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vol.60 número4-1Another translation of the Bible in Afrikaans: What makes it different?The Old Testament in the 2020 Afrikaans translation: Some contentious issues índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


VAN ROOY, Herrie. The Hebrew base text and the 2020 translation of the Bible in Afrikaans. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2020, vol.60, n.4-1, pp.912-928. ISSN 2224-7912.

In planning to create a new translation of the Bible in any language, a number of important decisions have to be made. These include issues like choosing the text to be translated and the translation strategy that will be followed. These questions received attention when the Bible Society of South Africa decided to undertake a new Afrikaans translation of the Bible. This translation, the 2020 translation of the Bible in Afrikaans, is the third Afrikaans translation undertaken by the Bible Society, following the 1933/53 translation and the 1983 translation. As it was decided to make a source text-orientated translation, selecting a base text was decisive for the translation process. As regards the Old Testament, it was decided to use the Masoretic Text as base text, and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) as the source text. This article focusses on the decision regarding the treatment of text-critical issues in the Masoretic Text. The history and character of the Masoretic Text and its different editions are discussed and the text-critical apparatus of these editions receive special attention. The BHS is a diplomatic edition, which has to be distinguished from an eclectic edition. In an eclectic edition, the editors will make a choice between possible variants in every instance of a text-critical problem. The option chosen is then published. In a footnote, the choice and possible alternatives will be discussed. In a diplomatic edition, the editors decide which text or manuscript is best for the edition. This text is then published. A footnote will indicate other readings and, in some instances, the preferred reading of the editors. In the case of the BHS, the Codex Leningradensis was taken as the source text to be published. This is the source text of the 2020 translation. In scientific commentaries and modern translations of the Old Testament text-critical choices are often made, with the translations based on an eclectically reconstructed text of the Old Testament. The translators of the Old Testament, and especially the editorial committee for the Old Testament, did not formulate specific guidelines for dealing with text-critical issues, but the editorial committee followed certain basic points of departure. These points of departure of the editorial committee are briefly discussed, as well as three important editions of the Hebrew Bible, the BHS, the Biblia Hebraica of Kittel (BHK) and a new edition that has not yet been completed, the Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ). This is followed by a discussion of a number of examples from the Old Testament, namely Deuteronomy 5:10, 33:2 and Hosea 6:5. The approach to the Masoretic Text can be described as conservative. In instances where the Masoretic Text has a reading without any problems, that reading is followed, even when the ancient translations or manuscripts from the Dead Sea have plausible variants. When, however, the Masoretic Text was found to be problematic, variants were considered and followed in the translation, but only when absolutely necessary. In such instances, footnotes indicating which witnesses had been followed were added and, where possible, what the translation of the reading of the Masoretic Text could be. Such translations will clarify why the deviation was necessary. The 2020 Afrikaans translation of the Bible follows the Masoretic Text where possible, deviates from it where necessary and explains deviations from the Masoretic Text in footnotes.

Palavras-chave : Bible translation; Masoretic Text; text-critical problems; 2020 Afrikaans translation of the Bible; 1933/53 translation; 1983 translation; Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia; diplomatic editions; eclectic editions; source text-oriented translation.

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