I would underline Dr. Blum’s comments on reading the introduction. The majority of questions I’m asked about Bible translations and most of the information I put on the charts in my book as well as at MyBibleVersion.com can be gotten from those introductions.
I was disappointed by the limited response to the question about “optimal equivalence.” It sounds to me like “marketing speak” rather than a method of translation definitely distinct from other methods. The introduction includes this statement:
The HCSB uses optimal equivalence as its translation philosophy. When a literal translation meets these criteria, it is used. When clarity and readability demand an idiomatic translation, the reader can still access the form of the original text by means of a footnote with the abbreviation “Lit.”
That’s a good goal, but I think it is one pursued by many other translation committees. I can see it as a distinction from what is done with the NASB on the one hand and The Message on the other, but in many other versions I think the differences can be explained by disagreements over just when an idiomatic translation is demanded or when a “literal translation meets these criteria.”
(HT: Dave Black Online)