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General Comments on the ALT:
The following are e-mails I received in 1999 commenting on the Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT). The e-mailers' comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
> I realize that you do not have time to answer every email sent, and if this is addressed in your site, please don't answer, I'll find it. Young makes a very compelling argument against the waw conservative in his introduction, (no parallels in any other language being one, inconsistent use another), what arguments could possible be used for it? I am not a student of Hebrew, and it was your site that educated me in the fact that RY [Robert Young] was alone in this belief.
This was an issue I struggled with a quite a bit. As indicated on the ALT: FAQ page, I originally planned on updating Young's Literal Translation (YLT) for both Testaments. But Young's unique views on the waw conversive was a stumbling block. It was a Jewish-Christian Internet friend who pointed this out to me.
The main arguments for the waw conversive having a "converting" force (which Young rejected) are two-fold. First, the Septuagint (LXX: second century BC, Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) was translated by Jews. And as Young himself points out in his Introduction, the LXX reflects the converting force of the prefixed waw.
Now Young tries to evade this by saying the Jews were just trying to accommodate the Greeks. But it is more likely, as my friend put it, that surely the Jews knew their own language. If the waw was meaningless it is very doubtful they would have "invented" it just to translate the LXX.
Moreover, it isn't just the LXX but Jews throughout history, down to today, have recognized the conversive. And it was this last point that was the clincher for me. If Jews today follow the waw conversive then their must be something to it.
Moreover, as I indicate on the FAQ page, every other Hebrew scholar and Bible translator throughout history has recognized the waw conversive. So, as my Jewish friend put it, isn't it strange that just this one man, Young, does not?
So yes, Young's arguments in his Introduction sound strong, but to me, they were not enough to explain why Jews in the past and present and every other translator and scholar would disagree with him.
As for Young's arguments, no parallels in any other language sounds strong. However, it is Hebrew we are talking about, and since native Hebrew speakers accept it, that is most important. I am sure there are things in various languages that have no parallel in other languages. But not being a linguist I can't say for sure.
As for inconsistent use, that is just a matter of translating. There are a lot of things that are inconsistently done in many translations. But I am trying to be as consistent as possible in the ALT; and I will try to do so in regards to the waw conversive when I get to it.
I hope that helps.
> Thanks for answering, and yes that does help. In a way, I am glad God gave you this job and not me. So far as I have seen, your concept, method and goal are identical to what I had come up with and put on my "list of things to do." Unfortunately, that meant learning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic had to go on that list too. I think the verse format you have chosen is the best; preeminate over "looking nice" is the ability to locate verses for comparisons or word studies.<
Yes, learning the original languages is a requirement for translating the Bible. And it's not easy; but can be done. But thanks for the encouragement and confirmation on my plans.
> If I can do more than encourage and pray, let me know. <
Even without knowing the original languages, if you want, you could still "proof-read" the text. I just posted stage two for the John 12-21, along with giving John 1-11 a minor update. When I re-read the text myself before posting it I noticed a few minor mistakes, like not capitalizing every pronoun referring to Jesus. If you see any others I missed, or any similar mistakes, let me know so I can correct it.
But note, there really is no reason to concentrate on reading any book until it progresses to stage two as major changes are made at that time. But after stage two, any input or suggestions are appreciated. Right now, only the Gospel of John has progressed that far. I will be working on 1,2,3 John next.
> Gary, I am very much a fan of your Web page and come to it almost everyday. I am also following your Bible project.<
I am thankful you find my site so beneficial!
> I stumbled across another Bible project I thought you might like to know about that seems to have some of the same ideas. The address is here. Please let me know what you think about it.
Thank and may God bless you.
Thank you for the URL. I read through the background pages and sample chapters posted for The Original Bible Project. And you are correct; it does appear to have many similarities to the ALT, but also some important differences. I decided to write an article discussing both of these. It is located at: Original Bible Project vs. the ALT.
> Thanks Gary to your quick response to my questions regarding the OBP... You answered all the questions I had about it. I was particularity interested in the Greek and Hebrew texts that are being used and I knew you would be able to figure that out.
Thanks once again and I thank the Lord for men such as you with both the spirit and knowledge to so carefully handle the Word of God!
I'm thankful I could be of help. And thank you for the kind comments. I didn't specifically mention about the Hebrew text in the article as I assumed it was the Hebrew BHS text that is used for most Bible versions. I didn't see anything that showed otherwise. This is the Hebrew text found on the Online Bible and BibleWorks programs which I will be consulting for the ALT.
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