“the darkest valley”

Recently a parishioner asked me about the rendering of a modern Dutch translation of the Bible at Psalm 23:4. This made me curious about how the NIV 2011 renders it. I discovered that the new version is close to this aforementioned Dutch version. While the old version of the NIV reads “through the valley of the shadow of death” and places “through the darkest valley” in the footnote, the new version reverses the main text and the footnote text. Both translations are defensible. I suspect that the older one is influenced by the Septuagint, which renders it skia thanatou, although it may also have something to do with the etymology of the Hebrew word, which includes the word for death in it.

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Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hence my “all translation is interpretation” maxim. I think the final verse is even moreninteresting: i shall dwell in the house of YHWH as “long as i live”.

  2. So true, Travis.


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