As I mentioned in my last post, I am slowly working through the seven verses of the opening hymn of Nahum in both the Greek and Hebrew, taking a close look at the features of parallelism. The object of this endeavor is to approach the question of the translation method(s) employed in LXX-Nahum. Note the use of “approach” in the preceding; admittedly this project, although it will end up taking me quite some time, will only be a brief foray into an otherwise massive and complex issue. Making matters more intriguing than the “mere” question of translation method is the already-existing discussion, sometimes taking things Septuagintal into view, sometimes not, pertaining to whether the hymn is a(n) (broken) acrostic. Although thinking about text-critical features that might address the question of the acrostic would be possible – and fascinating – at the back end of this project (perhaps e.g., using a critically-reconstructed Vorlage of LXX-Nahum), I do not plan to “go there,” if for no other reason than time constraint. Mainly, I hope to contribute to and/or test current consensus regarding LXX translation method in Nahum, and the Twelve more broadly, even if such a contribution would be from only a narrow and somewhat contested excerpt of the book.
I thought it would be good to post one of my inductive verse analysis drafts – n.b. drafts – for those interested in seeing what I’m going about. Note the abbreviation key on the last page; also, without comment on my methodology it may not be clear what each step is getting at, but I post nonetheless. My goal is to “finish,” or at least get through a second revision and appraisal of the verses, by the end of this term. Again, my “finished” versions may look very different in the details from the example I posted here. Then, over the winter and spring terms, I’ll begin the deductive work of writing on translation, and see where I end up. Ideally, whatever comes out the other end will function as a half-decent writing sample. Admittedly, I am not bent on the specific mini-field of translation theory/method within the larger realm of LXX studies for my doctoral work. I am also increasingly interested in syntax and lexical studies, for example. At this point, I have simply been happy to work the ground of this particular project as a way of helping to grow interests that could lead to other topics within LXX studies. The goal of introducing and orienting myself to the field, however, will be met in any case.
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