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.

One thought on “Translating Jude for Lent

  1. I’m happy to have inspired you to translate! Jude is a fun one, as you’ll see. I won’t spoil it.
    Also, though, it’s a good thing when first starting out on this translating path to begin with things that have already been translated, like training wheels for the bicycle. Once you get a better feel for the language itself, the translating becomes easier, and reference to earlier translations is unnecessary, though always interesting for comparison to how you have translated something as opposed to how another has done.
    Keep up the good work, and have a good Lent!

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