Sunday, November 23, 2008
  Advancing formal parallels in translation
BBB has an interesting post which focuses on places where a formal equivalence aproach to translation misses the point of idiomatic language. One example in particular got me thinking:

Luke 2:36
ESV Anna…was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin,
Comment: The Greek idiom (lit.) “advanced in many days” means “very old.” The idiom “from her virginity” means “after she was married.” This illustrates one of the common mistakes made by literalist translators. They suppose that by reproducing a few words from the idiom (“advanced” and “virginity”), you get closer to the meaning. But it is the whole idiom that carries the meaning, not random words.
TNIV She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
HCSB She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,
It is not the question of whether or not as a translation of αυτη προβεβηκυια εν ημεραις πολλαις "advanced in years" is usual English usage, or whether it's Biblish, that has me wondering. Rather it's the HCSB rendering: "Well along in years" which I think is an understandable English usage, but which captures many of the overtones of the original that "was very old" fails to carry.

Now often, and probably in this case, such overtones are not important to the message. But, as any speaker or writer knows, sometimes they are vital. And, as most writers, and some speakers, discover at times even the author of the text is not aware of their impact till later... translators may therefore "miss" such effects, and overlook attempting to incorporate them, unless there is a concerted effort (when possible) to as HCSB has here incorporate them as far as possible even when they may not be significant.


Saturday, November 22, 2008
I've been uploading photos to Panoramio, it makes a change from marking ;) Besides Panoramio is a great tool, you can geocode your photos, so that they are associated with the place you took them, and some get selected for display on Google Earth. This means that increasingly now I can find Creative Commons licenced photos of places, just by "going" there in Google, and clicking on the little square boxes that indicate a view... The photos I've uploaded have mainly been
  • Archaeological sites in Israel
    • Like the olive press at Hazor (above top)
  • or our South Island trip
    • like this moody glacial valley
    • or these pebbles at Birdlings Flat (below)
Really niceis that if you find them on Google Earth or see them in Panoramio (just click an image to try it) you see where they were taken, and maybe other people's photos of the same location :)

My collection is at next I'll have to organise them better with tags... ;)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008
  Audio epistolatory novel
Perhaps the biggest, and certainly the most complex, Librivox project I've been involved in is finished!

It took 400 days, involved about 20 different readers "playing" the various characters whose reminiscences and letters make up the story, in which different characters versions of events are told alongside each other.

The Woman in White was written by Wilkie Collins in 1859, is the first mystery novel, (which may make it attractive to Barbara who reads whodunits. The Woman in White is widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of ’sensation novels’. Many people know it through the musical adaptation by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2004. It has al,so been filmed by the BBC, a Rusian company and Holywood...

Oh yes, and you can listen, or download from the Internet Archive, or Librivox.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008
  What's so interesting in a desktop
Apparently Jim asked us all to show our desktops, or at least so many, many, far too many to list bloggers claim - if he did I missed it in the rush of marking to the head that characterises this season :(

I don't see what is interesting about Desktops, afterall no one sits and stares at them, they are just a way station on the route to "somewhere" else, and a convenient place to keep stuff that has no real home, before you delete it ;)

But in a fit of cooperative excess, here goes Tim's desktop as of 10:34am today - it looks different already, files deleted and new ones added...

Now back to Gen 6:1-4 as a radio play...

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  Qeiyafa Ostracon Prophecy
Amid all the understandable fuss about the possible consequences of the finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa, and in particular the enigmatic ostracon, one fact has been overlooked by all.

The finding of the ostracon was prophecied by scholars at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (on a page at months before the event!

The image here shows a fragment of the writing, which chronicles in detail the finding and partial or false publications of its finding even giving often precise dates, all in a webpage copyrighted in 2007. This is a miracle! What a shame that the page does not continue beyond this month... then we'd all know what the ostracon reads even before it is deciphered ;) In the meanwhile I plan to wait for more information before I speculate too much...

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Monday, November 17, 2008
  Telling tales in the clouds
How do we communicate serious stuff in the small disjointed fragments that media are becoming?

Mark Brown is promising a blockbuster paper The Digital Revolution and the Church though as yet there's little to suggest what aspects of the huge topic he'll try to tackle... but maybe the issue of whether churchy media are becoming "disjointed fragments" will feature. Meanwhile, from where I type and read, units of communication seem to have been shrinking by the decade. All thanks to digital media. In the seventies TV turned politics into soundbites, in the nineties webpages turned monographs into scan and click mind food, now in the naughties YouTube, TXT and "social networking sites" are turning conversations into an exchange of soundbites and essays into five minute videos.

