translations with a Hebraic voice (Judges 6:36-40)

Some translations specifically reproduce the voice of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible.

Gid’on said to God:
If you wish to deliver Israel by my hand, as you have spoken,
here: I am setting a clipping of wool on the threshing-floor;
if dew is on the clipping alone, but on all the ground [it is] dry, then I will know
that you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you have spoken.
And it was so.
He started-early on the morrow;
he wrung out the clipping
and drained the dew from the clipping —
a bowl full of water.
Then Gid’on said to God:
Do not let your anger flare up against me,
but let me speak just one [more] time:
pray let me make a test only one [more] time with the clipping;
pray let there be dryness on the clipping alone,
but on all the ground let there be dew.
And God did so on that night:
here was dryness on the clipping alone,
but on all the ground there was dew.

Source: Everett Fox 2014

Gidon sprach zu Gott:
Willst du wirklich Befreier für Jissrael werden durch meine Hand, wie du geredet hast:
da breite ich die Wollschur in der Tenne —
wird Tau einzig auf der Schur sein und auf der Erde allumher Trockenheit,
dann werde ich wissen, daß du durch meine Hand Jissrael befreist, wie du geredet hast..
Es geschah, er war anderntags früh auf und rang die Schur aus:
er preßte Tau aus der Schur, eine Schale voll Wassers.
Gidon sprach zu Gott:
Entflamme doch nimmer deinen Zorn wider mich, daß ich nur diesmal noch rede:
ich möchts bloß diesmal noch mit der Schur erproben,
es sei doch Trockenheit einzig an der Schur, und auf der Erde allumher sei Tau!
Gott tat so in jener Nacht,
einzig an der Schur war Trockenheit, und auf der Erde allumher war Tau.

Source: Buber / Rosenzweig 1976

Guid‘ôn dit à l’Elohîms:
« Si tu vas sauver Israël par ma main, comme tu l’as parlé,
eh bien, j’expose moi-même la toison de laine dans l’aire:
si la rosée se trouve sur la toison seule, toute la terre étant sèche,
je saurai que tu sauveras par ma main Israël, comme tu l’as parlé. »
Et c’est ainsi. Il se lève le lendemain de grand matin.
Il presse la toison et exprime la rosée de la toison, un plein bol d’eau.
Guid‘ôn dit à l’Elohîms: « Que ta narine ne brûle pas contre moi !
Je parlerai une seule fois, j’éprouverai donc cette seule fois
avec la toison que le sec soit sur la toison seule,
et que sur toute la terre il y ait de la rosée. »
Elohîms fait ainsi cette nuit-là.
Le sec est sur la toison seule.
Sur toute la terre, c’était la rosée.

Source: Chouraqui 1985

addressing God with informality

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Tuvan uses a formal vs. informal 2nd person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Unlike other languages that have this feature, however, the translators of the Tuvan Bible have attempted to be very consistent in using the different forms of address in every case a 2nd person pronoun has to be used in the translation of the biblical text.

As Voinov shows in Pronominal Theology in Translating the Gospels (in: The Bible Translator 2002, p. 210ff.), the choice to use either of the pronouns many times involved theo-logical judgment. While the formal pronoun can signal personal distance or a social/power distance between the speaker and addressee, the informal pronoun can indicate familiarity or social/power equality between speaker and addressee.

In these verses, in which humans address God, the informal, familiar pronoun is used that communicates closeness.

Voinov notes that “in the Tuvan Bible, God is only addressed with the informal pronoun. No exceptions. An interesting thing about this is that I’ve heard new Tuvan believers praying with the formal form to God until they are corrected by other Christians who tell them that God is close to us so we should address him with the informal pronoun. As a result, the informal pronoun is the only one that is used in praying to God among the Tuvan church.”

In Dutch translations, however, God is always addressed with the formal pronoun.