HCSB translation comments

I have decided to split the devotional reading from the HCSB evaluation posts. Here are some posts on the other site related to HCSB:

Genesis 1-3 HCSB

Genesis 4-5 HCSB

And I will adjust the other posts and bring the HCSB comments here.

 

Genesis 6-8 HCSB

6:3

HCSB: And the LORD said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt.
NAS: Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh;

It seems that the two translations are radically different, and in both cases. However, in the first instance what isn’t noted in the HCSB Bible is that “remain” (or “abide in”) comes from ancient versions, not the Hebrew. While HCSB provides a footnote, it only states “or strive” without indicating how that came to be. In the last part of the verse, HCSB includes a footnote “lit. flesh.” That choice seems to fit with the context and makes sense; a corresponding text is Psalm 78:39.

6:6

HCSB: the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
NAS: The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
GW: The Lord was sorry that he had made humans on the earth, and he was heartbroken.

I think HCSB offers the best translation of נחם (naham). In the niphal the word can mean “regret,” “to be sorry,” “to console oneself.” In English “sorry” carries the connotation of some kind of sinful action for which the person is sorry. Thus, I think “regret” carries better the sense of the verse regarding God’s disposition for the current sad state of affairs; God didn’t cause this, but he sees the consequences of the sin.

“Grieved”— the form (hitpael) is only used in two places in the OT, here and Gen. 34:7. One reference translates it as “deeply wounded” (HALOT, Vol. 2, p. 865). This fits well with “grieved” but I think even better with the GW rendering, “heartbroken.”

8:1

HCSB: God remembered Noah
NAS: But God remembered Noah

The waw-consecutive form of the verb can be a continuation, but also can be used in contrast to what had been previously stated (see 6:18 where HCSB does indicate the contrast with identical construction). It seems that the context suggests that “but” is essential in noting the change from 7:23-24 (“they were wiped off the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark”).

Summary

The only changes I would make: in 6:8 change “Noah, however,…” to “But Noah….” While both indicate contrast, the secondary position of “however” weakens the effect. I would change 8:1 to include the contrast, “But God remembered…”

This section HCSB seemed to hold up well. Translation choices (except the two noted) appear to be appropriate and very readable.

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About exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian
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