Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Literal or paraphrase

I ran across this definition of a literal versus free translation the other day: “The more a translation unit uses fixed equivalents, the more it is considered literal, and the less that such equivalents are found in it, the freer it is considered.” (Emanuel Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible [2nd ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001], 125).

I like it, but it also raises some questions. Such as, what about the Cotton Patch Gospels? They definitely are not literal! But they use fixed equivalents. What am I missing here?

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