facing another translation issue
In Lev. 26:17 the Hebrew text is literally translated as:
I will set my face against youRashi, the famous Jewish commentator, noted that the Hebrew for setting one's face against someone is an idiom. The specific kind of idiom used in the Hebrew text is a synecdoche, where a part of something represents its whole. In this case, the face, part of a person, represents the entire person.
Several English versions have chosen to translate the Hebrew idiom literally to English, including KJV, RSV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, REB, NET, NIV, and TNIV.
Other English versions translate the meaning of the original idiom as a whole, rather than the individual words of the idiom, including:
I will turn against you (TEV, NLT, HCSB)Interestingly, in this case, the HCSB, often a fairly literal translation, renders the meaning of the Hebrew idiom, as a whole, rather than the meaning of its individual words.
I will turn from you (CEV)
I will be against you (NCV)
I will condemn you (GW)
In your opinion, which of the two sets of translations listed above more accurately and clearly communicates the meaning of the Hebrew idiom to the widest number of English speakers?
- those which translate the idiom literally
- those which translate the overall meaning of the idiom