied the biblical text—introductions, notes, illustrations—and the controversial literature surrounding Bible translation in this period, to uncover the beliefs and values of those who produced the various versions of the English Bible.
Roland H. Worth, Jr. (Church, Monarch and Bible in Sixteenth Century England: The Political Context of Biblical Translation, McFarland & Company, 2000) also examines 16th century English translations (extending to the KJV) within the context of the politics of the time, demonstrating how translation efforts, religious innovations, and government influenced one another.
The KJV Today
An area that has seen real change recently in attitudes toward the KJV is fundamentalist scholarly writing. Essays in Calvary Baptist Theological Journal 1996 12(1-2) present a fundamentalist perspective on translation theory and textual criticism, defining a communication model in translation and holding that divine preservation of the biblical text does not necessarily require a pro-TR/KJV-only view.
In his article “Errors in the King James Version” (Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 1999 4:151-64), William Combs begins: “For those of us who believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the subject of errors in the Bible is not something that is normally confronted head on,” and concludes that “The KJV is not the final authority.” In between he gives examples of three types of errors in the KJV: text-based, translational, and transmissional.
Finally, a group called “The Committee on the Bible’s Text and Translation” offers a fundamentalist critique of the KJV-only position. Essays in From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man: A Layman’s Guide to How We Got Our Bible (J.B. Williams, ed., Ambassador-Emerald, 1999) attempt to provide “thetrue, biblical and historical facts on the text, transmission, and translations of Scripture” in layman’s terms, and in the process challenge stereotypically fundamentalist attitudes toward the KJV.
The July 2002 issue of Religious Studies News (now SBL Forum) has several articles on Bible translation (at the SBL Forum, http://www.sbl-site.org/, go to Search the Archives and enter the beginning date 7/1/2002 and end date 7/31/2002): S. Sheeley, “Full of Sound and Fury: Translating the Bible in 21st Century America”; and responding to the title “What Translation Is” are W. Harrelson, T. Longman, B. Newman, K. Jobes, and P. Miller. In the current issue of the SBL Forum (December), K. Winston writes on the packaging of Bibles and the Bible market (and also briefly on the Quran and Buddhist texts). The article, “You Can Judge a (Good) Book by its Cover,” is listed under News.
The Challenge of Bible Translation: Communicating God’s Word to the World: Essays in Honor of Ronald F. Youngblood. 2003. G.G. Scorgie, M.L. Strauss, and S.M. Voth, eds. Zondervan.The many essays in this collection have a breadth of coverage and relevance to this section that warrants listing them all: “Are translators traitors? some personal reflections,” M. Silva; “Bible translation philosophies with special reference to the New International Version,” K.L. Barker; “The limits of functional equivalence in Bible translation—and other limits too,” D.A. Carson; “Current issues in the gender-language debate: a response to Vern Poythress and Wayne Grudem,” M.L. Strauss; “Translation as a communal task,” H.M. Wolf; “English Bible translation in post-modern perspective: reflections on a critical theory of holistic translation,” C.H. Cosgrove; “The Bible in English: an overview,” D. France; “A translator’s perspective on Alister McGrath’s history of the King James Version,” W.W. Wessel; “Translation was not enough: the ecumenical and educational efforts of James ‘Diego’ Thompson and the British and Foreign Bible Society,” K.A. Eaton; “The New International Version: how it came to be,” J.H. Stek; “That fabulous talking snake,” R.A. Veenker; “Slip of the eye: accidental omission in the masoretic tradition,” D.N. Freedman and D. Miano; “Agar’s apologia for verbal, plenary inspiration: an exegesis of Proverbs 30:1-6,” B.K. Waltke; “Justice and/or righteousness: a contextualized analysis of sedeq in the KJV (English) and RVR (Spanish),” S.M. Voth; “Translating John’s Gospel: challenges and opportunities,” A.J. Köstenberger; “‘Flesh’ in Romans: a challenge for the translator,” D.J. Moo; “Faith as substance or surety: historical perspectives on hypostasis in Hebrews 11:1,” J.D. Smith III; “The use of capital letters in translating Scripture into English,” L.L. Walker.
