burnt-offering

The Hebrew olah (עֹלָה) originally means “that which goes up (in smoke).” English Bibles often translates it as “burnt-offering” or “whole burnt-offering,” focusing on the aspect of the complete burning of the offering.

The Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate Bibles translate it as holokautōma / holocautōsis (ὁλοκαύτωμα / ὁλοκαύτωσις) and holocaustum, respectively, meaning “wholly burnt.” While a form of this term is widely used in many Romance languages (Spanish: holocaustos, French: holocaustes, Italian: olocausti, Portuguese: holocaustos) and originally also in the Catholic tradition of English Bible translations, it is largely not used in English anymore today (the preface of the revised edition of the Catholic New American Bible of 2011: “There have been changes in vocabulary; for example, the term ‘holocaust’ is now normally reserved for the sacrilegious attempt to destroy the Jewish people by the Third Reich.”)

Since Georgian translation traditionally was done on the basis of the Greek Septuagint, a transliteration of holokautōma was used as well, which was changed to a translation with the meaning of “burnt offering” when the Old Testament was retranslated in the 1980’s on the basis of the Hebrew text.

The English translation of Everett Fox uses offering-up (similarly, the German translation by Buber-Rosenzweig has Darhöhung and the French translation by Chouraqui montée).

See also offering (qorban).

offering

The Hebrew that is translated as “offering” in English is translated in Venda as nduvho. J. A. van Rooy (in The Bible Translator 1974, p. 439ff.) explains: “It is derived from the verb u luvha (‘to pay homage to; to acknowledge the superiority of; at the same time usually asking for a favour’). It is sometimes used as a synonym for ‘asking something from a chief. The noun nduvho means ‘a gift of allegiance,’ which corresponds closely with minchah (מִנְחָה) as ‘offering of allegiance.’ This term nduvho has in it the elements of subjugation, of reciprocity (asking for a favor), of being taken up into the same community as the chief in allegiance to him. Only the element of expiation is missing.”

See also offering (qorban).