Friday, July 10, 2009

Unavoidable Gender Ambiguities:

A Primer for Readers of English Translations from Biblical Hebrew by David E. S. Stein

David has emailed a few people today to let us know that this article has just been uploaded to the internet. I think anyone interested in the translation of gender from Hebrew into English will find this of interest. Here is one clarification that he makes,
    Previously I claimed that English idiom does not normally state the referent's gender if it is understood. As we now see, there are exceptions. Gendered rendering can arise because of the needs of English, quite apart from the Hebrew text.


Wayne Leman said...

Thanks for this important notice, Suzanne. I have linked to it on the Better Bibles Blog. We need more scholarly discussion of gender in Bible translation.

J. K. Gayle said...

I like the quote of David Stein you give here. Like the way he backs off of viewing gender in English one way but holds on to viewing gender in Hebrew another. I think "a primer for readers" by Stein is instructive, watching how he reads. Elsewhere, in a piece John Hobbins has posted on at length, Stein says that the Hebrew text has a God that goes beyond gender. I think we all should read his primer and that article by Stein, very carefully. And know that he'll write again, perhaps changing his views once again. Which is important, from time to time. Gender and gender reading is dicey.