A Cross-Cultural Conceptual Study of the Emotion of קצף in the Hebrew Bible and the Folk Theory of the Emotion of Ngoò in the Kĩkamba Language
Communication requires more than a lexical understanding of words. Language relies on the background understanding of the speaker and hearer – an understanding that cannot be taken for granted when communicating cross-culturally.
In this study, Dr. George Mbithi Mutuku brings to life a deeper understanding of emotion, specifically anger, in the Hebrew Bible. Utilizing frame semantics and undertaking a comparative study of קצף and ngoò as conceptualized in Hebrew and Akamba cultures, respectively, Mutuku argues that ngoò would have been the best rendering for the Hebrew concept קצף in the Kĩkamba Bible. So doing, he demonstrates the value of exploring words and meanings in their cultural contexts and offers a powerful warning against the assumption that any word – even the word of God – carries universal meaning divorced from that context. He reminds us that God’s word is communicated to us cross-culturally, so we must take seriously the responsibility of transferring its meaning across languages.
Dr. George Mbithi Mutuku’s comprehensive study has demonstrated systematically and carefully the importance of cross-cultural communication in preaching, teaching and Bible translation. I recommend the book to students in institutions of higher learning who are doing biblical and translation studies, and other serious scholars, teachers and preachers of the true word of God.
Nathan Nzyoka Joshua, PhD
Lecturer and Head of Department for Biblical Studies, Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya
In this monograph Dr. Mutuku has clearly demonstrated that the biblical Hebrew concept קצף would be best rendered in the Kĩkamba Bible by ngoò, a word that hitherto has been unused in the Kĩkamba Old Testament. This work is highly recommended for graduate level biblical Hebrew exegesis classes, Old Testament exegetes and Bible translators.
Mark Mercer, ThD
Senior Lecturer (retired), Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya