Promising Series on TNIV, HCSB, and NAB

Promising Series on TNIV, HCSB, and NAB

I think Kevin Sam over at New Epistles has made an excellent choice in selecting these three translations to study as “intermediate” and he’s off to a good start explaining why he’s doing it.

I note his apology for the term “intermediate,” but that is not such a bad choice of language. I rate translations on a scale of one to ten for formality and similarly for functionality (see examples at It is important to realize that these translation types are not narrow pathways to follow, but rather more general principles.

How one combines them in translation, for example choosing formal equivalence except for specific circumstances, can produce some interesting results. In the case of the NAB, for example, I gave a rating of 4 for functionality/idiomaticity and a 9 for formality. The TNIV is 3 and 8 in those two categories, while the HCSB is 2 and 9. This implies that the NAB is using paraphrasing and careful choice of English idioms in specific places, whilst generally following a formal equivalent line.

My practice in producing these ratings is to use a list of verses which contain idiomatic expressions and also to test the translations of sample passages for how many words are strictly justified in a formal sense. In the case of the HCSB, I’m not certain the numbers are valid, because as I read more and more of it, it seems uneven in practice. I may write a bit more on that as I go forward. With a small number of sample passages, it could be possible to get an invalid reading.

In any case, I await the remainder of this series with interest and will be comparing it with my own notes.

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