Paratext and Megatext as Channels of Jewish and Christian Traditions: The Textual Markers of Contextualization. 2003. A. den Hollander, U. Schmid, and W. Smelik, eds. Brill.The contributions were presented at the 2001 SBL International Meeting in Rome, during a session “Embedding the Sacred Text.” They explore how religious traditions are channeled to new audiences by textual markers, such as annotations and prefaces, or by a second text that is designed to function together with the first one. Some titles: “Orality, manuscript reproduction, and the Targums,” W. Smelik; “The task of the Talmud: On Talmud as translation,” A. Cohen; “Forbidden Bibles. Paratext and the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Why Dutch Bibles were placed on the 1546 Louvain Index,” A. den Hollander; and “Paratext and skopos of Bible translations,” L. de Vries, who considers how the skopos approach helps in understanding the nature of paratextual elements in modern Bible translations, focusing on elements that are seen as part of the translation but vary from one translation to another (e.g., the division of the text into pericopes) as exemplified in postwar Bible translations in the Netherlands and Indonesia.
The Bible Through Metaphor and Translation: A Cognitive Semantic Perspective. 2003. K. Feyaerts, ed. Peter Lang.Papers taken from a conference held at the University of Leuven in July 1998.
Jan de Waard and Eugene A. Nida. 2003. D’une langue à une autre. UBS. Translated by Janine de Waard.This translation of From One Language to Another is available through the French Bible Society.
Eugene A. Nida. 2003. Fascinated by Languages. Benjamins.N. recounts his 60 years of Bible translation, beginning with his journeys in Part I “In more than 90 countries,” traveling around the world. Part II deals with translation, the Bible as literary genre, texts and interpretation, and specific translation problems. Part III “A personal touch” includes the chapter “Who am I?”
Brill has issued reprints this year of E.A. Nida’s Toward a Science of Translating: With Special Reference to Principles and Procedures Involved in Bible Translating (1964), and Nida and C.R. Taber’s The Theory and Practice of Translation (1969).
Carlo Buzzetti. 2002. “Per valutare una traduzione della Bibbia. Una mappa.” Rivista Biblica 50/4:385-400.B. suggests procedures for evaluating Bible translations, using the Bayard Bible (2001) as a basis for demonstration. Another extended review of the Bayard can be found in Science et Esprit 54/2:205-223 (2002), by M. Gourgues.
Michaël N. van der Meer. 2003. “De Nieuwe Bijbelvertaling in het licht van recente ontwikkelingen op het gebied van tekstkritiek van het Oude Testament.” Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 57/3:193-206.The author notes that, in comparison to other recent Bible translations, e.g., the NRSV and the New Swedish Translation, the New Dutch Bible translation is very conservative in its text-critical decisions. He examines the background and desirability of this stance in the light of Emanuel Tov’s argument that modern Bible translations of the OT should be based purely on the MT. (from pub. abstr.)
Jason BeDuhn. 2003. Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. University Press of America.B. compares nine translations (KJV, N/RSV, NIV, NAB, NASB, Amplified, Living, TEV, New World) with the Greek of the New Testament in terms of (his standard of) accuracy and bias. He analyses scriptures passages (Jhn 1:1; 8:58; Php 2:5-11; Col 1:15?20; Titus 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2 Pet 1:1), single words (proskuneo, pneuma), “gender language,” and renderings of the tetragrammaton.
David Daniell. 2003. The Bible in English: Its History and Influence. Yale University Press.From the arrival of Latin Bible texts in England, with the first Anglo-Saxon handwriting between their lines, through the work of Wyclif, Tyndale, Geneva, Rheims, KJV, the English Bible in America, to English Bible translation in the 20th century, the author of numerous publications on Tyndale presents a wide-ranging history and commentary in this 900-page volume.
William E. Paul. 2003. English Language Bible Translators. McFarland & Company, Inc.This encyclopedia style volume with entries on individual translators makes for fascinating reading, providing information about both little-known and well-known translators, out-of-print and currently available translations, whether produced privately or by committee.
