Checking the Translation of an Extract From a Greek Text

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Bernd Strauss
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Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Checking the Translation of an Extract From a Greek Text

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 20th, 2018, 12:41 pm

Homilies on Stephen (attributed to Gregory of Nyssa), extract from homily 2: “Προφῆται μὲν γὰρ διέλαμψαν μετὰ τὴν ἐκείνου παρουσίαν· μᾶλλον δὲ ἢ πρὸ ἐκείνης. Ἀμυδρᾶς γὰρ οὔσης ἔτι τῆς προφητείας ταῖς εὐαγγελικαῖς τῶν Γραμματέων ἐκβάσεσιν, ὁ Σωτὴρ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, πάντας ἐλάμπρυνε, καὶ διεσάφησε, πλήρωμα νόμου καὶ προφητῶν γενόμενος. Οὐ γὰρ ἦλθε καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον καὶ τοὺς προφήτας, ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι.”

Richard McCambly’s translation: “The prophets radiated after his coming rather than before. Upon coming into the world the Savior illumined and rent the obscurity of prophecy with regard to the Scribes' decrees, having fulfilled the Law and prophets, for he did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets but to fulfill them.”

Is the translation of the above extract accurate, or does it need improvements?
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Checking the Translation of an Extract From a Greek Text

Post by Barry Hofstetter » April 21st, 2018, 8:24 am

Bernd Strauss wrote:
April 20th, 2018, 12:41 pm
Homilies on Stephen (attributed to Gregory of Nyssa), extract from homily 2: “Προφῆται μὲν γὰρ διέλαμψαν μετὰ τὴν ἐκείνου παρουσίαν· μᾶλλον δὲ ἢ πρὸ ἐκείνης. Ἀμυδρᾶς γὰρ οὔσης ἔτι τῆς προφητείας ταῖς εὐαγγελικαῖς τῶν Γραμματέων ἐκβάσεσιν, ὁ Σωτὴρ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὸν κόσμον, πάντας ἐλάμπρυνε, καὶ διεσάφησε, πλήρωμα νόμου καὶ προφητῶν γενόμενος. Οὐ γὰρ ἦλθε καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον καὶ τοὺς προφήτας, ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι.”

Richard McCambly’s translation: “The prophets radiated after his coming rather than before. Upon coming into the world the Savior illumined and rent the obscurity of prophecy with regard to the Scribes' decrees, having fulfilled the Law and prophets, for he did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets but to fulfill them.”

Is the translation of the above extract accurate, or does it need improvements?
Well, all I can say is that it's not how I would do it. "Radiated" just sounds strange in English, I would prefer something like "shone clearly" for διέλαμψαν. I also don't think it's right the way he has incorporated the genitive absolute phrase Ἀμυδρᾶς γὰρ οὔσης ἔτι τῆς προφητείας ταῖς εὐαγγελικαῖς τῶν Γραμματέων ἐκβάσεσιν into the structure of the sentence. It shows the circumstances under which the savior came enlightened everyone. It's most likely concessive, "although the prophecy was still obscure in the gospel prophecies (not sure of the best rendering for ἔκβασις here) of the scribes..."
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Bernd Strauss
Posts: 75
Joined: May 20th, 2017, 11:23 am

Re: Checking the Translation of an Extract From a Greek Text

Post by Bernd Strauss » April 23rd, 2018, 11:57 am

Thank you for the review of the text. There is no translation of the homilies on Stephen in Philip Schaff's series, but the above translation was made in the 1990’s.
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