Genesis 15-20 HCSB

Genesis 15-17

The only issue I found in this section was how HCSB translated the Hebrew word, זְרוֹעַ, as “offspring” (which I think is good), but then in the New Testament translating the Greek word, σπέρμα (sperma), as “seed.” While two different languages are used, the semantic domains of each overlap considerably. And that seems to be Paul’s whole point in Galatians 3. Thus, it would have better to translate both words the same, “offspring” or “seed” to avoid confusion and to see the connections that Paul was indeed making. Surprisingly in Hebrews 11, HCSB uses “offspring.” Thus, the inconsistency of HCSB arises again.

Genesis 18-20

At the end of Genesis 18:8, we find that by its translation HCSB adds to the text:

HCSB: He served them as they ate under the tree. (footnote: “was standing by”)

NAS: and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate.

GW/ESV: Then he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

NIV 2011: While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

So also in 18:12, HCSB uses “shriveled” instead of the more common “old.” The problem is that “shriveled” carries more weight than just the fact of being old, which is the point she is making. If anything, “worn out” would have been a better choice. Granted there are two separate words (בלה) and (זָקֵֽן) used in this verse for old, but the context does not seem to dictate that kind of distinction since bother words designate “old.”

In 19:10, 12, HCSB translates the word אִישׁ, normally “man”(singular) or “men” (plural) as “angels.” Some might question this almost as reading into the text. However, the Hebrew הַמַּלְאָכִ֤ים, “the angels,” in 19:1 sets the stage for this reference.So while the translation “man/men” seems most appropriate, HCSB is making the connection back to the beginning of the narrative.

In Genesis 20:17 the repeated word ( כִּֽי־עָצֹ֤ר עָצַר֙), infinitive absolute form followed by the Qal perfect form, stresses the action. In this case, HCSB offers an readable and acceptable translation(better than NAS or NIV 2011; ESV is weaker in this sentence as well)

HCSB: for the LORD had completely closed all the wombs

NAS: For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs

GW: The Lord had made it impossible for any woman…to have children

NIV 2011: for the LORD had kept all the women … from conceiving

ESV: For the LORD had closed all the wombs

Overall, this section in HCSB did not offer any jarring reading experiences. Translation choices seemed acceptable and workable.


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