Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Ancient Studies) by browse.metadata.advisor "Brock, S. P."
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Results Per Page
- ItemExternal influences in the Peshitta version of Proverbs(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1992-03) Steyn, P. E.; Cook, Johann; Claassen, W. T.; Brock, S. P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Ancient Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study of the Peshitta version of Proverbs started as research into the text-critical value of the Peshitta. By utilising the translation technique an attempt was also made to determine on which Vorlage(n) this book is based. In the course of this investigation it became clear that all the additions, of which the longest are found in chapter 9, cannot be sufficiently explained only by ordinary translation technique and/or style. Although these pluses may have been in the translator's Vorlage, there is considerable concurrence between the pluses and most of the deviations in the Syriac text with the Greek text, which indicates other reasons for their existence. It can be accepted with reasonable certainty that the Peshitta translator utilised the LXX to a considerable extent in order to establish a legible and simple translation. This fact is widely accepted and most scholars' treatises merely confirm most of the conclusions to which Hermann Pinkuss came in an article published in Z.A . W. of 1894. The exact nature and extent of this utilisation, however, have not been satisfactorily established as yet. In all the ordinary cases this utilisation extends from difficult and corrupt readings to readings that, according to the translator, may have been ethically or morally unacceptable. It was reasonably successfully shown that the Peshitta translator used a Hebrew text that probably did not differ from the MT to any significant degree. For example, the translator experienced similar problems with the MT to those that modem translators have to contend with. These problems were solved with the aid of the LXX and sometimes by means of harmonisation with other verses in the text. Judging from the translation technique of the Peshitta version of Proverbs it is clear that, where the translator came across some difficulty in the Hebrew text, he used the interpretation of the LXX quite liberally. The term interpretation should actually be stressed, because the Peshitta translator did not merely translate from the LXX. The tendency of the Syriac translation is always in line with the translation technique, which primarily attempted to explain what is written in the Hebrew. For this reason there are, in relation to the MT, fewer additions in the Peshitta than in the LXX. The Peshitta translator tried wherever possible to remain as close to the Hebrew text as the Vorlage and his understanding of the text would allow him. A larger problem, however, is to explain the existence of more extensive additions, which in some cases consist of several verses. After considering the relation of the Peshitta with other versions, it became clear that the possibility of other external influences, including the social and religious environment, had to be considered. Pinkuss stated that the Peshitta does not appear to present any connection with the Jewish or Christian religion. It should be borne in mind, however, that Judaism and Christianity share many ethical tenets. Furthermore, the Peshitta translation reveals remarkable nuances and would present only extremely subtle references to any belief. The Peshitta is after all a Christian document and the additions should perhaps be explained as an extention of the translation technique, which is to present the reader with a clear, unambiguous translation. Therefore the translation should perhaps be considered closely within the context of its religious milieu, namely, Syriacspeaking Christianity. Firstly, one should not expect Christianity in the East to present the reader with a dynamic, equivalent translation where every element of the text is carefully translated into Syriac. The rules of translation in the Syriac Church differed from the conventional translation technique in the West (which was too often concerned only with the avoidance of misinterpretation). It developed independently, because in a critical stage of the development of the Peshitta text (the fourth and fifth century), the Syriac Church was virtually cut off from the intellectual influence and debate in the West, which was critical in combatting the extensive increase in sectarian and heretical tendencies in the Church. Furthermore, most of the believers, and even priests, knew only Syriac. , Secondly, Eastern Christianity had more than Hellenism and a few philosophies that opposed the truth. The Church had to contend with a prolific number of cults and religions (not to mention sects) in all the cities in Syria. Thirdly, due to political factors, Syriac literature developed its own identity and traditions with regard to the establishment of Christianity in Osroene. The long strife that the Church had experienced with the Church in the West also fostered a unique self-image that the Syriac Church had of itself in the world. The schools in Edessa played a major part in perpetuating this tradition. Owing to the above-mentioned factors there would have been a number of readings in the Peshitta text that, according to the translator, warranted the changing of some words and phrases in the translation of Proverbs. Some familiar symbols and words with familiar references in the Syriac mind may have influenced the translation as well. Some variants are antiheretical and others are anti-anthropomorphic. The influence of Judaism should not be discarded in seeking the "rules" of translation in the Eastern Churches. The influence was more marked here than in the West. Numerous Jews even converted to Christianity and the intellectual contribution of Jews made to the Syriac Church and life is undeniable. Some Jewish practices (like the crowning of the bridegroom during the wedding ceremony) were maintained in the Eastern Churches. That this influence should come to the translation of texts was inevitable. Of course, the date of translation is important, but traditions did remain for a long time. In the light of all this, the additions in Proverbs do not render the Peshitta a Targum, but they should be considered a legitimate part of translation in Syriac Christianity. In conclusion, the external influences that played a part in the translation of the Peshitta are complex and are not limited to the Peshitta Vor/age(n) alone. The nature and extent of the influences on the translation of the Peshitta need to be extended to the socioreligious milieu as well. All the verses discussed in this thesis are investigated on their own merits and any identifiable influence is considered.