John Samaha. 2002. “The Origins of the Bible in English.” Melita Theologica 53/2:191-194.A very brief general survey.
D. L. Bock. 2002. “Do Gender-Sensitive Translations Distort Scripture? Not Necessarily.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 45/4:651-669.B. suggests that the debate serves as a reminder that Bible translation requires careful attention, one text at a time. Translation options should not be unnecessarily restricted as the translator attempts to bring out the meaning of the text.
Articles in Journal for biblical manhood and womanhood (2002) 7/2 focus on inclusive language in the Today’s New International Version (TNIV).(Bruce A. Ware, ed., pub. by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.)
John Dart. 2002. “Gender and the Bible.” Christian Century 119/14:11ff.D. reviews the reaction of American evangelicals to the publication ofthe TNIV, and compares attitudes toward the TNIV, the English Standard Version and the forthcoming Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Mark L. Strauss. 2002. “Examples of Improvement in Accuracy of the TNIV Over the NIV When Following the Colorado Springs Guidelines.”Paper presented at the meeting of the Far West Region of the Evangelical Theological Society, La Mirada, CA, April 19, 2002. Available through the Theological Research Exchange Network athttp://www.tren.com/.
Bibel und Liturgie (2002) 75/4.This issue offers discussions of a number of German translations, including M. Millard on Luther’s translation, T. Gretler and A. Schellenberg on the new Zürcher Bibel, H. Köhler on the ongoing project “Bibel in gerechter Sprache,” G. Hotze on a German/Greek interlinear NT and the Münchener NT, W. Haubeck on Gute Nachricht, Hoffnung für alle, and Neue Genfer Übersetzung, E. Zenger on the Gute Nachricht, C. Dohmen on German Jewish translations, E. Bons on the Septuaginta Deutsch, K. Scholtissek on Nord and Berger’s 1999 translation of the NT and extracanonical Christian writings, and B. Wellmann on the Einheitsübersetzung.
Jouko Parad. 2003. Biblische Verbphraseme und ihr Verhältnis zum Urtext und zur Lutherbibel: Ein Beitrag zur historisch-kontrastiven Phraseologie am Beispiel deutscher und schwedischer Bibelübersetzungen. Peter Lang.Finnische Beiträge zur Germanistik, Bd. 9. (Doctoral thesis, Universität, Helsinki, 2002)
Peddi Victor Premasagar. 2002. Interpretive Diary of a Bishop: Indian Experience in Translation and Interpretation of Some Biblical Passages. Christian Literature Society. Chapters on biblical exegesis are mixed with pastoral accounts from the bishop’s long ministry.
Anthony Abela. 2002. “Word Order in the Clauses of the Narrative Sections in P.P. Saydon’s Bible Translation in Maltese.” Melita Theologica 53/1:3-20.Part One. Part Two is in Vol. 53/2:107-131. These articles are an abridged edition of A.’s MA thesis. A. aims to discover a linguistic explanation for the failure of this translation to find acceptance among the population of Malta, even though it was hailed from the beginning as a literary masterpiece.
Pauli Laukkanen. 2002. Rough Road to Dynamism: Bible Translating in Northern Namibia, 1954-1987; Kwanyama, Kwangali and Ndonga. Luther-Agricola-Society.
Jennifer Ella Wehrmeyer. 2001. A Critical Examination of Translation End Evaluation Norms in Russian Bible Translation.Unpublished M.A. thesis from the University of South Africa, written under Alet Kruger.
Edgar V. McKnight. 2003. Reading the Bible Today: A 21st Century Appreciation of Scripture. Smyth & Helwys. In this introduction to the Bible aimed at conservative Christians, M. begins by reflecting on the human nature of the Bible and issues of inerrancy. He discusses the geographical and historical setting of the Bible and the contribution of archaeology, major themes and translations of the Bible, the formation of the canon, and the language and literary means of expounding the message. The final chapter considers a variety of ways of reading the Bible that are possible/necessary in light of its historical and literary form.
