Monday, December 7, 2015

Reading project - what's done - what's left

Here's where I'm at. I wonder where I should go and how.

The Hebrew Bible divides nicely into 7 sections.
  1. Torah, the Books of Moses, represents 25% of the verses. That's the T section of TNK.
  2. The Prophets divide into 3 subsections: 
    1. The Former, Joshua-Judges, Samuel, and Kings represent 19% of the Bible by verses.
    2. The Latter, are the big three: Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. They are 17% by verses.
    3. The Twelve are part of the Latter and are also called the minor prophets. They are 5% by verses. So altogether the Prophets are 41%. That's the N section (N for Neviim - plural of Nabi or prophet.)
  3. The Writings also divide into 3 sections: 
    1. The Books of Truth, so called for the word that the initial letters of the three book titles can be formed to spell out the Hebrew word for Truth ('emet): Aleph for Job (Job's name begins with a guttural), Mem for the Proverbs (mashalim), and Taf for the Psalms (tehillim). These are 19% of the verses.
    2. The five scrolls: Song, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes or Qohelet, and Esther. (3%.)
    3. and the rest: Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles. (12%.) That's the K section (Ketuvim from KTB, write) a total of 34%.
Here's where I'm at in each section:

Books
Chapters
Verses
Final - see the
% Complete
Torah
187
5843
9
4.8%
Former Prophets
147
4297
9
6.1%
Later Prophets
166
3923
7
4.2%
The 12
67
1050
27
40.3%
Books of Truth
223
4502
168
75.3%
Scrolls
39
745
30
76.9%
Other
100
2791
5
5.0%
Totals
929
23151
255
27.4%


You can see I have concentrated on three of the seven sections. I like to have things complete. It feels like I am getting somewhere. Yet even then one must just keep walking. There are no real short cuts. I can reduce the difficult work of consistent memory with the computer, but I must read every word myself no matter what help my R2D2 provides. (It takes about 1 or 2 minutes to reread the whole Bible for me - but it's too fast for me to keep up.)

So sometimes I say - what can I finish next?
Here's an estimate of the weeks of work remaining by section for a total of 118.7.
Books
Verses to do
Estimate (weeks)
Torah
5480
37.3
Former Prophets
3979
27.1
Later Prophets
3786
25.8
The 12
610
4.1
Books of Truth
810
5.5
Scrolls
135
0.9
Other
2645
18.0
When you look at it this way, it seems, if I want to finish some section or other, I should stay on the three shorter sections. But - if I do that and have not read much of the other sections, I will miss concepts. A central part of Torah is the building of the sanctuary and the sacrificial system. I think I must work on that a bit at least to confirm terminology. Also every time I translate a verse of the primary history, R2D2 improves its reading of some part of Chronicles. So I get double value from that effort.

Also, I have translated all of Job once (in 2010) and I am stuck in the conversation. This book is too important to rush. So I think I will drag out the shorter sections over the next several months up to a year and keep my somewhat random walk through the text. I also want to get to some of the major prophets. There's so many ways in which the Psalms relate to them, and I think that will be revealing.

At the same time, I have to refine my semantic domains and manage changes to work already done.

I welcome useful feedback. I hope eventually to publish the translations in book form for the sake of the music in 18 shortish volumes. I am actively seeking English readers and Hebrew readers. Anyone who loves language and music and can let their yes be yes and their no be no. (I will listen.)
Volume
Contents
1
Genesis
2
Exodus
3
Leviticus
4
Numbers
5
Deuteronomy
6
Joshua, Judges
7
Samuel
8
Kings
9
Isaiah
10
Jeremiah
11
Ezekiel
12
The Twelve
13
Psalms
14
Proverbs
15
Job
16
The Scrolls
17
Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah
18
Chronicles
These are my reasons for doing this work.
  1. to see into the mind of the human Jesus who would have thought in the Hebrew way from his childhood, maybe Greek and Aramaic too, but Hebrew is where the puns and word-plays are in his language.
  2. to resolve the problem of Christian vs Jew - so obviously highlighted by what happened before I was born - the holocaust.
  3. and now that I have discovered the music, (see the Music page) to allow a close translation that will fit the music - as concordant as possible.


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