跟清教徒学英语(6)| rather … or …

阅读本文大约需要: <1 分钟

And, that they may the better secure the practice of holiness by their conditional faith, they will not have trusting in God or Christ for salvation to be accounted the principal saving act of it; because, as it seems to them, many loose wicked people trust on God and Christ for their salvation as much as others and are, by their confidence, hardened the more in their wickedness; but they had rather it should be obedience to all Christ’s laws, at least in resolution, or a consent that Christ should be their Lord, accepting of His terms of salvation, and a resignation of themselves to His government in all things.

请用10分钟阅读和翻译这句只有110个单词的句子。上下文是“我们因信称义之后,是否还是要因为律法和行为成圣?”


清教徒的书籍,句子都很长,我的脑容量不够,所以每句话都需要mechanical layout,至少要在头脑中画出语法图来,才能慢慢地理解。按照人的短期记忆,我的高速缓存只有7个字长,所以凡是超过10个单词的句子就必须调用远离中心处理器(CPU)的二级缓存,超过30个单词就要使用内存里的交换文件,所以在判断一本书的难度时,我总是用句长作为主要的依据,因为句长和我对句子的理解时间之间具有指数关系。

但这里不是为了讨论句子如何长,因为我总是能从清教徒的书籍中找出更长的句子来,实在不行,我的朋友说,可以去德语的文献中找更长的句子,再不行就去古典希腊文或者希腊教父那里去,因为神学表述,没有最长,只有更长;我的目的是讨论这个句子中的rather … or …


And, that they may the better secure the practice of holiness by their conditional faith, they will not have trusting in God or Christ for salvation to be accounted the principal saving act of it; because, as it seems to them, many loose wicked people trust on God and Christ for their salvation as much as others and are, by their confidence, hardened the more in their wickedness; but they had rather it should be obedience to all Christ’s laws, at least in resolution, or a consent that Christ should be their Lord, accepting of His terms of salvation, and a resignation of themselves to His government in all things.

并且,透过他们有条件的信心,他们可以越发坚固圣洁的操练,他们并不会把相信神或基督而得到救恩视为主要的救恩行为;因为,在他们看来,许多放荡的恶人和其他人一样为了救恩而相信神和基督,他们的信心使他们在罪恶中更加刚硬;然而,他们宁可顺服基督的一切律法,至少决心去顺服,或者同意基督作他们的主,接受他救恩的条件,在一切事上顺服他的治理。


这个翻译中可以讨论的问题是:

  1. 由that引导的条件句没有翻译出来:

And, that they may the better secure the practice of holiness by their conditional faith, they will not have trusting in God or Christ for salvation to be accounted the principal saving act of it;

修改:他们认为这种有条件的信心可以更好地保证自己行出圣洁,于是并不相信神或基督的拯救乃是得救的根本;

  1. faith, trust, confidence等不同词汇的精微区别没有体现出来。

  2. had rather … or …的翻译不符合上下文:

but they had rather it should be obedience to all Christ’s laws, at least in resolution, or a consent that Christ should be their Lord, accepting of His terms of salvation, and a resignation of themselves to His government in all things.

修改:所以他们宁可顺服基督的一切律法,或者至少下定决心要顺服,也不肯让基督作他们的主,接受他救恩的条件,在一切事上顺服他的治理。

没有什么诀窍。神学翻译有的时候是用语言去理解和表述神学,有的时候是用神学来判断翻译是否正确。这里实际上我借用了系统神学来校对翻译的理解错误。但我在这里校对的文字,是由一位在北美读神学、教育学、心理学、计算机科学,在北美生活数年的神学生翻译的。


近来有两位我很看重的译者朋友在公号上推送一篇“谁适合做神学翻译?”的文章,Lara甚至专门推送到我的微信上,提醒我注意这篇文章。我的意见是,如果在神学和哲学上没有良好的训练,翻译出现神学问题的可能性太大。如果没有在中国教会和英美教会长期聚会甚至讲道/教导的经验,熟悉两种语言的圣经文本和系统神学表述,大概对神学术语的转换和表述,会存在不少问题,结果仍然是一样——容易出现神学问题。 神学翻译大概不是学习英文专业/翻译硕士的学生甚至英文专业的老师能做的事情,就像英文专业的学生无法翻译人工智能编程的资料或者法律文书一样。翻译需要很强的专业背景,语言不是凭空掌握的,需要使用的情景。

另一方面,汉语的表达对于很多年轻译者来说都是一个问题。基本上可以这样说,一个写不出流畅的中文讲道稿,不能用中文有条理地讲道的人,不适合做神学翻译。

如果神学翻译是一种重要的事工,从事神学翻译是一种呼召和服事,那么,合格的神学翻译大概需要这样几个条件(天才人物除外):

  1. 有用中文讲道的经验和训练,讲道流畅,神学正确,深得会众好评。

  2. 在英美国家用全英文拿到全日制神学院的神学学位,能够流畅阅读英文神学专著,有英语国家生活经验。

  3. 跟随一位资深的、有经验的编辑/导师,得到一段时间的指导和训练。

  4. 神学翻译的呼召和恩赐得到出版机构、编辑和身边成熟基督徒的认可。

于是,接下来的事情就是我们的教会是否预备好了,为着将来的复兴,是否要培养和支持这样的事工了。

呵呵,我可能言重了,但是这样或许比轻看神学翻译为好。马丁路德说,逃避传道要像逃避地狱的火焰一样;马丁得路说,不要让年轻人误以为自己可以从事神学翻译,于是毁了他们的一生。没有人想拿着80元千字的稿酬,将好好的神学书籍翻译成Loose “wicked” teaching,不仅让自己的生活艰难,而且对教会的教导造成深远的影响。


按照八股文的起承转合,最后的合题:

Had rather be a good lay Christian, or be a loose theological translator.

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