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 mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6

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rogermugs
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PostSubject: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:31 pm

"Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD."

well... the ESV translates this the mountains of God,
but there are a few that translate it the mighty mountains - and thats the version Third Day uses in one of their songs (which is how it is imprinted in my head)....

anyhow. I was just looking at this verse and discrepancy for hebrew class as I've only started hebrew somewhat recently...

my question is... am I going to just keep running into things I disagree with? I dont want to become cynical of the translations I use. I want to read the word and enjoy it... trusting that the people who do the translation generally know more than me...

ya'll who spend a lot of time in the original languages, are you encouraged or always discouraged by the english translations, and do you find yourself always questioning what you're reading in english? wondering if the original language agrees? or is this a ridiculous fear?

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Nathan
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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:57 pm

I encounter this almost every single time, however I find it fascinating.

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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:47 pm

Nathan wrote:
I encounter this almost every single time, however I find it fascinating.

not discouraging?

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elshaddai
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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Sat Jun 14, 2008 7:51 am

Accept that what you are reading (in English) is a translation and unavoidably subject to difference.

Decide whether truth is found in the syntax (words, grammar, sentence structure, etc.) or in the semantics (the meaning of the words) of the original languages.

If you lean toward syntax, learn the original languages or get the most literal English translation you're comfortable with.

If you lean toward semantics, get the English translation with the language and style that you're most comfortable with.

I used to be a syntax guy, but not any more. I now believe that God's message is found on a semantic level, not limited to the words of the original languages. I enjoy the freedom of dynamic translations and the variety of ways that God's message is communicated.

If Jesus Christ can interpret the meaning of the Law into two commandments and be the fulfillment of truth, then surely we can find similarity not difference in "the mountains of God" vs. "the mighty mountains".
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Nathan
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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:24 pm

rogermugs wrote:
Nathan wrote:
I encounter this almost every single time, however I find it fascinating.

not discouraging?
Not in the slightest. I usually find a depth of nuance and meaning when I look into the source language, that when combined with the variety of English translations just blows my mind. Every time.

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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:22 pm

Nathan wrote:
rogermugs wrote:
Nathan wrote:
I encounter this almost every single time, however I find it fascinating.

not discouraging?
Not in the slightest. I usually find a depth of nuance and meaning when I look into the source language, that when combined with the variety of English translations just blows my mind. Every time.

i hope i get there.

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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:36 pm

I think a lot of it is mindset. You have to approach the Bible as an ancient text and get over some of the notions you are raised with. At least that is what I ended up doing. Pre-mis-conceptions messed with me for a while, but once you let go of the baggage it becomes much more enjoyable I think. Also, it is just amazing to consider how many approaches there are to any given topic. In fact, the only times I get discouraged are when I realize just how many resources are out there and I know that I will never touch even a fraction of them in my lifetime. I think it is a bit tragic that there is so much available, but people don't even bother to read the Bible much less the extra materials. Instead it's Left Behind, Da Vinci Code or whatever the latest tripe being pushed out. /rant

[edit]
w00t 100th post!

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PostSubject: Re: mighty mountains - actually elohim ps 36:6   Sun May 16, 2010 2:55 pm

Roger:

I would encourage you to continue in your pursuit of Hebrew. The rewards far outweigh the negatives.

So many people, I think, refrain from studying the originals because working within a translation affords a cocoon of security.

The Hebrew text will confront you quite regularly with ambiguity. Embrace it! It shows the complexity of our marvelous God.

On Psalm 36:6, הררי־אל (it's actually אל rather than אלהים) could mean either "mountains of God" or "mighty mountains." Since the text is addressed to God, "mountains of God" sounds a bit odd, so perhaps that's why the versions tend to go the other way (LXX sticks with ορη θεου, though).
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