Lexicography and the translation of ‘cedars of Lebanon’ in the Septuagint

Botanical terms in the Septuagint reveal a mass of uncertain and sometimes contradictory data, owing to the translators’ inadequate and inaccurate understanding of plants. To understand the metaphorical and symbolic meaning of plants, the new approach represented by Biblical Plant Hermeneutics place...

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Published in: Hervormde teologiese studies Vol. 74; no. 3; pp. 1 - 13
Main Authors: Naude, Jacobus A, Miller-Naude, Cynthia L
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Portuguese
Afrikaans
Published: Pretoria AOSIS 03-01-2018
AOSIS (Pty) Ltd
African Online Scientific Information Systems (Pty) Ltd t/a AOSIS
Reformed Theological College of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Pretoria and Society for Practical Theology in South Africa
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Summary: Botanical terms in the Septuagint reveal a mass of uncertain and sometimes contradictory data, owing to the translators’ inadequate and inaccurate understanding of plants. To understand the metaphorical and symbolic meaning of plants, the new approach represented by Biblical Plant Hermeneutics places the taxonomy of flora on a strong ethnological and ethnobotanical basis by studying each plant in situ and gathering indigenous knowledge about the plant and its context in the biblical text. This article applies this methodology to the translation of the Hebrew source text term ארֶֶז [cedar] in the Septuagint as κέδρος [cedar] or κέδρινος (the adjectival form of κέδρος) and its interpretation in the light of lexicography, which lead to contradictory identifications. A complexity theoretical approach is proposed to provide a solution for the various identification choices in the light of lexicography to communicate the cultural values of the Hebrew source text and its Greek translation.
ISSN: 0259-9422
2072-8050
2072-8050
DOI: 10.4102/hts.v74i3.5042