An article analyzing the new Czech translation of the Bible published last year entitled The Bible: A Translation for the 21st Century. The passage chosen for the analysis and evaluation of the translation is that of the Decalogue (Exo. 20:2-17 and Deut. 5:6-21). The study starts by characterizing the basic issues involved in translating traditional and authoritative texts which are firmly rooted in the cultural memory of each language region, and then goes on to examine the role played by the correct identification of the genre (literary type) of the Decalogue in the context of biblical legislative texts and their forms. It criticizes the choice of the imperative (vetitive) as the dominant mode for the verb forms in the main clauses of the individual commandments. In terms of terminology and phraseology, the analysis shows that the Translation for the 21st Century does in places introduce original interpretations in its paraphrases of the original text and comes up with some innovative formulations, but this is usually at the cost of a significant shift in the meaning of the statement, usually with a tendency to generalize and decontextualize the original meaning of the statement. In other parts of the Decalogue text, on the contrary, the translation reveals the influence of the Kralice Bible (the classic Reformation translation into Czech, made in the 16th century), with a return to the Kralice diction, so that in some places elements are preserved of a more conservative diction than is usual with other translations of recent decades. Thus overall the translation, while noteworthy, is somewhat inconsistent, and on a number of points it clearly lacks a firm grounding in the issues relating to the interpretation of the text.
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