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible. 2001. J. Rogerson, ed. Oxford University Press.A nicely-illustrated history, with sections on the making of the Bible (historical background, text and translation), study and use of the Bible (early church to present, and chapters on Eastern churches, Judaism, and the Bible in literature), and contemporary interpretation (feminist and three chapters on liberation theology in Latin America, Africa, and Europe). Stanley Porter wrote the chapter on modern translations.
Christopher de Hamel. 2001. The Book. A History of the Bible. Phaidon.Published by a press specializing in photography, this volume is most notable for its excellent reproductions and other illustrations. The text covers the period from Latin Bibles to the modern era, and tends to focus on the Bible as artifact. It includes a chapter on “Missionary Bibles” that takes a look at missionary translation in the 17th-19th centuries.
The Canon Debate. 2002. L.M. McDonald and J.A. Sanders, eds. Hendrickson.This is a rich sourcebook of 30+ essays by well-known scholars presenting the history and current status of the major debated questions pertaining to the formation and significance of the biblical canons—15 articles on OT and 16 on NT canons cover a wide range of issues.
Edward Reginald Hope. 2003. All Creatures Great and Small: Living Things in the Bible. UBS. A publication well worth the wait. Those of you who were at the TTW received a cd-rom of this informative and well-illustrated volume on fauna in the Bible. Chapter headings are: Animals, general; Mammals; Birds; Snakes and lizards; Fish, frogs, and mollusks; Insects, spiders, and worms; Mythical monsters.
Biblical Hebrews, Biblical Texts: Essays in Memory of Michael P. Weitzman. 2001. A. Rapoport-Albert and G. Greenberg, eds. Sheffield Academic Press.This collection of essays has two sections that may be of particular interest to TT readers: The Versions, with an article on the nature and significance of the ancient versions (A. Gelston), and articles on the Syriac versions and Targums; and The Eastern Church Tradition, which includes the article “The Relation between biblical text and lectionary systems in the Eastern Church” (K. Jenner). Gelston concludes that text critics “still aim to recover the ‘original text’ of the ‘final form’ of the scriptures, but recognize that in practice it may only be possible to determine the oldest form of text accessible through actual extant manuscripts and the ancient versions. … Retroversion from the versions to a putative Hebrew Vorlage is seen as a far more complex and imprecise operation than it used to be thought...” (16).
Edson de Faria Francisco. 2003. Manual da Bíblia Hebraica. Edições Vida Nova.This Portuguese manual for using BHS explains symbols and abbreviations, the masoretic and text-critical notes, and the role of the versions, manuscripts, and editions. It includes an appendix on the text base, and another on critical response to BHS.
Mary Magdalene has become a favorite topic in fiction, poetry, and scholarship in the last decade. Three books from the latter domain that have recently appeared:
- Jane Schaberg. 2002. The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene: Legends, Apocrypha, and the Christian Testament. Continuum. Analyzes the place and characterizations of MM in these three types of text, and constructs a set of “possibilities” for her in the framework of feminist thought;
- Which Mary? The Marys of Early Christian Tradition. 2003. F.S. Jones, ed. Brill.Papers from a SBL session on the question of the identity of early Christian Marys;
- Ann Graham Brock. 2003. Mary Magdalene, the First Apostle: The Struggle for Authority. Harvard University Press.B. examines how the conferring or withholding of apostolic status operated in the politics of early Christian literature, especially in the debate on the role of women. Studying canonical and extracanonical works, she finds that in those texts where Peter is given prominence, there is a corresponding diminishment of women’s leadership and apostolicity (e.g., Luke), whereas in texts where Mary Magdalene’s role is given prominence, Peter’s status decreases (e.g., John).
Thomas Kaut. 2003. “Father and Tempter?” Melita Theologica 54/1:3-30.
Ann Nyland. 2003. “Papyri, Women and Word Meaning in the New Testament.” Priscilla Papers 17/4:3-9.N. has devoted several years to “translating the New Testament in light of the recent discoveries in papyri and inscriptions.” She offers some interesting translation suggestions for Phoebe (1 Tim 2, etc.)
