John Brunt was one of my professors for my undergraduate program in Biblical Languages at Walla Walla University. He’s now a pastor. The embedded sermon is the beginning of a series.
The reason I’m including this here is because he goes through some of the history of translation. Many errors regarding Bible translation result from not understanding the background. I think this is a worthwhile basic introduction.
Give Me The Bible from Azure Hills Church on Vimeo.
I like this presentation, though I list some quibbles on my Participatory Bible Study Blog.
I would put this up against the line on my book cover: The best Bible version is one you read!
Find the link at Near Emmaus.
I don’t weight all the versions precisely as he does, but he provides some excellent guidelines. Not surprisingly he likes the NET. I do too, though I don’t put it quite as high on my list.
Erik DiVietro suggests respect and coexistence. While I commend his effort, not to mention his various posts, which are both informative and respectful, I think this is a topic that will always get heated. The KJV Only position, and those that are perceived to be close to it will tend to bring out a great deal of heat.
On a related matter I’d suggest a bit better distinction from folks on my side between the KJV-Only position, and the various related positions regarding the New Testament text, such as the TR best or Majority Text, or Byzantine text positions. While I’m solidly committed to the eclectic approach myself, there is a very large difference between a KJV-Only position and these more nuanced approaches.
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 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)
I’ve posted two items on my Participatory Bible Study blog, the first on clarity of translation, On Translating to be Understood, and the second on just how clearly we understand the Bible writers in the first place, Paul not Lucid.
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