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Analytical-Literal Translation

Questions on the ALT:

2002


The following are e-mails I have been receiving in 2002 asking questions about the Analytical-Literal Translation (ALT). The e-mailers' questions and comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My responses are in red.


>Subject: ALT [Analytical-Literal Translation] question

Bro. Gary,

You've done a great job and have come to the same conclusions that I have concerning the New Testament text. I was studying over the ALT a little and have this question for you. Please understand this is no trick question or back-door assault, merely an honest question.

You translate "amen amen" in the ALT as "most positively." [e.g. John 3:3] Now, we are in agreement that the translations of the Bible should be FE [formal equivalence]. Shouldn't you, in keeping with the FE philosophy and practice, reflect the repetition of "amen" with "Truly, truly," or "Certainly, certainly" or some other repetition? While I completely agree that "most positively" definitely explains the term, it seems to me that it borders on a DE [dynamic equivalence] translation. Your thoughts?

Take care,
in Christ,
Pastor Peter
8/1/02<

You're possibly correct. It would have been most literal to use "Positively, positively." However, the lexicons I checked specifically gave something like "Most positively" as a translation for the double "amen." And "Positively, positively" would have been very awkward. So with lexical support and with the improved readability, I didn't think it would be a problem using the slightly less literal "Most positively." But I could have just as easily used a double rendering as you suggest.

God bless,
Gary Z.


> Subject: Romans 9:5

Hello Gary,

What does the neuter article "to" mean here? If it refers to the Christ, why isn't it masculine? In most translations "to" is left untranslated. Kata sarka alone means "according to the flesh." My question is, what does "to" mean here?

Quotation from ALT:
9:5 of whom [are] the fathers and out of whom [is] the Christ [or, the Messiah], the [One] according to [the] flesh, the One being over all God blessed into the ages [fig., forever]! So be it!

Quotation from R-P text:
wn oi paterev kai ex wn o cristov to kata sarka o wn epi pantwn yeov euloghtov eiv touv aiwnav amhn

Thank you in advance,
Jussi,
Finland
1/18/02<

Very good observation. But it is the definite article ("the") that precedes preposition kata ("according to") that is neuter (prepositions do not have gender). And this is a mistake in the ALT. With the article being neuter the phrase cannot refer to Christ Himself but to his human ancestry.

Robinson's "Word Pictures" explains the situation well.
As concerning the flesh (to kata sarka). Accusative of general reference, "as to the according to the flesh." Paul limits the descent of Jesus from the Jews to his human side as he did in 1:3f.

So I changed the ALT text to read:
9:5 of whom [are] the fathers and out of whom [is] the Christ [or, the Messiah] (the [ancestral descent] according to [the] flesh), the One being over all God blessed into the ages [fig., forever]! So be it!

This change has been noted on the relevant ALT: Errata page.

 

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