Poll

Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?

OSB
2 (12.5%)
NKJV
1 (6.3%)
KJV
4 (25%)
Psalter According to the Seventy (Holy Transfiguration Monastery)
7 (43.8%)
Psalter of the Prophet and King David (CTOS)
0 (0%)
NRSV
0 (0%)
Another Translation
2 (12.5%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?  (Read 2411 times)

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Offline Asteriktos

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Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« on: May 02, 2011, 02:35:28 AM »
In another thread a while back Alveus mentioned the issue of having all sorts of translations of the Psalms. So, out of curiosity, what translation of the Psalms do you prefer, especially for the purposes of praying them?

Offline Quinault

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 02:54:55 AM »
You left out "The Message"

:D

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 02:55:38 AM »
You left out "The Message"

:D

Well shame on me!  :P ;D

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 09:41:20 AM »
Two biggies left off- the Coverdale psalms (standard for Anglicans) and the new ROCOR Psalter for Prayer based off of them.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 09:52:12 AM »
Two biggies left off- the Coverdale psalms (standard for Anglicans) and the new ROCOR Psalter for Prayer based off of them.

My apologies, could a mod possibly add those options?

Offline zekarja

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 12:13:25 PM »
I like the "Psalter According to the Seventy" from the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. :)

You can read it online here: http://orthodox.seasidehosting.st/seaside/psalm
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:14:01 PM by zekarja »

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 12:21:37 PM »
Psalter According to the Seventy because that's what I've been using since I became Orthodox and we use it at my church, but honestly I would switch if every jurisdiction could agree on a common translation.

Honestly, we are all supposed to be memorizing the psalms as we live out our prayer lives, pray the hours, attend services, etc. I don't see how ROCOR could be putting out a new translation when they've been using the HTM one for years. What about all of those monks and laypeople in their churches that know so many psalms by heart? Reading these new translations in services is going to totally throw them off. Bishops used to be required to recited the entire psalter from heart before ordination. This seems impossible to us now, but when everyone was reading from the same version and using it all throughout the day, this sort of thing naturally happens without much additional effort. I just think it's a shame that so many translations and alterations get issued so frequently, because it really makes memorizing the psalms quite difficult if not impossible.

Also, I think this poll would have been better if it had specified whether you meant for "Bible reading" or for actual prayer, because most non-Orthodox Christians that I know do not pray the psalms. To simply read them for comprehension might make another kind of translation better, but to actually recite them and attempt to become a part of them ourselves is another matter entirely. It's almost like most people read them to imbibe additional God information, which is a shame.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:24:26 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline bogdan

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 12:23:52 PM »
Generally I like the HTM Psalter. But for a few of the Psalms (mostly those used in the divine services), I prefer the Antiochian Archdiocese's translation used in the Service Book.

Sometimes HTM's translations are awkward, such as the verse from Psalm 141, "...to make excuse with excuses in sin" instead of simply "...to make excuses in sin." I understand that's a trait of "King James" English, where you get oddities like "he answered and said" rather than "he answered" but it certainly trips me up when I'm reading—and I greatly prefer the older form of English.

I have family members who adore translations like the NLT for Psalms, but it's incredible how much is lost. There is no attempt to retain any poetic structure at all, it's simply translated concept-for-concept. The Oxford RSV has a great article in the appendix about translating Hebrew poetry while retaining some kind of poetic meter and rhythm.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:32:04 PM by bogdan »

Offline zekarja

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 12:26:35 PM »
Generally I like the HTM Psalter. But for a few of the Psalms (mostly those used in the divine services), I like the Antiochian Archdiocese's translation used in the Service Book. Especially so with Psalm 103 and the Six Psalms.

I also like their Six Psalms translation especially since I read them so many times for Orthros.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 12:29:22 PM »
I like what I've seen of HTM, though there are a few unhappy wordings (their frequent use of the word "bowels" can be embarrassing in a modern context) and some lines seem a little stilted. It's their Psalm 50 which I've memorized, and its ease in memorization speaks a lot of the quality of the translation. Another issue though is the fact that HTM is a schismatic group rather vitriolically opposed to us; as long as their Psalter has been standard in English-speaking Orthodoxy, that's been lots of money flowing into them and helping perpetuate their activity.

