Translating Jude for Lent

This post got me to thinking about Lent. In it, the author says that this year for Lent, he’s translating “Apophthegmata Patrum, the Sayings of the Fathers,” from Greek into English. I’ve never really done anything for Lent, because I’m really not one for asceticism. Personal failing, I know. Anyway, while most people think of Lent as a time for reflection by denying yourself something you like, according to this, “Many modern Protestants and Anglicans… may instead decide to take on a Lenten discipline such as devotions, volunteering for charity work, and so forth.” Armed with that knowledge, and the aforementioned blog posting, I’ve decided to do some translating of my own.

My Lenten project for this year is to translate the book of Jude from Greek into English. Yes, it’s one of the shortest books in the NT, but since this is my first real translational project, I thought it best to start small. If I breeze through it and have time to spare before Easter, I’ll take up another NT text. I also selected Jude because I can’t recall every having read any of it. I don’t have any idea what is in this book, so I won’t be remembering translations from previous readings. All the translation work will be new.

For my text, I will be using the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, 4th Revised Edition (UBS4). I will also be referring to A Reader’s Greek New Testament, The New Testament in the Original Greek, a 1961 edition of Westcott & Hort‘s Greek text and Dr. Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament for variant readings.

My plan of attack is to fully translate the UBS4 text, and then set about the variants. I don’t know that the other editions of the Greek that I have even have any variants, but if they do, I plan to include those as notes in my translation.

What do I hope to accomplish with this exercise? Well, I’ve been studying Greek since April, in a very academic sense. I have Basics of Biblical Greek that I work through almost daily. I have Dr. Mounce’s lectures plus the workbook and flashcards and I’m a member of the B-Greek mailing list. But almost all of my Greek work has been within the boundaries of textbooks. I want to really see what “live” translation is like, and this seemed like a good time to have a go at it.

I haven’t yet decided if I will post work-in-progress or if I will wait until the work is complete. All I know for sure is that sometime before Easter, I will have finished, and the full translation will be posted here.

“The Departed” Won Best Picture? What’s Up With That?

I got The Departed from NetFlix over the weekend. We started watching it Saturday afternoon, but turned it off after about 30 minutes of incredibly foul language and boring setup. After reading several glowing reviews yesterday, I decided to finish watching it. What a waste of time. I just don’t get what everyone thinks is so great about this movie.

If you want a really good mob film, go with The Godfather (of course) or Donnie Brasco.

Greek Translation Success

Some of you know that I’ve been learning Koine Greek since around April. It’s been fun and frustrating, all at the same time. Most days, during lunch, I spend time with Bill Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek, his audio lectures and/or his workbook. There are days when I’m translating that things go OK. Then there are days where I just can’t seem to get in the swing of things. My translations (so far) haven’t been really wrong, but there are times when they just aren’t quite correct. Maybe I got sloppy and confused a plural pronoun for a singular, or perhaps the pronouns for “us” with “them.” I’ve had more of those type days lately than not.

But on Friday, I had one of those “Oh, yeah, BABY!” moments. I was working in the workbook when I hit this sentence:

I thought for a few seconds, and then came up with this translation:

Therefore, Jesus spoke to them again saying, “I am the light of the world.”

I then thought some more, and being confident that I had translated it properly, went to check the answer key. Boo-ya! Spot on, dead-on-balls accurate. Now, this was not a difficult passage, by any stretch, but it was a nice reminder that I really am making progress in my studies.

And I’m really struck by how pretty Greek is to look at. English is quite boring by comparison.