M. Luther Stirewalt. 2003. Paul: The Letter Writer. Eerdmans.Shows how Paul’s stylized use of the official Roman letter played a crucial role in his ministry, influencing both his self-identity and sense of authority.
The Institute for New Testament Textual Research at the University of Münster has posted a prototype that allows access to its transcriptions and collations of important Greek manuscripts of the NT. The New Testament Transcripts Prototype currently features the first Letter of John (although 2,3 John and Jude are listed as well, and have a small amount of data entered) with transcripts of 23 manuscripts and an apparatus based on them, collated against Nestle-Aland 27. It can be accessed from http://nttranscripts.uni-muenster.de/ where there are instructions for using the prototype. For the prototype of the Digital Nestle-Aland (NA28), with 1 John only, see http://nestlealand.uni-muenster.de/. These two sites are essentially the same thing, although on my web browser at least, they are displayed slightly differently.
Uchenna A. Ezeh. 2003. Jesus Christ the Ancestor: An African Contextual Christology in the Light of the Major Dogmatic Christological Definitions of the Church from the Council of Nicea (325) to Chalcedon (451). Peter Lang.In this published doctoral dissertation, E. presents Christ from the standpoint of the African worldview as the Ancestor, with a view to developing an African Christology. He looks at African traditional religion, the cultural symbol of the ancestor, and attitudes toward death. In the second half, he considers Christology as defined through the councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon, and applies it to African ancestor Christology, leading to a discussion of African titles or images for Christ.
Translation Today: Trends and Perspectives. 2003. G.M. Anderman and M. Rogers, eds. Multilingual Matters.Some titles in this round-table discussion on translation in the new millennium: “No global communication without translation,” P. Newmark; “Some of Peter Newmark’s translation categories revisited,” A. Neubert; “Looking forward to the translation: on ‘a dynamic reflection of human activities,’” K. Malmkjaer; “With translation in mind,” M. Morris; “The troubled identity of literary translation,” P. Kuhiwczak; “Meaning, truth, and morality in translation,” M. Weston; “The decline of the native speaker,” D. Graddol; “English as lingua franca and its influences on discourse norms in other languages,” J. House; “Audio-visual translation in the third millennium,” J. Díaz Cintas; “A comment on translation ethics and education,” Gerard McAlester.
(Multi) Media Translation: Concepts, Practices, and Research. 2001. Y. Gambier and H. Gottlieb, eds. Benjamins.This volume is a collection of contributions from two different conferences (Misano, 1997 and Berlin, 1998). Several papers ponder the concepts of media and multimedia, the necessity of interdisciplinarity, the polysemiotic dimension of audiovisual media. “Multimedia & Translation: Methodological Considerations,” P. Cattrysse; “Some Thoughts on the Study of Multimodal and Multimedia Translation,” A. Remael; “Hypertext and Cyberspace: New Challenges to Translation Studies,” D. Sánchez-Mesa Martínez; “Images of Translation,” G. Goethals; “Text and Context in Multimedia Translation,” J. Werner; “Translation Quality. An Organizational Viewpoint,” E. Gummerus & C. Paro; “Four Remarks on Translation Research and Multimedia,” A. Pym.
Computers and Translation: A Translator’s Guide. 2003. H.L. Somers, ed. Benjamins.This guide aims to explain and illustrate the impact of computers on the translation process. It deals with machine translation, computer-assisted translation, computer-based resources.
Siobhan Brownlie. 2003. “Distinguishing Some Approaches to Translation Research: The Issue of Interpretative Constraints.” The Translator 9/1:39-64.B. defines what can be called a “critical descriptive approach.” The distinctions between such an approach and “committed approaches” (post-colonial, cultural-materialist, and feminist) are discussed. The main issue investigated is interpretative constraints. B. shows that at a fundamental level all approaches constrain interpretation in a similar way and that interpretative constraints are not necessarily greater in a committed approach. The final issue considered is whether the critical descriptive approach has a special role to play as the “critical conscience of translation studies.”
