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Pines’s Translation of the Guide

Pines’s Translation of the Guide

Alternative Possibilities

(p.241) 8 Pines’s Translation of the Guide
Maimonides' "Guide of the Perplexed" in Translation
Alfred L. Ivry
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Pines’ translation of key terms and sentences in the Guide, arguing that he hewed close to the impression Maimonides wanted to convey in his original Judeo-Arabic text, an understanding the Great Eagle intended the common reader to have, and that conceals his esoteric, or philosophical, interpretations. In this way Pines intended to be faithful to Maimonides’ own wish that his secret teachings be veiled. The chapter focuses on Pines’ translation of Maimonides’ choice of Arabic terms that appear to personalize the deity in His relation to the world, rather than present God as a transcendental, remote necessarily existent being as the Aristotelian philosophers supposed. The author proposes alternative translations to those Pines adopted to highlight the deliberateness of his choices of terms. As a result, a different, less familiar deity emerges from this study.

Keywords:   Shlomo Pines, English translation, esotericism, personal deity, necessarily existent being, Aristotelian philosophers

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