Khazdan E. “Voice in the desert”: translations of a verse from the book of Isaiah in Russia and Europe: towards the dynamics of cross-cultural interactions

E. Khazdan - State Institute for Art Studies St. Petersburg, Russian Federation ORCID: 0000-0002-6709-5484


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ABSTRACT. Texts of the scripture have been preserved and transmitted in different traditions for a long time. The Hebrew (Masoretic) text has remained unchanged over the millennia, while in Christian traditions there are different versions of its translation. The article discusses different options for the interpretation of a verse from the Book of Isaiah (40:3). The expression “a voice crying in the wilderness” has rooted in the Russian language and become a winged phrase. It is interpreted as a call that remains unanswered. In a number of modern translations the desert or the wilderness is no longer the place where the voice sounds; it has become a space to be developed. Sometimes the verse from the Book of Isaiah and its quotes in the Gospels are translated differently. We can see various interpretations of this verse in Vulgate and New Vulgate, Wycliffe Bible, Myles Coverdale Bible, King James Bible, the Luther Bible, the Menge Bible, the Old Slavic text and some new translations. We can also designate the periods when a kind of “new discovery” of the text occurs. The cantillation marks help us to understand how to read this verse. However, in some modern manuals, its interpretation is transformed again under the influence of literary studies.


DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2020-2(8)-80-102
УДК 2 6-24+22.01


KEYWORDS: Tanakh, translation of the Bible, Book of Isaiah, interpretation of texts, Teʻamim, cantillation marks, intercultural contacts, Vulgate, King James Bible, Luther Bible



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