Interview with Ed Blum on the HCSB

The HCSB is not one of my favorites, but in many ways it is not a bad translation.  This interview with general editor Dr. Ed Blum is quite helpful.

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 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)

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