There has been a discussion about the NET Bible here. It got me thinking again of the relationship between the text and the footnotes. Here are a couple of examples from Psalm 51 which I have been working on. First, let me say that these notes are excellent. There is no doubt and I wish I had made more use of them in writing my paper.
However, the question is, do the notes justify the translation? What do people think about this? The translation is less than literal, somewhat interpretive and does not always follow the notes. Let me just say, yes, I like the notes, not always, but they for the most part great to have.
- Psalm 51:7
- 20 tn Heb “cleanse me with hyssop.” “Hyssop” was a small plant (see 1 Kgs 4:33) used to apply water (or blood) in purification rites (see Exod 12:22; Lev 14:4-6, 49-52; Num 19:6-18. The psalmist uses the language and imagery of such rites to describe spiritual cleansing through forgiveness.
51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!30
51:11 Do not reject me!31
Do not take your Holy Spirit32 away from me!33
51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!34
- 34tn Heb “and [with] a willing spirit sustain me.” The psalmist asks that God make him the kind of person who willingly obeys the divine commandments. The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.
- 20tn According to BDAG 150 s.v. αὐθεντέω this Greek verb means “to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to” (cf. JB “tell a man what to do”).