Marilyn Gaddis Rose, “Translation Types and Conventions,” in Translation Spectrum, ed. Rose (Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 1981), p. 32: “In overt translation the receiving reader or listener knows that the text is a translation and recognizes that it is bound to the source culture … Covert translations, on the other hand, are almost accidentally in a language other than the original, for they are not bound to a specific culture.”


Soferim I, 8. Modern editions of the Septuagint do not contain this reading. See also Eliyahu Kitov, Sefer Hatoda’ah (Jerusalem: Machon Lehoza’at Sefarim, 1958), vol. I, pp. 195–196 [English translation, The Book of Our Heritage (Jerusalem: ‘A’ Publishers, 1968), vol. I, pp. 320–322.]; and Masseketh Soferim, ed. Israel W. Slotki, in The Minor Tractates of the Talmud, ed. Abraham Cohen (London: Soncino Press, 1971), vol. I, pp. 213–214. The possibility of misunderstanding the Hebrew in this way was never considered, probably because as a learned language it required study and supervision. In contrast, Greek was the everyday language of Alexandria and might be read casually or carelessly.


Lists of common words and phrases taken from the Bible used to be commonplace in histories of the English language. See, for example, Otto Jespersen, Growth and Structure of the English Language (1905), sections 250–253 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, ninth ed. 1955), pp. 252–255.


Epistle LVII, in Jerome: Lettres, ed. Jerome Labourt (Paris, 1953), vol. III, p. 59.


See Harvey Minkoff, “Some Stylistic Consequences of Aelfric’s Theory of Translation,” Studies in Philology, 73:1 (January 1976), pp. 29–41. E.F. Sutcliffe, “Jerome,” Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. II, p. 96, translates verborum ordo as “the precise character of the words.” But Jerome’s point remains the same: translating the Bible is distinct from translating anything else.


In contrast, Zoltán Haraszti, The Enigma of the Bay Psalm Book (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1956), p. vi, believes that “the work is no literary treasure trove; yet much of the ridicule heaped upon it seems undeserved.”


I have modernized the spelling. Susan Bassnett-McGuire, Translation Studies (London: Methuen, 1981), p. 47, notes that since the “political function” of early English translations was “to make the complete text of the Bible accessible, this led to a definite stance on priorities by the translator.”


Michael Bullock, “Enquête,” in Quality in Translation, ed. E. Cary and R.W. Jumpelt (New York: Macmillan, 1963), p. 149.


John Beekman, “Lexical Equivalence Involving Consideration of Form and Function,” in Notes on Translation, ed. Beekman (Santa Ana, CA: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1965), p. 91.


In addition, this same root is the bridge to the story of how Ishmael, son of Abraham’s maid-concubine Hagar, is soon afterward driven from his home for “mocking” (mesahek, 21:9). And it appears again when King Abimelech realizes that Rebecca is Isaac’s wife, not his sister, when he sees them “sporting” (mesahek, Genesis 26:8).


Eugene Nida, “Science of Translation,” Language 45:3 (September 1969), p.483 n.1. See also his “Linguistics and Ethnology in Translation Problems,” Word 1 (1945) pp. 194–208, reprinted in Language in Culture and Society, ed. Dell Hymes (New York: Harper and Row, 1964).


Nida and William Wonderly “Linguistics and Christian Missions,” in Language Structure and Translation: Essays by Eugene A. Nida, ed. Anwar S. Dil (Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press, 1975), p. 193.


See, for example, Eldon Jay Epp’s negative review, “Should ‘The Book’ Be Panned?” BR 02:03, which labels the Living Bible “inaccurate, inconsistent, biased and otherwise seriously flawed”; and Barry Hoberman, “Translating the Bible,” The Atlantic Monthly (February 1985), which calls it “an inaccurate and tendentious paraphrase … that has been repudiated by virtually all responsible biblical scholars” (p. 47).


See Beekman, “Lexical Equivalence,” pp. 93–111.


Harry M. Orlinsky, Notes on the New Translation of the Torah (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1969), pp. 39–40.


Geoffrey Hunt, About the New English Bible (Cambridge, UK: Oxford and Cambridge Univ. Presses, 1970), pp. 22, 52.


See also Sidney Greenbaum, “Three English Versions of Psalm 23, ” Journal of English Linguistics 17 (1984), pp.1–23, which, in a comparison of 13 features, finds the King James Version “clearly more faithful” to the Hebrew than the NEB (p. 19).


See Bassnett-McGuire, Translation Studies, pp. 57–58.


Beekman, “Lexical Equivalence,” pp. 88–89.


George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” in Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays (Harcourt, Brace & World, 1945).