The new Psalter for Prayer is the first psalter made widely available in "traditional" English from a canonical jurisdiction. Hopefully it will be widely adopted and we can finally speak of a real standard Psalter for Anglophone Orthodox.
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- Berdyaev

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Offline bogdan

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 12:36:31 PM »
^

From what I've heard, HTM was canonical at the time when the Psalter was translated.



Additionally there is also this translation, which is a LXX-ized revision of the KJV: http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/pdf/ot/psalms.pdf
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 12:37:40 PM by bogdan »

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2011, 12:38:03 PM »
Additionally there is also this translation, which is a LXX-ized revision of the KJV: http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/pdf/ot/psalms.pdf

Yeah, Michael Asser's work is great. His psalms are the  basis of the CTOS version; unfortunately CTOS decided to change his translation in places, sometimes for the worse, without consulting him.
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

If you would like a private forum for non-polemical topics, comment here.

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 01:03:56 PM »
You left out "The Message"

:D
I cannot BELIEVE that some beat me to that reference!  >:( :)
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2011, 02:12:25 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

That really depends on my purpose in reading them.

When I am chanting or singing the Psalter in prayer (alongside the Hours prayers) then the NKJV translation has one of the best flows while preserving the original feel and integrity.

When I am in a poetic, inspiration kind of mood I read the contemporary Jewish translation in the Tanakh, as it is very accurate to the Hebraic interpretations and gives different insights sometimes to the mindset of the authors and various historic periods which preserved them.

For a sort of authoritative Christian version, I use the Septuagint but I also like to use the Septuagint version when I am reading the Psalms along with my Greek Literal translation of the Gospel as the Septuagint is the version of "Old Testament" and "Psalms" that are quoted directly in the Greek Literal New Testament.

When I am lucky, I have some verses to chant in Ge'ez, the language of the Ethiopian Church, but I have very few of these.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 02:13:22 PM by HabteSelassie »
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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2011, 03:23:20 PM »
I share Alveus' frustration at the lack of cohesion for English translations.  It's one thing to read different translations of prayers, but the shortcoming is highlighted when memorizing. 

I've been praying and trying to the learn the HTM version, but I personally haven't found any translation that is more flowing and beautiful in language than the KJV.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2011, 03:26:40 PM »
I like what I've seen of HTM, though there are a few unhappy wordings (their frequent use of the word "bowels" can be embarrassing in a modern context) and some lines seem a little stilted.

I dunno. I find "bowels" to be a rather good translation of the "semitic" directness that often gets lost in English translations.


Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2011, 04:52:33 PM »
I just can't get past some of the stuff in the HTM translations... "my brothers were big and good" ...  ??? :police:

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2011, 05:20:44 PM »
When I am chanting or singing the Psalter in prayer (alongside the Hours prayers) then the NKJV translation has one of the best flows while preserving the original feel and integrity.

When I am in a poetic, inspiration kind of mood I read the contemporary Jewish translation in the Tanakh, as it is very accurate to the Hebraic interpretations and gives different insights sometimes to the mindset of the authors and various historic periods which preserved them.

On the first point, I thought I was alone.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2011, 05:21:06 PM »
In older usage, "big" can refer to greatness in general, and virtues like nobility, courage, etc. In Sir Thomas Malory one often sees knights described as "big" in a way that doesn't refer to physical size.
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

If you would like a private forum for non-polemical topics, comment here.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Which Translation of the Psalms Do You Prefer?
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2011, 06:07:25 PM »
In older usage, "big" can refer to greatness in general, and virtues like nobility, courage, etc. In Sir Thomas Malory one often sees knights described as "big" in a way that doesn't refer to physical size.

Well, thank you for the explanation, though I think my issues would remain (which says more about me than the translation perhaps). I have similar issues with the Holy Apostles Convent New Testament translations, I think. For all I know they are the most lovely and accurate and wonderful translations into English ever produced. But to my ears/eyes, I just can't get used to them or go along with them. Maybe I'm too set in my ways... perhaps even an Orthodox crypto-KJV-only...   :P :angel: