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The Development of Contened-related Criteria in the Characterisation of the Septuagints Translation technique. A Text-Critical Study of the Greek Rendering of Hebrew Wordplays.

In the context of the completed and ongoing research projects, the promoters Ausloos & Lemmelijn have developed a new aspect to the methodology employed in the characterisation of the translation technique of the Greek Septuagint (LXX) as a translation from its Hebrew parent text. In contemporary research into the translation technique of lxx, there are two predominant approaches: a quantitative (primarily statistical) approach on the one hand, and a qualitative approach on the other, which is however still limited to a comparative study of LXXs rendering of linguistic and grammatical features found in mt. Against this background, however, in preliminary analyses of the Greek rendering of respectively Hebrew hapax legomena, aetiologies and jargon-specific vocabulary, the promoters have demonstrated that research based on clearly defined, content-related textual features can make a significant contribution to the characterisation of the translation technique of LXX. The innovative research project aims at further developing and substantiating this methodological insight through an investigation of the textual units in which the lxx translator is confronted with Hebrew wordplays or puns. Idealiter, the phenomenon of wordplay in its different types (Greenstein, 1992: e.g. play on proper names and on common nouns, implicit or explicit derivations, sound patterns, polysemy, paronomasia) and its rendering in lxx has to be studied as extensively as possible. As such, the final goal would be the study of Hebrew wordplay and its rendering in Greek in as much as possible facets. For the present research project, however, we intend to restrict ourselves mainly to the study of the rendering of complete and incomplete sound repetitions. After cataloguing the Hebrew passages in which this type of wordplay is present, the various wordings of each of the received textual witnesses (Hebrew and Greek) will be examined. The results of this research will, on the one hand, contribute to a more well-founded assessment of the translation technique of each LXX book in its own right, and, on the other hand, make it possible to compare the literalness/freedom/faithfulness of the various books with one another. In this way, the study of the rendering of wordplays in the LXX translations is not only of value for the characterisation of the different Greek translations, but also for the textual criticism of the Hebrew text.
Date:1 Oct 2009 →  15 Oct 2015
Keywords:Hebrew Bible, Wordplays, Septuagint, Translation technique, Textual Criticism
Disciplines:Theology and religious studies