Psalms 38 and 145 of the Septuagint

Gauthier, Randall Xerxes (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2010-12)

Thesis (PhD (Biblical Languages))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The present dissertation is a commentary on Psalms 38 and 145 in the Septuagint (LXX) version, or more accurately, the Old Greek (OG) version. Specifically, this dissertation attempts to understand the semantic meaning of these psalms at the point of their inception, or composition, i.e. as translated literary units derivative of a presumed Semitic Vorlage. Stated differently, this dissertation sets out to understand how these psalms were interpreted in translation by the translator(s). With the task of interpretation comes the assumption that the “original” or “oldest” verifiable text can be first established since neither the OG nor its Vorlage are known to be extant. To this end it is necessary to begin with the best critical editions available while also attempting to reconstruct a viable representative of the OG and Vorlage in the light of standard text-critical criteria and translation technique. Although the Old Greek text is the object of study, the transmission history and related history of interpretation for both the Greek and Hebrew are selectively examined insofar as they are necessary as comparisons for the LXX at the point of its inception, and the Vorlage from which it was derived. This work assumes – in accordance with the way translation may be understood generally – that the translator(s) of the Psalms were attempting to communicate his/her Vorlage to a new audience. In this respect translation may be viewed as communication that crosses a language boundary. As such, both lexical replication and idiomatic representation fall within the scope of interpretation. Both phenomena occur in Ps 38 and 145 in varying degrees and both phenomena comprise aspects of the translator’s cross-lingual communication. Chapter 1 establishes preliminary concepts regarding translation in terms of isomorphic and isosemantic representation, textual criticism of the Psalter, and select MSS and witnesses used throughout the study. Chapter 2 surveys key modern translations of the Septuagint as well as certain trends in Translation and Communication Studies for methodological and hermeneutical approaches. Chapter 3 derives working methodological principles based upon the discussions in chapters 1 and 2. Chapters 4 and 5 are detailed, word-by-word, clause-by-clause, commentaries on Psalms 38 and 145 respectively. Chapter 6 offers a summary and conclusions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie verhandeling is 'n kommentaar op Psalm 38 en 145 in die Septuagint (LXX), of meer bepaald, die Oud Griekse (OG) weergawe. Die navorsing poog in besonder om die semantiese betekenis van hierdie psalms ten tyde van hul ontstaan of samestelling te verstaan, dit wil sê as vertaalde literere eenhede wat vermoedelik op 'n Semitiese Vorlage gebaseer is. Anders gestel: Hierdie verhandeling is daarop uit om te begryp hoe die vertaler(s) van hierdie psalms die tekste vertolk het. Die taak van vertolking behels die veronderstelling dat die 'oorspronklike' of 'oudste' verifieerbare teks eers bepaal kan word. Sover bekend het nog die OG weergawe nog sy Vorlage egter behoue gebly. Daarom is dit nodig om met die beste beskikbare kritiese uitgawes te begin, en terselfdertyd 'n lewensvatbare weergawe van die OG teks en Vorlage te probeer rekonstrueer aan die hand van standaard- tekskritiese maatstawwe en -vertaaltegnieke. Hoewel dit hoofsaaklik die OG teks is wat bestudeer word, word die oorlewerings- en verwante geskiedenis van vertolking vir sowel die Grieks en Hebreeus ook selektief ondersoek in soverre dit vergelyk kan word met die ontstaansvorm van die LXX sowel as die Vorlage waarop dit gebaseer is. In pas met die waarskynlike algemene opvatting oor vertaling, gaan hierdie navorsing van die veronderstelling uit dat die vertaler(s) van die psalms sy/haar/hul Vorlage aan 'n nuwe gehoor wou probeer oordra. In die opsig kan vertaling as kommunikasie oor taalgrense heen beskou word. As sodanig val sowel leksikale duplisering as idiomatiese verteenwoordiging binne die bestek van vertolking. Albei verskynsels kom in wisselende mate in Psalm 38 en 145 voor en albei behels aspekte van die vertaler se intertaalkommunikasie. Hoofstuk 1 lê voorlopige konsepte met betrekking tot vertaling vas wat betref isomorfiese en isosemantiese verteenwoordiging, tekstekritiek op die Psalter, en uitgesoekte manuskripte (MSS) en getuienisse wat deur die hele studie gebruik word. Hoofstuk 2 ondersoek kernmoderne vertalings van die Septuagint sowel as bepaalde tendense in Vertaling en Kommunikasiestudie vir metodologiese en hermeneutiese benaderings. Op grond van die besprekings in die eerste twee hoofstukke, lê hoofstuk 3 metodologiese werksbeginsels neer. Hoofstuk 4 en 5 bevat uitvoerige, woord-vir-woord-, sinsdeel-vir-sinsdeel-kommentaar op Psalm 38 en 145 onderskeidelik. Hoofstuk 6 sluit af met 'n samevatting en gevolgtrekkings.

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