Peshitta Deuteronomy as a Reader-oriented Translation

In the introduction to her translation of the Peshitta of Deuteronomy, Carmel McCarthy uses the poorly chosen rubric “Mistranslation” to group together a number of disparate readings found in the Peshitta. She indeed recognizes this in part, but uses the term anyway. For her, the category “mistranslation” includes what she describes as “renderings where the differences between the Hebrew and the Syriac may be the result of errors, misreadings, mistranslations or approximations on the translator’s part.” She adds to this category some translations where the Peshitta “gives a free or non-literal rendering,” which translations, she confesses, might better fit under the heading “Interpretation” (her Addendum 7). I would like to reconsider a number of her examples and show that they are not mistranslations, but instead point to a reader-oriented translation rooted in the language and exegesis of the second century.

Jerome Lund (Norway)