CNN's iReport declares "A research group in Canada, has proven that the Old Testament has been massively mistranslated." Sr Gregor takes a look.
So, a listing at Fark
drew my attention to this article
on CNN's iReport (wasn't the whole "i-" thing so early double-aughts?). According to the article, a research group has allegedly uncovered that the translations from Hebrew are apparently wildly inaccurate, having succumbed to "doctrinal pressures". According to them, each hebrew letter is actually a word, and each word is actually a sentence which describes the word. (Yeah, I'm not sure I get it either - seems like all words are sentences that describe the word, sort of like if you took a simple sentence and replaced it with the definitions of the words you'd get the same result: "The dog licked his balls" could be rendered "a specific carnivore of the family Canidae, having prominent canine teeth and, in the wild state, a long and slender muzzle, a deep-chested muscular body, a bushy tail, and large, erect ears passed its tongue over the surface of, as to moisten, taste, or eat testes enclosing in their structures and having a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape, owned by the self-same canid."
Of note, the group appears to possess no background or particular reason that they are qualified to attempt such translation (other than being Jewish, I guess), so it seems about as strong as "hey, my sister Jenn took a Spanish-to-English dictionary and he translated Simon Bolivar: A Bolvarian Revolution
That said, their basis for their translation is laid out as follows (from the Research Notes):
1) Explicitly stated in the Bible, the Hebrew in which the Bible was written was the language of God, rather than an evolved language.
2 ) If this were not true, then the Torah would not be a valid holy document, but rather a collection of legends, by virtue of its own internal contradictions concerning their creation.
3) If this were
true, then the Bible has always been horribly misconstrued and mistranslated, because it relies on the rules of mortal language construction and evolution, rather than divine rules.
So, generally speaking, they went with the first and third premises and tried to come up with a new way to translate the Bible. Short form is that they found specific two-glyph root words in each of the "words", which they then decided/discovered that they could parse out into 22 individual glyph-words, each of which was modified by the glyph-words that came after.
I think their largest leap comes when they assume that the language must be translated as literal translation, with no room for cultural (regional/temporal) colloquism - i.e. there would never be a word like "cool" meaning anything other than "to lose heat". It's by this argument that they propose that one of the initial words translates to "the supreme ones" rather than a singular God.
To be honest, I don't feel particularly qualified to make a judgement call on whether or not this has any truth to it. If true, it does raise questions as to how the Torah was intended to have been read, but it seems like someone might have come up with this before... I dunno. At the same time, does it really
change anything? Even if the Torah were mistranslated, there are books aplenty that continue Jewish and Christian lore more or less based on the premises of the Torah, yes? Either way, I'm not sure that the researchers have necessarily proven
anything. At best, they've established the Torah can
be read in the manner they propose, but provide no real argument for why it should
, as far as I can tell. To whit - what makes their translation more accurate to the authors' intentions than what has already been used?
What do you think?