Contemporary Theory and Practice of Bible Translation
 

TRANSLATING THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE: TRANSLATING BIBLICAL POETRY
Interconfessional seminar at the Pontifical Urbaniana University
February 8-12, 2021

 

Coordinator
Andrzej M. GIENIUSZ

Seminar description
This annual seminar aims to engage students in an exploration of the contemporary theory and practice of Bible translation, through focus on a particular topic or problematic within the field. The thematic focus of this year’s seminar will be “Translating the Bible as Literature: Translating Biblical Poetry”.
Throughout history, countless scholars and writers have recognized the literary richness of the biblical text, replete with vivid passages in a full range of genres, styles and poetic forms. In the course of their
work, translators of the Bible need also strive to produce translations that reflect this richness and variety in the voices and cadences of the receptor language. This seminar is designed to help students explore the richness of ancient biblical poetry. In particular, the seminar will focus on the poetic genre and consider how this knowledge can be practically applied to a translation process that aims to produce translated texts that are both aesthetically expressive and communicatively natural, effecting a clearer, richer understanding of the Biblical message. 

Seminar objectives
By the end of the seminar, a successful student will:
• Identify and analyze some of the more prevalent literary properties of biblical poetry, as exemplified in specified texts from both the Old and New Testaments.
• Demonstrate appreciation for the expressive potential of vernacular language, highlighting specific examples from the language(s) of their own cultural context.
• Produce draft translations that demonstrate attention to literary structure and expression, as well as exegetical care.

Seminar requirements
This seminar is designed for those students of Teologia Biblica who are pursuing either their second year of Licenza, or their doctoral degree. It is intended to be a hybrid seminar, incorporating elements of both in-class and online learning; however, Covid-19 contingencies may necessitate an exclusively online learning experience. The course will utilize both synchronous (in-class or live-streamed) large group lectures, small group discussions, and one-on-one consultations, as well as asynchronous online assignments, discussions, and quizzes.

Prior to the first day of the seminar (February 8), students will be required to read Isaiah 53:1-7 and Colossians 1:15-20 in Hebrew and Greek texts, respectively.  During the February 8-12 seminar, morning and afternoon lectures will be followed by relevant practical exercises. After the February 8-12 seminar, a final project—introduced on Feb. 12—will also be required and should be submitted online before the end of semester, i.e., by June 30.  While English will be the language of instruction for the seminar, written assignments may be submitted in English, Spanish, French or Italian, depending upon the student’s preference.

 

Professors
Prof. Pasquale BASTA
Pontificia Università Urbaniana / Pontificio Istituto Biblico

Dr. Simon CRISP
United Bible Societies (retired)

Dr. Daniel FITZGERALD
American Bible Society

Prof. Andrzej M. GIENIUSZ
Pontificia Università Urbaniana

Dr. Lénart DE REGT
United Bible Societies

Prof. Giovanni RIZZI
Pontificia Università Urbaniana

Prof. Philip H. TOWNER
Pontificia Università Urbaniana

Dr. Valdo BERTALOT

 

Evaluation
The grade that the student earns on the Final Project will serve as the student’s final grade for the seminar.  (4 CREDITS)

 

Calendar
December 15     Course registration deadline
February 8         Pre-seminar readings deadline: Is 53:1-7 (Hebrew) and Col 1:15-20 (Greek)
February 8-12  Intensive 5-day seminar (residential, or live-streamed)
June 30                Last day to submit (online) post-seminar Final Project

 

Contacts for further information
General questions
Dr. Valdo Bertalot – v.bertalot@gmail.com

Questions regarding matriculation
Prof. Andrzej M. Gieniusz – antgien@gmail.com

Questions regarding seminar website(s)
Dr. Daniel Fitzgerald – dfitzgerald@nidaschool.org

 

 

 

Tentative Schedule

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

08:30 - 10:00

 

Welcome and Opening
***
Online
Learning Platform
[FITZGERALD]
***
Translation of the Bible as Literature
[TOWNER]

Textual Criticism:
Old Testament Poetic Discourse
(Lénart)
***
New Testament Poetic Discourse
(Crisp)

Translating
Old
Testament Poetic Discourse
(Lénart)

Work Session

Draft #2

continue…
“Instrumental”
Translation

Consultants available for one-on-one assistance

[CRISP/TOWNER/DE REGT]

Student Presentations
of
Draft #2 Revisions

Brief, Exemplary Comparative Critiques

10:00 - 10:30

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

10:30 - 12:00

Discourse Typologies:

Target LanguagePoetic Discourse

Lecture & Practicum
[FITZGERALD]

Rhetorical Discourse
(Classical & Biblical)
(gieniusz)

Translating New Testament Poetic Discourse
(Crisp)

Work Session

Draft #2

continue…
“Instrumental”
Translation

Consultants available for one-on-one assistance

[CRISP/TOWNER/DE REGT]

“Da Liturgiam autenticam
a Magnum Principium. 
Le traduzioni della Bibbia nel contest cattolico.”

[BASTA]

 

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

Lunch

15:00 –
16:15

OT Pericope: Exegesis & Translation Problems

Lecture & Practicum
[DE REGT]

Skopostheorie
&
Translation Typologies
[FITZGERALD]

Analyzing Target Language Poetic Discourse

Lecture & Practicum
[FITZGERALD]

Small Group Consultant Reviews of Draft #2

(3 groups)
[CRISP/TOWNER/DE REGT]

History of Catholic Bible Translation in Africa

[RIZZI]

16:15– 16:30

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:45

 

NT Pericope: Exegesis & Translation Problems

Lecture & Practicum
[TOWNER]
\

Work Session

Draft #1
“Documentary” Translation

Work Session

Composing with Target Language Poetic
Discourse Features Lecture & Practicum
[FITZGERALD]

Small Group Consultant Reviews of Draft #2

(3 groups)
[CRISP/TOWNER/DE REGT]

Synthesis of
the Week

Discussion of
Final Project

Course Evaluation and Closing

 

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

Dinner

 

 

Homework:
Curating Vernacular Discourse Recordings & Transcriptions

Homework:
Complete
Draft #1
“Documentary” Translation

 

Homework:
1. Finish vernacular discourse analysis
2. Begin Draft #2 “Instrumental” Translation

Homework:
REVISE Draft #2
&
Prepare Friday Presentation