Jin Di. 2003. Literary Translation: Quest for Artistic Integrity. St. Jerome Pub.A summing up of a career devoted to the study of literary translation, this book offers an exposition of the theory behind J.’s translation of Ulysses into Chinese, illustrated with examples from his own and others’ work. Some chapter titles: Message and the artistic integrity approach; Acquisition and the context of a text; Transition and creativity; Overtones in translation; The ultimate challenge of style.
Marianne Lederer. 2003. The Interpretive Model. St. Jerome Pub.Translation of Lederer’s Traduction aujourd’hui by Ninon Larché. The chapters are: The theoretical aspects of translation; Translation through interpretation; Language and translation; The practical problems of translation; Translation and the teaching of languages; Translation into the foreign language; Machine translation versus human translation.
Philip Noss. 2003. “Translating the Ideophone: Perspectives and Strategies of Translators and Artists.” In The Creative Circle: Artist, Critic, and Translator in African Literature. A.E. Overland, R.K. Priebe, and L. Tremaine, eds. Africa World Press.
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Many Ways to Be Deaf: International Variation in Deaf Communities. 2003. L. Monaghan, C. Schmaling, K. Nakamura, and G.H. Turner, eds. Gallaudet University Press.Contributions offer findings from studies in 16 different countries (in Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America), considering the various antecedents of each country’s native signed language(s), taking into account the historical background for their development and also the effects of foreign influences and changes in philosophies by the dominant hearing societies.
Modality and Structure in Signed and Spoken Languages. 2002. R.P. Meier, K. Cormier, and D. Quinto-Pozos, eds. Cambridge University Press.This book provides a crosslinguistic examination of the structural properties of many signed languages, including American, Hong Kong, British, Mexican, and German Sign Languages. The 17 contributions focus on the question of the extent to which linguistic structure is influenced by the modality of language.
Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics is a new journal (Vol. 1, 2003) published under the auspices of the Spanish Cognitive Linguistics Association. It “aims to establish itself as an international forum for the publication of high-quality original research on all areas of linguistic enquiry from a cognitive perspective. Fruitful debate is encouraged with neighboring academic disciplines as well as with other approaches to language study, particularly functionally-oriented ones.”
G.C. Gupta. 2002. Language and Cognition. Icon Publications.Ten chapters examine various themes: general issues in language and cognition, language diversity, perception of syntactic relatedness in Hindi and English, hypertext processing and cognition, natural language generation and processing, language and knowledge representation, cognitive linguistics and metaphor, language learning, and emerging issues in language and cognition.
Cognitive Stylistics: Language and Cognition in Text Analysis. 2002. E. Semino and J. Culpeper, eds. Benjamins. 12 chapters combine linguistic analysis with insights from cognitive psychology and cognitive linguistics to account for a range of literary and textual phenomena.
Metaphor and Metonymy in Comparison and Contrast. 2002. R. Dirven and R. Pörings, eds. Mouton de Gruyter.This volume, mostly a collection of revised and new essays from the last five years, but also including Jakobson’s “The metaphoric and metonymic poles,” is intended to be a representative survey of combined metaphor and metonymy research during the last decade.
Rethinking Sequentiality: Linguistics Meets Conversational Interaction. 2002. A. Fetzer and C. Meierkord, eds. Benjamins.The papers use a variety of approaches—functional pragmatics, narrative theory, cognitive pragmatics, relevance theory, discourse analysis—to arrive at an operational definition of sequence that extends the local notion of sequentiality and adds to it other components, such as culture, genre, intention and cognition, to account for participants’ behavior in interaction.
C. S. Butler. 2003. Structure and Function: A Guide to Three Major Structural-Functional Theories. Benjamins. B. offers a description and comparison of three major structural-functional theories: Functional Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar, and Systemic Functional Grammar, illustrated and tested throughout with corpus-derived examples from English and other languages. V. 1. Approaches to the simplex clause; V. 2. From clause to discourse and beyond
Bettina Migge. 2003. Creole Formation as Language Contact: The Case of the Suriname Creoles. Benjamins. Evaluates current research on creole formation from the standpoint of an investigation of the processes that led to the emergence of the morphosyntactic system of Suriname creoles.
