Performing the Psalms

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The sermonic examples are exegetically solid and creative. Some of the authors are Walter Brueggemann, J. A great resource for studying the Psalms. The first half of the book are well written essays and the second half consists of sermons that were written and preached using concepts learned from the essays. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Get to Know Us.

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Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. The notion of "you are from everlasting" was missing in most translations, but as discussed earlier , if the idea of his kingship being eternal is included, it would seem to be acceptable. The imagery of "floods" in v. In discussing the text, it was noted that one could maintain the metaphor, adapt it to another if the Hebrew metaphor was not particularly meaningful , or apply it. Among different metaphors used, the most popular was that of "strong wind. An example using this imagery follows: A metaphor that appeared several times was that of "fire," as in the example below which also uses two ideophones Other poets interpreted the "floods" as enemy attacks.

Some combined images in various ways; the poem below uses a metaphor wind , a simile like a lion , and an application of the original metaphor an enemy within the same poem. The metaphor in the Hebrew of v. When there were two different metaphors in v. However, one poet added a new metaphor in v. Another translation introduced completely new metaphors in v. This probably diminished the force and cohesiveness of the argument in the original.

In terms of expressing the power of the Lord in v. Some poets added other notions, which can be implied from the Hebrew text, for example -ngeyakufaniswa "incomparable" ; ziyakulalela "they listen to you". The verb in 5a means "established," and was rendered by ithembekile "faithfulness" , ayijiki "not changing" , kayigudluki "immovable" , imile ingunaphakade "standing forever" , azinalaguquka "cannot be changed" or ayiqiniso impela "true indeed".

With regard to "seemly, beautiful" in 5b, TWOT notes: Generally, the main information content of the original text was captured in the empirical translations. Some small exegetical errors are apparent, but for the most part, the translations were effective in communicating the eternal kingship of the LORD, including in creation. This was only the second exercise in translation the poets had ever done, and thus their efforts are commendable.

Next the artistry and orality of the compositions was assessed. In evaluating literary-rhetorical translations, it is important that the genre of the receptor translation be valid. Psalm 93 is a psalm of descriptive praise; besides lifting up the name of Yhwh, it also gives reasons for the praise. It is a kingship psalm, and much of the vocabulary pertains to the character and function of a king.

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The isiZulu translations are also in the form of poems or songs of praise, following the style of izibongo, praise-poems describing the actions and character of a king. Thus this genre is appropriate for Ps The literary and rhetorical devices used in the Hebrew text have been studied and the functions achieved by these devices have been delineated.

The isiZulu translations must achieve the same functions, using their own particular poetic devices natural to Zulu poetry. In summary the following functions must be achieved in the empirical translations: These functions are fulfilled in various ways in the isiZulu translations in quantity and quality, although not in form. The poetic features utilised often serve more than one function simultaneously. For example, they may assist with memorisation and provide aesthetic pleasure, and the repetition of sounds and words which unites different parts of the poem also make the text more memorable and pleasing.

Some examples of these poetic devices follow, revealing that the isiZulu compositions succeeded in satisfying functional equivalence through their use of Zulu poetic devices. In the Hebrew text, a thematic inclusio is apparent in vv. These verses frame the peak content in vv. The isiZulu example below shows a similar unity of ideas in vv. Jehova and -zwi vv. The peak verses in the Hebrew psalm vv. As indicated earlier, isiZulu praise-poems can show a tricola pattern, and the example below shows such 3-fold parallelism clearly in both v.

The repetition of words and sounds through assonance and alliteration unites the two verses giving a stirring message. The imagery shows development from 3a to 3c with increasing menace. Verse 4 also uses parallelism and repetition -amandla and -ngaphezu to give rhetorical force to the main message of the psalm the LORD more powerful than all difficulties. The next example uses several poetic devices to add rhetorical force to vv. The following example shows repetition of the topic and verb both 3x , as well as the repetition of olwandle and ngamandla in 3b and 3c.

These repetitions give strong rhetorical force to this verse. The short poetic line in 3d, with no repetition, comes as a contrast and adds to the rhetorical power, drawing attention to the declaration made. Another way in which rhetorical force was focussed on vv. Various poetic devices assist with memorisation: Some examples of these different features follow: To achieve this regular rhythm in 5b, a vocative is interjected. Then 5c breaks the rhythm with a short poetic line just one word , thereby giving focus to the colon and making it memorable.

