Thursday, April 13, 2006
Bible Translations

Dan Phillips on the Pyromaniacs blog has written an interesting post on bible translations: "Bible translations, 'dynamic' and otherwise: the heart of the matter." Phillips' main argument is developed at some length:

Here is the real problem with all paraphrases, and all "dynamic equivalent" (DE) "translations": they all remove the work of interpretation out of the hands of the readers, often without notice.
 
posted at 8:45 AM  
Comments (4)


4 Comments:
At 12:40 PM, Blogger -mike- said...

That's why I started using the NRSV.

 
At 1:58 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

I used the NASB from 1980 to the beginning of this year. I still love it, and often look to it first among English translations. However, I switched to the HCSB for the sake of those I teach. It still has the literalness that I respect in my faithful NASB, but when that literalness becomes awkward or even unintelligible, the translators felt free to be dynamic if necessary. I think it's the best of both worlds.

I've never warmed up to the NIV for some of the very reasons the article you linked to described.

But not only is over-interpreting σὰρξ an issue with me, but I can't stand how the NIV completely obliterates the beautiful biblical metaphor of one's spiritual life as a walk, a journey. Instead of translating περιπατέω as "walk" which I believe is the best solution, the NIV translates it as "life."

Consider 1 Thess 2:12--

“we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
(1Th 2:12, HCSB, emphasis added).

Now the TNIV:

“encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.”
(1Th 2:12 TNIV)

There's lots you can do with the idea of one's life as a journey. And you can certainly include the issue of how to live your life. But with the T/NIV option, you only have one image.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Dan Paden said...

I've always, in the back of my mind, had two different trains of thought running, and eventually colliding: 1)What's the big issue? Read and use more than one translation. Consult the translator's notes (the notes in the NET Bible are very helpful--even if I don't always agree with the choices made by the translators, the notes are still very informative)and 2) But most people in our churches will not use more than one translation--so which one should we promote?

Then comes the thought--as always--that a far bigger problem than which translation to use is the fact that most of our peoples' homes are awash in Bibles, yet very few, in any translation, are read on a regular basis.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

There's a response to the original Pyromaniacs blog over at Better Bibles Blog. Worth reading for a differing opinion.

http://englishbibles.blogspot.com/2006/04/heart-of-de-is-not-interpretive.html

 

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