I greatly appreciate what Dan Sindlinger, my fellow contributor to the blog, is trying to do in his Better Life Bible. However, I think he is taking a wrong direction in his posting on reducing redundancy in translation
. Here I am repeating for a wider audience what I wrote in a comment on that posting:
Dan, I have to disagree with your high school English teacher. Well, things depend on what genre you are writing in. You mentioned that it was a "paper" on which your teacher wrote redundant. And I would agree that redundancy is a bad thing in a scholarly paper, if that is what you mean. But in other genres repetition and redundancy is a good thing. It is sometimes part of good literary art, especially in poetry but also for all kinds of literary effect, including for emphasis. It is essential in teaching, which is why you will find a lot of redundancy in modern sermons and teaching materials. Of course Jesus was a preacher, and that is why he used a lot of redundancy in his sermons as well, to make sure that his point struck home. In fact he probably used a lot more repetition than is recorded for us.
Don't make the Bible sound like a scholarly paper, but more like the sermon which much of it is. So, my advice would be, forget your high school English and keep the redundancy.
As an example of this (and at risk of redundancy!), I want to look briefly at Proverbs 4:20, which has been discussed in the posting "Turn your ear"
. This verse, like thousands of others in the Old Testament, consists (in the original and in most translations) of two parallel and almost synonymous lines. Some translations, such as TEV/GNT and CEV, sometimes collapse such pairs of parellel lines into one. But I would consider this to be a mistake, except where there are special circumstances. For the parallel lines are part of the poetic style of Proverbs, and of much of the rest of the Old Testament - which is also imitated as well as quoted in the New Testament. Also repetition is part of the teaching style of Proverbs, and of good teaching anywhere. Now I don't know if Dan would advocate cutting out the parallel lines in places like this, as CEV does (TEV/GNT does not). But I think it would be a mistake to do so.