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经济学人双语版:死海古卷

2015-01-07    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

经济学人:死海古卷

Still in Books and Arts; 文艺;

The Dead Sea scrolls; 死海古卷;

Voice of reason; 理性的声音;

The Story of the Scrolls: The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. By Geza Vermes.
《古卷的故事:死海古卷的神奇发现和真正意义》。格左•维尔麦希著。 

Within a century or so of Christianity's emergence, Jews and Christians were having heated disputes over certain prophetic passages in the Hebrew scriptures. They were arguing not only over the meaning of those verses, but over their precise wording. Each side suspected the other of doctoring manuscripts in order to support its own interpretations.
在基督教出现后一个世纪左右的时间里,犹太教徒和基督徒们就希伯来语圣经中某些预言性的章节进行了激烈的辩论。他们不仅就那些经节的意思,也就那些经节准确的字词进行争论。每一方都怀疑对方篡改了手稿以便支持自己的阐释。

At least until the late 20th century, it was almost impossible for modern scholars to throw any light on the substance of these disputes: in other words, to say which party was correct in its claims as to which wording was the oldest. There are clearly some small but significant differences between the Hebrew used by most Jews for at least 1,400 years or so—the Masoretic text—and the Septuagint, a translation into Greek made for Hellenistic Jews in Egypt about 800 years earlier, using a Hebrew original which has been lost. But nobody could really explain the source of these differences. Was it the case that the translators deliberately set out to mislead, or did later editors alter the Hebrew?
至少在二十世纪晚期以前,现代的学者们几乎不可能弄清这些争论的实质内容:换句话说,几乎不可能断定哪一方对于哪一个用词最为古老的看法是否正确。大部分犹太人使用了至少1400年左右的希伯来语圣经——即马所拉本圣经——和七十士希腊文圣经之间显然有一些细微但重要的不同之处。(七十士本圣经是为讲希腊语的在埃及的犹太人所作的希腊语翻译,成书时间较马所拉本圣经早大约800年,其所用的希伯来语原文现已失传。)但没人真能解释这些不同之处的来源。是翻译者们有意去误导读者,还是后来的编辑者改动了希伯来语圣经?

Debate about this and many other delicate matters was transformed by the discovery, starting in 1947, of nearly 900 documents, in a series of caves in the desolate landscape east of Jerusalem. The scrolls, the first of which was found by a young goatherd, are a mixture of biblical and quasi-biblical texts, plus some previously unknown writings, all apparently possessed by (and perhaps produced by) a dissident Jewish community just before and during the time of Jesus Christ.
关于这一点和其它许多微妙问题的争论因为将近900份文件从1947年开始陆续被发现而改观。发现这些文件的地点是位于耶路撒冷以东荒凉地带的一组岩洞。最先发现其中一册古卷的是一个年轻的羊倌。古卷中既有圣经上的文本也有类似圣经的文本,还有一些先前不为人所知的著作;这些卷册显然是由一个持异见的犹太人群体拥有(或许也制作),拥有(制作)的年代略早于并贯穿耶稣基督的时代。

The analysis of such ultra-sensitive material requires calm judgment—and Geza Vermes, a retired Oxford professor, is widely credited with having the coolest head among the scholars who have devoted their careers to studying the scrolls and sharing their insights. Some of his writing is controversial. He has, for example, strong personal opinions on the “historical Jesus”, and like anybody who enters that field he has attracted both admirers and detractors. But in this short personal memoir, he sticks mainly to the known facts about the scrolls, and the arguments they have caused. On this matter, he is careful and fair-minded.
分析这样极度敏感的材料需要心平气和的判断——而在专事研究死海古卷并与他人分享见解的学者中,格左•维尔麦希这位牛津大学的退休教授被广泛的认为是头脑最为冷静的一位。他所写的文字有的也具争议性。比如,他对“历史上的耶稣”持有强烈的个人观点;和其他任何进入该领域的人一样,他也吸引了崇拜者和诋毁他的人。但在这本短小的个人回忆录中,他基本上只讲述了关于那些古卷已知的事实和古卷所引起的争论。在这件事上,他小心谨慎,公平持正。

