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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attends to the politics of translation, comparing how the King James Bible and the Geneva Bible represent the terrible desolation wrought by God’s punishment of nations in Isaiah 13 and 34. The Geneva’s rendering of the chapters includes the transliterated Hebrew names of abhorrent and frightening creatures that are demonstrably ‘hard in the ears’ of readers. Glosses setting the meanings of those ‘hard’ words are furnished in the margins. The KJB, in contrast, translates the rare and difficult words and relegates the transliterated Hebrew terms to the margins. Edwards argues that the KJB’s infrequent marginal glosses embody the clear lesson that the task of exegesis belongs to the clergy. The political effect of the KJB’s translational strategy is to bolster the established church, and to downplay the difficulty of the Bible as a translated text.

Keywords: translation, desolation, biblical monsters, Geneva Bible, King James Bible, politics of translation, Isaiah 13, Isaiah 34, King James Bible, Hebrew

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