Tuesday, August 02, 2011

James VanderKam's work on Jubilees

JAMES VANDERKAM'S WORK on the book of Jubilees ia profiled in Notre Dame News: Translating the Book of Jubilees. One choice tidbit:
A previous English translation of the Ethiopic text states in chapter 4 verse 24: “on account of it God brought the waters of the flood upon all the land of Eden.”

The problem, says VanderKam, is that the translation implies that God brought the flood on Eden because of Enoch’s presence there. “That doesn’t make any sense,” he says, “because Enoch continues to live—he doesn’t drown in the flood.”

VanderKam’s research revealed what the text actually says: “Because of him, God did not bring the waters of the flood on Eden.”

Why the mistranslation? It turns out that the Ethiopic words for “he brought” and “it did not come” look almost exactly the same: The mistranslation was the result of a visual misinterpretation.
I am reminded, perhaps perversely, of the Wicked Bible. Gotta watch those "nots."

(Via Joseph Lauer.)