Mythology or Zoology 


A Study on the Impact of Translation History in Isaiah 13:21


In: Biblical Interpretation
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Chester, UK


Login via Institution

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

The challenge of Bible translation is often confounded by the uncertain identity of many of the animals and mythological creatures found in the text. This essay is an attempt to analyse why these creatures have complex, obscure translations and thereby complicate the passages they inhabit. Over time, this problematic translation of the biblical passages has been influenced by a variety of different historical and contextual factors; however, it has also interestingly influenced the readership of the biblical text. By focussing upon a couple of particularly intriguing words, this essay displays the impact that the process of translation has had upon the understanding of the biblical text.


  • 3

     E.J. Schochet, Animal Life in Jewish Tradition: Attitudes and Relationships (New York: Ktav, 1984), p. 10.

  • 4

     R. Whitekettle, ‘Raven as Kind and Kinds of Ravens: A Study in the Zoological Nomenclature of Lev. 11,2–23’, ZAW 117 (2005), pp. 509–528 (517).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

     G.R. Driver, ‘Birds in the Old Testament: I. Birds in Law’, PEQ 87 (1955), pp. 5–20 (12–13).

  • 11

     S.H. Levy, ‘The Date of Targum Jonathan to the Prophets’, VT 21 (1971), pp. 186–96.

  • 12

     M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (New York: Pardes, 1950), p. 920b.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

     S. Butbul, ‘The Rendering of Bird Names in Early Judeo-Arabic Biblical Translations’, Aleph 10 (2010), pp. 11–42 (28).

  • 16

     I.L. Seeligmann, The Septuagint Version of Isaiah and Cognate Studies (Leuven: Brill, 1948), p. 87.

  • 17

     M. Papoutsakis, ‘Ostriches into Sirens: Towards an Understanding of a Septuagint Crux’, JJS 55 (2004), pp. 25–36 (31).

  • 18

     Papoutsakis, ‘Ostriches into Sirens’, p. 31.

  • 19

     P. Churgin, ‘The Targum and the Septuagint’, AJSL 50 (1933), pp. 41–65.

  • 20

     N.H. Snaith, ‘The Meaning of שעירים’, VT 25 (1975), pp. 115–18 (115).

  • 21

     M. Davies and J. Kathirithamby, Greek Insects (London: Duckworth, 1986), p. 74.

  • 22

     Davies and Kathirithamby, Greek Insects, pp. 73–5.

  • 23

     H. Rahner, Greek Myths and Christian Mystery (New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1971), p. 357.

  • 25

     Rahner, Greek Myths, p. 359.

  • 27

     C.T. Lewis, and C. Short (eds.), A Latin Dictionary Founded on Andrew’s Edition of Freund’s Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879), p. 1768.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29

     Lewis and Short, Latin Dictionary, p. 1377.

  • 31

     Lewis and Short, Latin Dictionary, p. 1636.

  • 32

     Quoted in R. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (New York: New American Library, 1950), p. 256.

  • 39

     Driver, ‘Birds in the Old Testament’, pp. 12–13.

  • 44

     Committee on Bible Translation, ‘Preface’, p. vi.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 111 26 0
Full Text Views 212 12 0
PDF Downloads 16 5 0