A significant conversation partner for Mark, and for those like David who are beginning to think of the mobile phone as the major channel, popped into my feed box this morning. With the unlikely name of Catskill Cottage Seed the eponymous CCSeed has a post on Storytelling in Social Media which is full of smart remarks and fine suggestions - interpret both "storytelling" and "social media" widely (and you should!) - and we are all able to learn something, or better still recognise something we already knew, but too often forget!

For me one paragraph stood out, on Hooks:
You never know when or where someone will come across your stream, where or when they will break into the narrative. In a novel, once your (sic.) hooked, other things can develop; character, plot, metaphor; that elusive moment of truth. Even when providing these aspects in social media space, each content packet needs a hook that allows someone stumbling upon it immediate access. Nothing, from a tweet to a e-book, should be floated without a hook.
Much of the rest I'll want to reflect on and mull over, but for now I must not forget:
Scale the content down to the snippet, but not the quality of the content.
But, you my gentle readers, what are your tips and insights into connumication in this brave new world? Do drop us a mention of your favourite recognitions or insights...

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
  Hour long audio Bible collections: Joshua and Judges
In order to make the PodBible audio Bible recordings useful to more people we are collecting Bible chapters into roughly one hour sets. They are aimed at people who want to record to CD, or cassette tape, for elderly people or those with bad eyesight, or who want to listen to a longer chunk of Scripture. I've just uploaded another couple of books to the collection.

Next we must do some New Testament, perhaps the Gospels...

For the full list (updated as we add more) go to Bible60 @ PodBible


  The Avatars they tried to censor
Wayne Leman (as noted below) claimed that he wanted "to play with the avatars as well to see how I and others I know fare" but no gallery of the smiling faces of the Better Bibles crew have appeared yet.

So I thought I'd investigate... Here's what they really look like, and why no gallery has appeared:

Mike Sangrey David Ker
Dan Sindlinger Peter Kirk
and Rich Rhodes

The crew are all bad enough, but the ringleader of the gang "Wayne Leman" seems to be taunting us...

Wayne Leman.

The moral of this post is: Reveal your own avatar, with suitable comments to soften the blow, or... I may reveal your real self for all the world to see... Ha ha ha!

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008
  Fun while marking: online avatar generator
The online Avatar generator turns your name into a visual avatar. But it does not seem to like bibliobloggers as these examples suggest:

Chris Heard Jim West Mark Goodacre Tyler Williams

Even fellow Antipodean Judy Redman does not fare well:

Judy Redman

However, for some reason I alone seem to be blessed with an acceptable image.

Tim Bulkeley

Whether it is clean living, towering intellect, or blackmail that allows me to get off so lightly I'll leave in silence (and expect you to too ;) though I'd welcome suggestions of great and famous people that our biblibloggers' avatars resemble!

Or add to this rogues' gallery by typing your friends' names in to the site, and watch the fun! If you link here I'll add a link back so that interested parties can collect a full set - more fun and perhaps less divisive than the infamous "more conservative than you" list.

PS: Jim West calls it deviltry, and posts pictures of himself (in two guises) and of Chris Tilling which seem to demonstrate his point, or possibly that the pair of them are hiding out and appearing on wanted posters ;)

But, as if to demonstrate that to the pure all things are pure, Wayne Leman wants to "

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  Vernacular resources for local communities
The idea for producing resources in local (tribal) languages by approximate oral translation, and for distributing these by mobile phone and/or cheap MP3 players is explained in a post below: Watering the "Desert of Books" and with some followup ideas and replies to objections in Vernacular resources: watering the desert of books II. For those who prefer to see and hear there is a short presentation available either in Flash format (which most people can watch) or a Quicktime movie (which is much smaller, 2.5MB instead of 9MB for Flash).
Photo by
If you can see problems or fishhooks that I have missed, I'd like to hear from you...

If not, and if you know of someone working or interested in the area of resourcing local churches in languages please point them to this post as I'd REALLY love to hear from them!

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Sunday, November 02, 2008
  Biblioblogging: its now a city
There are now so many blogs that have an interest in the academic study of the Bible that no one, not even Jim West (who spends most of his waking hours at the task) can keep track of them all.

Duane, however, has done a sterling job of summarising and listing some of the most (excitable and) interesting of last month's posts in the traditional carnival, while keeping the size to an almost readable (if you ignore half the categories) post. This 2,500 word essay must have one of the lowest word to link ratios on the web, perhaps that is the secret of why Google loves the Carnivals ;)

And, if Duane's mamouth read suggests too many (new to you) blogs to read, then the infamous Bishop NT Wrong has a list of the top fifty, half of which I have still never heard of... If this sounds like belated fin de siècle weariness don't believe a word of it, it's just that the marking season has started :(


Saturday, November 01, 2008
  Vernacular resources for local churches
Here's a short Animoto video to explain the big idea...

Of course, if you want text... just read Watering the "Desert of Books" & Vernacular resources: watering the desert of books II.

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