2021-03-04

Need Help — to translate a German passage

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by Neil Godfrey

If you took an interest in my previous post on the John the Baptist passage in Josephus’s Antiquities and know German reasonably well, are you able to translate the passage below for me, please? No Google or machine translations, please — I have those easily enough. What I am looking for is a confident rendering of the tone and accurate nuances of meaning of the passage.

The original can be found in note 24 at https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=KMTIX-nJwusC&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA364

Die Echtheit der Josephusstelle ist nur selten angefochten worden (auch Volkmar setzt sie ohne weiteres voraus ; gegen dieselbe : J . Chr . K . v . Hofmann , Die heil . Schrift Neuen Testaments , VII . Thl . 3 . Abth . Der Brief Jakobi 1876 , S . 4 f . ) Zu ihren Gunsten spricht allerdings, dass die Motive für die Gefangensetzung und Hinrichtung des Täuters so ganz anders angegeben werden als in den Evangelien. Da aber Josephus an anderen Stellen sicher von christlicher Hand interpolirt worden ist, so darf man auch hier nicht allzusehr auf die Echtheit vertrauen. Bedenken erweckt namentlich das günstige Urtheil über Johannes, der doch nur nach gewissen Seiten hin dem Josephus sympathisch sein konnte, nämlich als Asket und Moralprediger, aber nicht als der das Volk mächtig aufregende Prophet des kommenden Messias.

My reason for seeking such a translation is to compare it with the following passage that appears in a substantially revised version of the work. (Obviously the opening sentences are quite different but it is the tone and nuance of the remainder that interests me.)

The passage of Josephus was known to Origen (c. Cels. I, 47). Eusebius quotes it in full (HE i 11, 4-6; DE ix 5, 15). Its genuineness is rarely disputed. In its favour is the fact that the motives for the imprisonment and execution of the Baptist are entirely different from the Gospel version. But since the text of Josephus has certainly been retouched by Christian scribes in other passages, the theory of an interpolation cannot be absolutely excluded. Suspicion is aroused by the favourable verdict on John, but against this it should be borne in mind that as an ascetic and moral preacher, he might have been viewed sympathetically by Josephus.

I had expected to continue another section of Rivka Nir’s chapter today but I got sidetracked trying to track down several German references in one of her footnotes. Once I have key passages from those collated I’ll post them here with comment.

If you don’t want to post a translation publicly in the comments feel free to email me one: neilgodfrey1 [at]  gmail.com

Many thanks.

 

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