CLAOTB: Translation and Terminology

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Considering Lingual Aspects of the Bible:
Translation and Terminology

 
With those things in mind from: The English Bible Retains Archaic English Terminology, consider the opening narrative of the Bible that refers to Adam and Eve.

As I discussed in the section: Archaic Definitions of the English term “husband” and the English term “wife”, centuries ago in the archaic English, the term “husband” did not function as the primary identifier of a legal or religious status.

Instead, the term “husband” identified an occupation, which helped give the terms “husbandman” and “husbandry”.

Therefore, when the Bible came into archaic English, it is distinctly probable that those archaic English Bible readers did not read Genesis 3.6 as a legal or religious status.

Instead, those archaic English readers most likely read the passage as “gave also unto her husbandman”.

Why?

Because those archaic English readers understood the English term “husband” as an occupation, which could have been one who was a frugal manager, or one who was a farmer because they cultivated and tilled the soil.

Where was Adam placed? A garden.

Therefore what was Adam? A gardener, farmer within Eden, and thus a “husband” – in the archaic English sense.

As I discussed in the section: Archaic Definitions of the English term “husband” and the English term “wife”, centuries ago the archaic English term “wife” did not function as the primary identifier of a legal or religious status.

Instead, in the archaic English the term “wife” was synonymous with the English term “woman”.

Therefore, when the Bible came into archaic English, it is distinctly probable that those archaic English Bible readers did not read Genesis 2.24 as a legal or religious status.

Instead, those archaic English readers most likely read the passage as “man shall leave… and cleave to his woman”.

Why?

Because those archaic English readers understood the English term “wife” to be synonymous with “woman”.

Therefore, since the archaic English Bible readers could functionally interpret the English Biblical text in multiple ways, we should examine the Hebrew terms of that opening narrative of Genesis.

The importance of recognizing the archaic English definitions is important, but so is becoming aware of the Hebrew of Genesis.

Consider that in the opening narrative of Genesis there are two Hebrew terms that are translated into the English term “man”.

The Hebrew term adam is translated into the English term “man”.

Additionally, the Hebrew term ish is also translated into the English term “man”.

However, the Hebrew term ish is also translated into the English term “husband”.

It’s difficult enough that two distinct Hebrew terms (adam, ish) are translated into the English term “man”.

Add to that, that the Hebrew term ish is translated into two distinct English terms (“man”, “husband”).

To add more, the Hebrew term baal (e.g. Exodus 21.22) is also translated into the English term “husband”.

Yet, while baal is not in the opening of the Genesis narrative, the Hebrew term ish is.

Consider further the opening narrative of Genesis, there is one Hebrew term that is translated into the English term “woman”.

The Hebrew term ishshah is translated into the English term “woman”.

However, that the Hebrew term ishshah is also translated into the English term “wife”.

So we’re again at a place where one Hebrew term (ishshah) is translated into two different English terms (“woman”, “wife”).

Confused?

Don’t be. I’m going to look at this more closely in the next section.

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