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May 28, 1965 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-05-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Prof. Scott's Translations, Commentaries on Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes Add Stimulus to Various Biblical Discussions

"The Anchor Bible" already is
making history. The several vol-
tunes that have already appeared
inspire new ideas, provoke think-
ing, assure greater interest in the
Scriptures.
Doubleday. publisher of the ser-
ies which will include 38 volumes,
has just issued the newest of the
Anchor books, translations with in-
troductions of Proverbs and Eccle-
siastes by Prof. Robert B. Y. Scott,
chairman of the department of re-
ligion at Princeton University.
The great value of the new An-
chor volume lies in the eminent
Christian scholar's thorough evalu-
ation of the Old Testament works
as a means of leading up to his
discussion and comments on the
textual significance of the two
books he has reviewed. And there
is something unusual also about
his translations, revealing an in-
teresting approach to both Pro-
verbs and Ecclesiastes.
Explaining that the Torah, the
"Law of Moses," was "the first
`canon (corpus of authoritative
sacred literature) of Judaism,"
that "the second division, "rhe
Prophets,' in turn comprises col-
lections of the oracular messages
or 'words' of Israel's prophets,"
Dr. Scott points out: "The third
part of the Hebrew Bible, 'the
Writings' (Hagiographa) is more
miscellaneous in content. It is
the part of the Old Testament
least dominated by priestly and
prophetic interests, and in which
`the wise man's counsel' is most
prominent. Three of its major
works, Proverbs, Job and Eccle-
siastes - Qoheleth a r e - Wisdom
books,' as the Psalms and the
Song of Songs are also, accord-
ing to the ancient reckoning. Of
t h e remainder, Lamentations
contains five additional psalms
of a particular kind, Ruth is a
parable, Esther and Daniel turn
in part on the superior wisdom
of Jewish piety, and the priest-
scribe Ezra of Ezra-Nekemiah is
described as endowed with di-
vine wisdom (Ezra vii 25)."
Dr. Scott's interpretations of hok-
mah—wisdom—in biblical litera-
ture are major factors in the new
Doubleday-Anchor book. He de-
scribes the literary adages, the rid-
dles as a genre of folk wisdom,
the patterns which have been
adopted by the literatures of many
nations.
It is indicated that ethical and
religious contents of several parts
of Proverbs are not uniform, and
the author of the new commentary
suspects "that it was part of the
teacher's pedagogical technique to
include sayings of a type with
which his pupils would be familiar,
in order to maintain their inter-
est."
Other works are considered in
the review of hokmah literature,
notably the Wisdom of Sirach (Ec-
clesiasticus), and the conditions
under Hellenism enter into the dis-
cussion.
The Scott translations may be
the subject of special concern
over his approach to the two
biblical works under review.
Thus, Proverbs 3:17 is rendered
by him as: "Her Ways are ways
to delight, and all her paths lead
to felicity." The Jewish Publica-
tion Society's version is: "Her
ways are ways of pleasantness.
And all her paths are peace." In
an explanatory note, Dr. Scott
states: "It seems literary sacri-
lege to substitute this modern
rendering for two of the loveli-
est lines in KJ (King James):
`Her ways are ways of pleasant-
ness, and all her paths are
peace.' The translator may be
forgiven if his rendering makes
the meaning a little clearer."
There is, however, another chal-
lenge to Dr. Scott's version. The
famous chapter, described by Dr.
Scott as "The Ideal Housewife"
(xxxi: 10-31) commences in his
new translation as follows:
"A capable wife is a rare find,
Her worth is far greater than
jewel.

