Negotiating an Eco-conscious Translation of the Hebrew Bible: Jonah 3:1–10 as Test Case


The last two centuries have seen a growing focus on matters concerned with the natural environment. This is not only true for the natural sciences, but all fields of inquiry, including that of theology and religion. Building on the work of eco-theologians and scholars of eco-hermeneutics, this article aims to determine whether, and to what extent, translation has a role to play in promoting these efforts. Consequently, using Eco’s (2004) notion of “translation as negotiation” as blueprint, the author first delineates what an eco-conscious translation entails before showing its practical application in Jonah 3:1–10. In the end, such a rendering does not diverge too much from the Hebrew text or other more established English translations. However, the changes it introduces are ideologically significant. Moreover, the process may prove to be an important tool if the Judeo-Christian tradition still has a role to play in battling different environmental challenges.




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