Meet a translator ... Leland Ryken (ESV)
Lee, when did the Bible first start becoming important to you personally?
The Bible became important to me personally at an early age when I grew up
in a Christian home where the Bible was read AFTER EVERY MEAL and where a
Christian school education further impressed upon me the centrality of the
Bible to life.
What has been your role in the production of the ESV?
When I was first asked to join the ESV translation committee, I hesitated to
accept because I did not believe that I brought enough to the table to sit
with the experts. I was asked to join because half of my career has been
devoted the Bible as literature, and secondarily because I am a professor of
English. So I was dubbed "literary stylist," and this has, indeed, been
part of my role on the committee. But it turned out that the entire
committee has excellent grammatical and stylistic intuitions. I believe
that my main contribution has been as an informed generalist--one who often
asked questions that experts in the original languages do not ask.
How would you like people to pray for the ministry of the ESV?
The prayer that I covet for the ESV is what any evangelical translator
wants--that people will converted to Christ and lead godly lives. Beyond
that, and based on my commitment to an essentially literal translation
philosophy, my prayer is that readers of the English Bible will use
translations that accurately give them the actual words of the original
Scripture and not mere approximations to those words.
Thank you, Lee.
Categories: Bible translation, Bible translator, ESV