V•T

Her husband gives her his con-
fidence
And he is well compensated
(for it);
She rewards him with good and
not harm,
All the days of her life . . . ."
But the better known version as
it appears in the JPS translation
of 1920 reads:
"A woman of valor who can find?
For her price is far above rub-
ies.
The heart of her husband cloth
safely trust in her,
And he hath no lack of gain.
She doeth him good and not evil
All the days of her life . . . ."
There is some awkwardness in
the latter, yet it has become so
acceptable that one wonders
whether the Scott version would be
preferred. There probably is little
doubt that the new JPS transla-
tion due to be completed in the
coming three years will offer a
revised text for Proverbs, and the
problem then may be solved.
But in Dr. Scott's translation of
Ecclesiastes (Quheleth) there ap-
pear other very striking differ-
ences from previously accepted
versions. Thus, the very opening
lines of Ecclesiastes read, in Dr.
Scott's work:
"The words of Qoheleth, son of
David, king in Jerusalem.
A vapor of vapors (says Qohel-
eth). Thinnest of vapors.
All is vapor.
What has a man to show for all
his trouble and effort during
his brief lifetime under the
sun?
One generation goes, another
comes, but the earth always
remains the same."
In the JPS translation are the
following popularly known lines
which open the book of Eccle-
siastes:
"The words of Koheleth, the son
of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, saith Kohel-
eth;
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
What profit h.ath man of all his
labor
Wherein he laboreth under the
sun?
One generation passeth away,
and another generation corn:
eth;
And the earth abideth for ever."
There is proof here of the need
of revision in the existing transla-
tions, but Dr. Scott's extreme step
leaves doubt as to its acceptability.
Dr. Scott's introduction to his
translation of Ecclesiastes opens
with an explanation that "in place
of a religion of faith and hope and
obedience, this writer (Joheleth)
expresses a mood of disillusion-
ment and proffers a philosophy of
resignation," that Koheleth's "ethic
has no relationship to divine corn-
mandments." He offers his view
on this conclusion as follows:
"Ecclesiastes is the strangest
book in the Bible, or at any rate
the book shows presence in the
sacred canons of Judaism and
of Christianity is most inexpli-
cable. The Song of Songs with
its frankly erotic tone may seem
equally out of place in company
with the Law and the Prophets,
and has seemed so to not a few
Jews and Christians in ancient
and modern times. The Song,
however, can be interpreted as
an allegory of the love of Yah-
weh for Israel, or of Christ for
his Church—on the strength of
the figure of the marriage rela-
tionship used by Hosea and Jere-
miah (cf. Hos. ii 2-20 2, iii 1).
In the case of Ecclesiastes there
is no such possibility of allegori-
zation to bring it *into line with
the tone and teaching of the rest
of the Bible. It diverges too
radically. In fact, it denies some
of the things on which the other
writers lay the greatest stress—
notably that God has revealed
himself and his will to man,
through his chosen people Israel.
In Ecclesiastes God is not only
unknown to man through revela-
tion; he is unknowable through