Announcement and Conferences
Distance Learning Course on Textual Criticism
The Faculty of Theology of Leiden University announces a new Distance Learning Course on Textual History and Textual Criticism, and provides the following description: Everyone working in the field of Bible translation will be acquainted with the problem of defining the source text of the translation: What is the textual basis for translation and interpretation of the Bible? In the case of the Old Testament: Is it the vocalized Masoretic Text, the Hebrew consonantal text, or the earliest retrievable original text, which is the result of a systematic analysis of the textual witnesses available, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient translations of the Bible? Modern Bible translations reflect different views about this question (compare for example the inclusion of a passage between 1 Sam 10 and 1 Sam 11 in the NRSV on the basis of the Qumran material). To give Bible translators and biblical scholars the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the text critical and text historical issues of the Old Testament, the Faculty of Theology of Leiden University has taken the initiative to start a Distance Learning Course on Textual History and Textual Criticism of the Old Testament. For information see http://www.leiden.edu/index.php3?c=620 or contact the coordinator of the Distance Learning project, Dr. Wido van Peursen at mailto:w.t.van.peursen(at)let.leidenuniv.nl
Translation and the Construction of Identity, 12-14 August 2004, Seoul, Korea
This conference marks the launch of the International Association of Translation & Intercultural Studies (IATIS), a new forum designed to enable scholars from different regional and disciplinary backgrounds to debate issues relating to translation and other forms of cross-cultural communication.
Speakers include Eugene Nida and Jin Di, Jan Blommaert, Juliane House, Eva Hung, Ian Mason, Harish Trivedi, Lawrence Venuti.
Special Panels: Disciplinary Identity: Redefining Translation in the 21st Century; The Politics of Interdisciplinary Research; Empowering Research in Cross-cultural Communication—the Role of International and Pan-national Institutions Translation and the Construction of Gendered Identity; Translation and the (De-)construction of National/Cultural Identities; Translation and Ethnography—Modes of Representation; The Verbal, The Visual, The Translator
In So Many Words: Language Transfer On the Screen, 6-7 February 2004, London
This conference aims to explore (multi)media translation in theory and practice, to discuss the linguistic and cultural dimensions of audiovisual translation, and to investigate the relevance and application of translation theory to audiovisual translation. Special attention will be given to the notion of accessibility to information, of concern not only to interlingual but also intralingual translation. Of great concern are the interests of the blind, deaf and hard-of-hearing communities and issues related to the social and economic implications of the implementation of appropriate high quality standards. The keynote address will be given by Yves Gambier.
News & Notes
Farewell to Harold Scanlin
When I joined UBS in 1987, it was as coordinator of the newly established “Translation Information Clearinghouse,” brainchild of Harold Scanlin and Phil Stine. Harold was to be its director. On my first day of work, he set a towering stack of books in front of me and suggested I get to know them. Then he left me alone. Some time later he set a computer in front of me and suggested the same about it. Then he left me alone. That was brilliant management from my perspective.
While it seemed that he left me to my own devices, in fact there was hardly a day when I didn’t learn from Harold. An apparently innocent question or comment could easily lead to an infinitely branching tree of conversation that grew from Harold’s deep well of knowledge and information. At the same time, he took for granted that I was up to any task he might put before me. That meant I got to participate in a wide variety of projects—ones that you couldn’t eke out of the job description—where I learned even more. I could not have asked for a better mentor.
A few months after that first day, we put together the first issue of TIC Talk. From then to the current issue, Harold’s talent for tracking down new publications has enriched the publication, and his contribution of articles has ranged from the joys of hypertext to Pentateuch criticism to surfing the Web. More generally, what he has given through conversations and emails and through leaving me alone has helped me to do my job and love doing it.
Harold retires from UBS at the end of this year. While I wish him a lot of fun in pursuing his bibliophilic interests unimpeded, I sincerely hope that the conversations will continue, as they benefit all of us, and that Harold will not feel he needs to continue the management practice of leaving me alone.—SL