Lectionary Year A
February 24, 2002
Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation
A. Comparing Translations
(JW)The translations compared below are the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, and the New Living Translation.
Verse 2: I will make of you a great nation… RSV
I will make of you a great nation…NRSV
I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. NLT
…I will bless you, and make your name great…RSV
…I will bless you, and make your name great…NRSV
I will bless you and make you famous…NLT
Verse 3: …and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves. RSV
…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. NRSV
All of the families of the earth will be blessed through you. NLT
(JP)Translation Comparisons: NASB, RSV, NKJV and The Message
While 3 translations have "the Lord", the Message has "God"
NKJV: "Lord had said to Abram" All others just say told/said
NASB: relatives RSV: kindred NKJV/Mess: family
RSV: of you a great nation All others: you a great nation
Mess: make you famous All others: make your name great
NASB: so you shall be a blessing
RSV: so that you will be a blessing
NKJV: you shall be a blessing
Mess: you'll be a blessing
NASB: the one who curses
RSV: him who curse
NKJV: I will curse him who curses
Mess: those who curse
NASB: in you
RSV: by you
NKJV: in you
Mess: through you
RSV: bless themselves All others: will be blessed
NASB: went forth
B. Textual Criticism
(JW)The most notable differences here are in the interpretation choices of the New Living Translation. The more literal RSV, and the NRSV, state in the first example that God will make a nation. The NLT seems to place the emphasis more on Abram than the nation. It reads that God will cause Abram "to become the father… ". The NLT makes God's appeal to Abram sound a bit "Hollywood," where it has God telling Abram, "I will make you famous." This points out the extent to which the LORD was letting Abram know that he was going to receive a blessing that would be greater than anything that anyone could imagine.
(JP)12:2 The Samaritan Hebraic Pentateuch suggests that one look at Gen 17:1 for similarities. There, we find the same qal imperative, meaning "and to become" On the other hand, the apparatus also suggests a qal perfect 3rd person singular, which means "and he becomes". However, the textual apparatus is weak, so we will not change the text.
12:3 In this verse, the are many manuscripts that have another reading, including the Samaritan Heb. Pentateuch, the Septuagint, the Syriac and Vulgate, all which add a yod to the participle "the one cursing you" The Septuagint suggests katarwmenous, which derives from the verb araomai. When this is coupled with kata, we get "to pray for in a bad sense", or "to curse". The tense, however, changes to present passive masculine acc plural participle, which means " the ones cursing for themselves". Since I put a great amount of stock into these other texts, in my smooth translation I will change this word to plural instead of singular.
(BD)2a The Pentateuch uses a cohortative 1st person which expresses the same mood as the second person cohortative used in the text. The imperative used in the text follows a cohortative which frequently expresses a consequence, which is both expected with certainty or an intention.
3 The Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate and the Syriac use a plural Piel participle + suffix where the text uses a single Piel participle + 2ms suffix "he/the one verses those who disdain you." The single Piel makes the reading of the text more awkward, which is why I applied the rule of lectio difficilior and stayed with the original text.
C. Rough Translation
(JW)1) And had said the LORD to Abram Go from your land and from your kindred and from house your father's to the land which I will show you.
2) And I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and make great your name and you will be a blessing.
3) And I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse and shall be blessed in you all the families of the earth.
4) And went Abram even as had spoken to him the LORD and went with him Lot.
(JP)Said the Lord to Abram, "you depart from your land, and from your relatives, and from the house of your father to the land which I shall cause you to see.
And I shall make you (into) a nation great, and I shall bless you and I shall make great your name and come to pass a blessing.
And I shall bless the ones blessing you, and the one cursing you I shall curse. And they are blessed in you the whole families of the earth.
And he walks Abram as which spoke to him the Lord, and he departs with him Lot…"
(BD)1 Now Yahweh said to Abram, "Go! from your country/land and your kindred/relatives and from the house of your father to the land that I cause to show you.
2 And I will make you into (a) great nation, and I will bless you, and make great your name, and be! a source of blessing.
3 I will bless ones blessing you and one cursing you I will curse/make despicable. And they will be blessed because of/by you all of the peoples/nations on earth. "
4 So Abram departed just as Yahweh had told him.
1 And the Lord said to Abram, "Go! (Impv) from your land and from your kindred, and from the house of your fathers to the land that I will show you.
2 And I will make you as a great nation and I will bless you and I will make great your name and it (your name) will be a blessing.
3 And I will bless the-ones-blessing (ptc) you and the-ones-despising (ptc) you I will curse and all the families of the ground will be blessed by you."
4 And Abram went as that the Lord spoke to him. And Lot went with him.
| Return to Gospel text listings | Return to Epistle text listings |
| Return to Old Testament listings | Return to Psalm listings |
| User response form |