Moulton on Translation

This is a quote about the LXX translators – well, at least one – from Moulton’s Prolegomena.

The Greek translator, endeavouring to be as literal as he could, nevertheless took care to use Greek that was possible, however unidiomatic a—a description well suiting the kind of language used in every age by translators who have gained the conscientious accuracy, but not the sure-footed freedom, of the mature scholar.

James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Volume 1: Prolegomena. (Vol. 1: 2d ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1906), 76.

Why should we choose “conscientious accuracy” over “the sure-footed freedom of the mature scholar”?

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