Ancient Psalms Speak to Modern Audiences

Many of the same poetic features that facilitate memorisation are also aesthetically pleasing. For example, the use of alliteration, assonance, or a change in the length of the poetic line, not only add rhetorical force and mnemonic capacity, but also are "beautiful" to the listener.

The next example shows increasing length of the poetic line from 3a to 3 c , repetition of the verb 3x and the topic 2x , intentional assonance of the -a sound in all three cola, as well as a climactic, new word at the end of the last colon viz. These features all provide significant aesthetic appeal to the listener. The examples given above indicate the level of poetic artistry and functionality achieved by the poetic devices in the isiZulu translations. The next criterion of a literary-rhetorical text is aurality enabling it to be heard and understood easily and remembered well.

This feature is now briefly assessed in some of the empirical compositions. For oral performance, the text must make use of features "that grab the ear. Many of the poetic devices already discussed are aurally-based e. In the empirical study, one group used rhythm as an introductory attention-getter to their song: Many of the young people in the audience joined in and clearly enjoyed this typical Zulu feature of oral performance. Another feature of aurality is the use of direct speech. It was interesting to see that some poets changed the 3rd person statements in v. The remaining three criteria applied to the isiZulu translations are linked to the Zulu community and are discussed in the next section.

Performing the Psalms: Dave Bland, David Fleer: irideryjawex.tk: Books

With regard to the criteria of naturalness, clarity, and acceptability or biblical authenticity , Reception Theory maintains that it is the audience who must draw the boundaries. Interviews with both the poets and audience members sought to assess how well the empirical performances rated on these criteria. Informal feedback during the performances was also noted. Clapping, snapping of fingers, and ululating during the public performances indicated a very positive reception of the items by the Zulu audience.

Interview responses from both audience members and participants were also positive, and many benefits were perceived. With regard to assessing "biblical authenticity" or acceptability, some responses in the interviews indicated that the audience did consider what they were hearing to be "Scripture" and not just a Gospel song. Clearly, the audience needs to be informed in order to be able to make a valid judgment. One way of doing this is to have translator-performers evaluate one another's work, possibly through an online platform where compositions and performances can be posted, and feedback welcomed.

Nevertheless, the empirical translations can be said to satisfy the six criteria of good literary-rhetorical translation of biblical poetry. On "accuracy," most of the poems captured the essential message. With regard to "artistry," most of the translations used various poetic features to achieve the emotive, rhetorical, aesthetic, and performative functions of the original text.

By paying attention to not only the informative content of the Hebrew but also the emotive and rhetorical force, beautiful translations were achieved which satisfy the criteria of functional equivalence.

It is frequently noted that the translation of poetry demands skill beyond that of the average translation team, but this study shows that interested, gifted volunteers can be trained relatively easily to enable them to produce creative translations which are aesthetically beautiful and rhetorically forceful. Although such translations may not serve as definitive translations for the whole community, the sense of ownership resulting from participation in the translation is a very significant benefit, as is the greater understanding of the text.

Thus this methodology provides a systematic way of communicating the beauty and power of biblical poetry in indigenous languages such that the community owns the translation, is stirred by its poetics, and remembers the message. The three components of the methodology provide for translations that satisfy functional equivalence, incorporate the gifts of the community, and are rewarding to the participants and their audience.

Reading and Studying the Book of Praises. United Bible Societies, South African Oral Poetry and Performance. Oxford University Press, Driver, and Charles A. Hebrew-English Lexicon, incorporated in Translators Workplace. Brueggemann, Walter and William H. Encountering the Book of Psalms. Jacobson, and Beth LaNeel Tanner. Overview of the Shape and Shaping of the Book of Psalms: The goal of this collection of essays and sermons is two-fold: It begins with a lively dialogue that orients readers to the worlds clearly conceived in Psalms.


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The second half of the book appropriates this orientation with sermons for Christian congregations. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x 16mm The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Peter Scazzero. Crash the Chatterbox Steven Furtick.

Ben Brightboots Frances Ridley Havergal. Bible Time Line Rose Publishing.

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Work of the Chaplain Naomi K Paget. Prayer A W Tozer. Pastoral Care John Patton.