Would anyone be interested in joining a collaborative “Critical Edition/Scholarly Translation” project, tentatively called the “Bible Project,”
to examine/evaluate the early Buddhist textual manuscripts and further hone the already excellent English translations that are already available today?
The study of manuscripts or printings to determine the original or most authoritative form of a text, stressing close reading and detailed analysis of a particular texts.
The translation of canonical texts into modern vernaculars.
I was able to form an organization in 2017, which is intended to be based squarely on the Dhamma-Vinaya taught by the Buddha as its “foundation” and “head/authority” (DN 16).
In order to clearly and explicitly define this foundation and convey it others,
I wish to learn Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, and Dhamma-Vinaya as suitably as I am able to in order to build on the excellent English translations that are already being refined today.
The end goal would be a Buddhist equivalent of the Christian Bible.
(A comprehensive reference source.)
In order to fund this project, I hope to apply through the organization to one or more grants:
(NEH: Projects must be undertaken by at least two scholars working collaboratively.)
I will likely attempt to apply some years down the line, not in the immediate future.
Because I am rather slow, I wish to begin planning/preparing for this ahead of time.
Some preliminary ideas :
- Try to undertake the translations not contrary to and in accordance with Dhamma-Vinaya.
- Try to translate “early” Buddhist texts ONLY, thus narrow the scope considerably.
- Try to collaborate with both internal and external translators (no need to join organization).
- Try to fairly credit each translator based on contribution.
- Try to fairly credit translators whose translation it is built upon.
- Try to distribute translations completely for free.
- Try to share everything freely with all other translators (e.g. SuttaCentral).
- Try to emphasize the most suitable translations possible (not all translations are equal).
- Try to emphasize translational accuracy, precision, and rigor.
- Try to update the entire translation annually each Vesak Day.
Even if you wish to at the very least discuss the possibility of and assess the suitability of working together on this Bible Project, please let me know.
Worse comes to worst, if upon discussing, we find it to be unsuitable for us to work together on it, please feel free to apply for these and other grants independently!