Biblical Measures and their Translation: Notes on Translating Biblical Units of Length, Area, Capacity, Weight, Money and Time

Statement of Responsibility:
Schmidt, Peter
Authors:
Date:
2014
Abstract:
This paper presents an overview of all units of measurement in both the Old and New Testaments. And, as a help for translators, it specifically provides the modern equivalent for each measure. Special attention is also given to the differences between the short and the long cubit, as well as a discussion about the sizes of the ephah and the bath. In addition, this paper argues that the acknowledged differences between pre- and postexilic units of measurement should be taken into consideration in any translation, even if precise definitions may not be possible. Furthermore, it proposes that measures of capacity should be rendered as certain measures of weight, if this is more acceptable in the host culture. Lastly, while the usage of metric equivalents is seen as fitting in certain situations, this approach may also raise unique problems, and these are addressed. Some of these problems include dealing with symbolic numbers and verses which, in the original text, explain one measurement term by using another, and thus function as a kind of footnote. Other issues of translation are also touched upon as well; however, what is not included is a discussion of those discrepancies that seem to exist between some passages of I & II Chronicles on the one side, and their parallel texts in I & II Kings on the other.
Extent:
63 pages
Subject:
year
weight
volume
Translation
time
shekel
month
Money
measures
measurement
length
hour
ephah
drachma
distance
denarius
day
daric
cubit
coin
capacity
calendar
bath
area
Content Language:
Nature of Work: