In part one, you suggested:
- No murder.
- Don’t murder! (A use of the exclamation point! Many forget that punctuation is part of translation.)
- No killin’.
- You will not kill.
- Don’t break the law and kill.
- Don’t kill illegally.
- Do not kill!
- Do not kill.
- Do not commit homicide.
- Do not kill without proper authorisation.
- You are not to murder.
- Human life should be protected.
- Do not slay another person.
- Do not slaughter.
- punishable killing (Do not commit punishable killing.)
- justified killing (Only do justified killing.)
The commentors (hmmmm…is that a word?) have provided a wonderful segue into this second part. That, by the way, is my complimentary (or complementary) way of commending the readership for drifting ever so slightly off topic. 🙂 “Innocent lambs.” Really. Talk about off-topic!!! <chuckle>
I had asked, “How do you translate it?” There were many suggestions as noted above. But, the discussion quite naturally (and reasonably) took a path toward expressing the ‘why’ behind the choices. And that ‘why’ is the task before us now.
So the question now is: As a Bible translator, what does one consider as support for or against the various suggestions?
Since you’ve already provided many of these in part 1, I’ve listed them below. If you’re just joining us, or you’d like to review what you actually said, see part one.
What I’d like to do now is to expand the list below, if possible, and also to categorize and to summarize it. Perhaps some items could be combined. Some could be expanded. Maybe some could be clarified by juxtaposing against something which hasn’t been mentioned.
Here’s my gleaning of the considerations you’ve presented so far. I’ve grouped them; but, please don’t let my organization sway your thinking in one way or the other. And please don’t let this list limit you.
- Spelling. One suggestion used ‘authorization’ which is the British spelling.
- The English future can be used as command or promise.
- Negated future can act as a command.
- ‘Kill’ is too broad; ‘murder’ is too narrow. (Ratsach is in the middle.)
- No single verb to express the correct semantic range.
- Replicating from the original the pithiness and style of using one verb.
- Using an English technical word.
- Natural versus awkward English.
- Genre of the text.
- There is no attempt in the text before us to define what type of killing is illegal.
- The cognitive context of the reader will help the reader understand the specific use.
- Let the reader do the interpretation.
- The distinction between human killing and animal killing.
- Greek use of the LXX word in James 4:2
- The teaching in Matthew 5:21ff.
- Use of Greek word in dramatic plays (with specific connection to Matthew 5:21).
- The point or goal of the ten commandments.
- The illegality of related actions in modern English law.
- The immorality of the action and related actions.
- Differences between felonies, misdemeanors, etc.
- Differences between Biblical and secular law.
- How the word was used of (tribal) judicial killing by the Redeemer (“blood avenger” often in English).
- Discussion of related actions in the mitzvos and Shabbos.
- The use of the word ‘law’ in modern parlance.
- The use of modern categories when understanding the law.
- What most readers will think when reading it.
- People will define this word tightly or as loosely as necessary according to their feelings on “justified killing.”
So, how would you construct this list of things to consider? Can you make it more formal? Can you make it more complete?