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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure about this translation, 18 Aug. 2010
This review is from: The Essential Gnostic Gospels: Including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary (Hardcover)
I'm left with mixed feelings about this. On one hand, this is a useful collection of different texts into one edition.

On the other hand, I didn't like the translations. They are very free at times, and I personally didn't feel that they added much. For example, there is a fairly literal translation of the Gospel of Thomas out there which renders the opening fragment as "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death". This version says, "He who comprehends the inner meaning of these words will be immortal."

For me, replacing "will not taste death" with "will be immortal" is an unnecessary change, and one that is actually less, not more, poetic.

There are lots of other instances of this, but this was one that really irked me. Of course, you might well like these translations, which is fine; the point is really just that you should be aware that they are not at all standard. And in my view, they are not at all better than the others out there.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jun 2012 13:21:54 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Jun 2012 20:16:27 BDT
Basilides says:
I agree that 'will not taste death' is much better and in fact it's difficult to understand why he didn't use it if indeed it is nearer the original text. On the face of it 'immortal' seems to indicate the sort of exaggeration that Gnosticism is the preferred option for avoiding in favour of more realistic alternatives. But can you give any other examples that are almost as bad?
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