It may help that his personal story stands at the tragic interface between Christianity and Judaism in the 20th century. As the 85-year-old Mr Vermes recalls, his Hungarian Jewish parents died in the Holocaust, even though the family, which was not religious, had converted to Catholicism in the 1930s. Young Geza was saved by the family's Catholic contacts and went on to study in western Europe. Ordained as a Catholic priest and educated at Catholic universities, he later reverted to his Jewish roots. As a lifelong analyst of the scrolls, whose efforts to maximize scholarly access have been gratefully recalled by younger biblical scholars, such as Britain's Philip Davies, Mr. Vermes is well placed to dissect the precise significance of this unique discovery, and to assess the many theories it triggered.
他亲身经历了基督教和犹太教在二十世纪悲剧性的关系,这可能对他有所助益。现已85岁的维尔麦希回忆说,他匈牙利裔的犹太双亲都死于大屠杀,虽然他们一家——他们并不笃信宗教——之前在一九三十年代都皈依了天主教。年轻的格左被其家庭交往的天主教徒所救,接着去了西欧学习。他被授予了天主教神父的职务,也在不同的天主教大学受过教育,但后来他还是回归了他的犹太传统。作为一位毕生分析死海古卷的专家,他努力让尽可能多的学者能够接触这些文本——比他年轻的圣经学者们(比如英国的菲利普•戴维斯)回忆起他的这些努力时都心存感激——由他来剖析这一独特发现的精确意义和评价这一发现所引发的多个理论非常合适。

One popular conspiracy theory held that the Catholic scholars who did the initial analysis of the scrolls kept their conclusion secret because it challenged the Christian faith. Mr. Vermes, who was close to that research effort, finds good reason to criticise it for slowness and carelessness—but no ground to assert a conspiracy. Nor does he accept oversimplified theories that directly link the community which gave rise to the scrolls with the advent of Christianity. The manuscripts are relevant to the study of Christian beginnings, but they are not the whole story.
根据一个流传甚广的阴谋论的说法,对死海古卷进行了最初分析的天主教学者们对他们的结论秘而不宣,因为该结论挑战了基督教的信仰。维尔麦希先生对于那次研究有近距离的了解,他有理有据的对该次研究的缓慢和粗疏做了批评,但他不认为阴谋论的说法有根据。他也不接受那些把留下了死海古卷的群体和基督教的出现直接联系起来的过于简单化的理论。那些手稿对关于基督教起源的研究有用,但它们并非事情的全部。

For Mr. Vermes, the Dead Sea scrolls provide both reassurance and difficult questions for believing Christians and Jews alike. The reassuring news for Jews is that the scrolls, comprising versions of the Hebrew scriptures in use about 2,000 years ago, are mostly pretty close to the later Masoretic version.
在维尔麦希先生看来,死海古卷对于虔信的基督徒和犹太教徒来说,都是既安顿了他们的信心,也提出了不易回答的问题。让犹太教徒安心的消息是这些古卷包含了大约两千年前人们所用的不同版本的希伯来语圣经,而这些版本和后来的马所拉本圣经大体上相当接近。

Although Mr. Vermes does not spell this out in detail, there is also some intriguing news for Christians: certain “Old Testament” passages which they hold dear—but which are mysteriously absent in the Masoretic version—do feature in the scrolls. They don't seem to have been late Christian inventions. The challenging thing for both faiths to accept is that multiple versions of the Hebrew scriptures appear to have been in circulation for a very long time—to a degree that casts doubt on the existence of one original set of words. Indeed, the very idea there was a single Ur-text from which later versions diverge either more or less is hardly tenable, as Mr. Vermes persuasively argues.
虽然维尔麦希先生没有细说,关于死海古卷也有对基督徒来说颇有意思的消息:“旧约”中某些他们珍视的段落——但是这些段落却神秘的没有出现在马所拉本圣经中——确实在死海古卷中就有了。它们看上去不像是基督徒后来编造的。上述两个宗教可能都难以接受的是希伯来语圣经的多个版本看来都已经流传了很长时间,以致于让人怀疑是否真的存在一个原初的文本。其实,就如维尔麦希先生让人信服的论证的那样,认为先有一个单一的原始文本,后来的版本或多或少的脱离了该个原始文本的这一想法是难以站住脚的。

Many believers in revealed religion, especially those who regard text as the primary medium of revelation, will find that hard. But if they do accept it, it will be much easier for believers in different religions to have civilized debates without coming to blows. As someone who has significantly advanced that cause, Mr. Vermes can look back on a life well lived.
许多相信启示宗教的人们,尤其是那些把文字视为启示之主要媒介的信徒,会觉得这难以接受。但是如果他们真的接受了这个观点,不同宗教的信徒间将更容易进行文明的争论而不用彼此挥拳相向。作为有力的推动了这一事业的人,维尔麦希先生的生命没有虚度。

1、prophetic  adj. 预言的,预示的;先知的

So they were practicing a certain kind of early asceticism and monasticism but with this very strong prophetic stream of it also.  跟读
所以他们遵行的,是早期的禁欲主义和修道主义,但同时又有很浓重的先知性质。

2、manuscript adj. 手写的/ n. [图情] 手稿;原稿

3、deliberately adv. 故意地;谨慎地;慎重地

4、dissident adj. 持不同政见的,意见不同的

5、memoir n. 回忆录;研究报告;自传;实录



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