Shavuot Recipes by Yeshiva Chef

Shavuot, to be observed this
Parker's recipe for cheese pan-
year on June 6 and June 7, com- cakes:
reason, the only means by which memorates the giving of the Ten RECIPE FOR CHEESE PANCAKES
the author believes knowledge is Commandments to Israel, seven
One pound farmer cheese
Two eggs
attainable. Such a God is not weeks after the first day of Pass-
Two cups of matzo meal
Yahweh, the covenant God of over.
cup of sugar
Grated skin of one lemon
The wood product traditionally
Israel. He is rather the mysteri-
One teaspoonful vanilla
ous, inscrutable Being whose associated with Shavuot is cheese
One cup corn flake crumbs
existence must be presupposed as products.
Grind cheese and mix with egg
Alfred Parker, executive chef yolks, add butter. Then add sugar,
that which determines the life
grated
lemon, vanilla and matzah
at
Peshiva
University
in
New
York meal. Beat
and the fate of man, in a world
egg whites until stiff and
into the mixture. Form into pan-
man cannot change, and where City, an authority on Jewish cook- fold
cakes
and
roll in corn flakes. Fry
all his effort and values are ing, says that Shavuot offers un- in hot vegetable shortening. Serve
limited
possibilities
for
the
enter-
with
sour
cream or food sauce.
rendered meaningless."
Twelve servings.
In this challenging declaration prising housewife and home-
there is evident the Christological maker.
"There are many wonderful,
approach which no doubt will lead
The. CARIBE MOTEL
to debate over the views so inter- tasteful dishes you can serve on
PROVIDES YOUR
Shavuot,
such
as
cheese
cake
and
estingly uttered by Dr. Scott. The
OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS
cheese
pancakes,
two
of
my
per-
eminent Christian scholar, explain-
WITH . . .
ing how Qoheleth came to be in sonal favorites," he observes.
CONVENIENT LOCATION
Here
is
Parker's
recipe
for
the authorized collection of sacred cheese cake:
Woodward near 7 Mae Rd.
Minutes away from everything
books, is that "its heterodox state-
RECIPE FOR CHEESE CAKE
LUXURIOUS ROOMS
ments are balanced by others of
Ingredients for Crust
• Phones • Air Conditioning
unimpeachable orthodoxy"; "the
One cup of corn flakes or graham
• Complete Kitchens
unquestionable intellectual and lit- crackers
• Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
lb. butter
erary quality of the book, to say
COMPLETE
Three Tablespoons cf sugar
One teaspoonful of cinnamon
nothing of its ethical wisdom";
ACCOMMODATIONS
One cup of pineapple pie filling or
"The Wisdom teachers were indivi- cherry
pie filling
AT NO EXTRA COST
Ingredients for Cheese Mix
duals, and there had always been
• TV and Radio • Parking
One teaspoonful of vanilla
• Continental Breakfast
radicals among them—as witness
One pound of cream cheese
One cup of sugar
the Book of Jab."
PHONE
Six eggs
Dr. Scott's translations are inter-
TO 8-2662
One cup of sour cream
One tablespoon of flour
esting, his commentaries thought-
Grated skin of one lemon
provoking, stimulating study and
Pinch of salt
debate. The new Anchor volume is
Start to make the crust by crushing Moderate
corn flakes or the crackers into
a definite contribution to biblical the
small pieces. Then mix with butter, Rates
studies, adding significance to the sugar and cinnamon. Spread out on Start at
bottom of springform pan. Add fruit
values of the Doubleday publica- filling
on top. Mix egg yolks with $8.00
tions.
sugar, cream cheese, sour cream and
a
pinch
salt. Then add lemon,
Dr. Scott, a distinguished Old flour and of
vanilla. Beat egg whites to
Testament scholar and an ordain- a snow and fold into the mixture. 19630
the mixture on top of the fruit
ed minister of the United Church Place
filling and bake at 350 degrees for Woodward
of Canada, came to Princeton Uni- one hour. Let it cool by opening door
Near 7 Mile Road
versity from McGill University, of stove. Twelve portions.
Montreal, in 1955, as professor of
religion and became chairman of
the department of religion in 1963.
Born in Toronto, July 16, 1899,
he attended the University of To-
ronto and studied at Knox College,
Toronto, where he earned his B.D.
Thursday thru Sunday
in 1926.
Particularly concerned with the
JUNE 3-4-5-6
relevance of the Bible as a living
Daily 1:00 to 10:30 chns.
Sunday 1:00 to 6 p.m.
force in 20th century life, Dr.
Scott's research has centered on
At Fair Lane — Henry Ford Home
the translation, literary analysis
U. of M. Dearborn Campus
and interpretation of the Old Testa-
34 Top Antiques Dealers — 2,200 New Rose Bushes
ment; the Hebrew Prophets; An-
Sponsored by Dearborn Rotary Club—U.00
cient Near Eastern Wisdom Liter-
ature; and Biblical metrology. He
is the author of many biblical
works, is a contributor to "Har-
THIS IS THE SEASON TO ENJOY
pers' Bible Dictionary," "Interpre-
ter's Dictionary of the Bible," "In-
terpreter's Bible" and other ency-
clopedia's.
He was annual professor at the
American School of Oriental Re-
search, Jerusalem, Jordan, in 19#32-
63, and took part in the School's
excavations in Jordan at Dhiban
in 1951 and at 'Arag el Bmir in
1962. He was a member of the
University of Pennsylvania expedi-
tion excavating ancient Gibeon un-
der Dr. J. B. Pritchard in 1959.
—P. S.

ANTIQUES SHOW

& Annual Fair Lane Tour

LF

and the place is

LBJ Notes Aid to Israel
in Report to Congress

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Presi-

dent Johnson, transmitting to

Congress the annual report on the
U.S. Foreign Assistance Program

for fiscal year 1964, noted assist-
ance that the United States pro-
vided to Israel.
"In Israel," he said, "work was
completed on the modernization
of the Lod International Airport,
near Tel Aviv, which is used by

a dozen international airlines. A
local currency loan made eariler
by the United States financed the

installation of American-made nav-
igation, communications and ra-
dar equipment to improve effi-
ciency and safety at the airport."
The Agency for International
Development, summarizing the

proposed program for the new fis-
cal year, reported that with Amer-

ican help the state of Israel has
"reached the threshold of eco-
nomic self-support."

If the other person injures you,
you may forget the injury; but if
you injure him you will always
remember. —Kahlil Gibran

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, May 28, 1965-17

LEWISTON

MAKE RESERVATIONS FOR
A GREAT DECORATION
DAY. CALL CAROL AT
EL 7-0761 FOR YOUR
TICKET TO A FUN-
PACKED HOLIDAY IN
THE WONDEROUS NORTH
WOODS OF MICHIGAN.

LEWISTON
LODGE

ON EAST TWIN LAKE

LEWISTON, MICH.

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