Is a Paraphrase in the Eye of the Beholder?
- So how does one designate a work as a paraphrase in distinction to "an extreme meaning-driven" paraphrase? On p. 42 of Dewey's book, he writes, "Strictly speaking, a paraphrase is not a translation from one language to another, but a rewording in the same language."
Of course, Dewey admits that this definition doesn't cover Phillips' NT or Peterson's The Message since they were both rendered from the original languages. To allow for this, Dewey then further defines a paraphrase as "any free rendering, regardless of whether it was made from another English version or from the Greek and Hebrew."
I suppose that such a broad definition would then allow one to include the CEV and GNB as a paraphrase, but then again, why not the NLT, too? The real question for Dewey would then have to be how he is defining "free" in the qualifying definition.
Interestingly, in his section about paraphrases on pp. 42-43, Dewey does not include the CEV and GNB in his discussion, but he does mention the Living Bible, The Message, and J. B. Phillips' New Testament. On p. 203, Dewey says that a paraphrase such as the Message should never be used as a principle Bible, but if he considers the CEV and the GNB to be paraphrases as well, would he say the same thing about these versions? Many people do, in fact, use these two "translations" (my designation) as their primary Bible.
The traditional position would be that the Bible in Worldwide English is not a translation, since Annie Cressman was an educator, in this case, of students who used English as a second language, but there is no record of her knowing Greek. However, the Good News Bible is a translation, since the committee was well-versed in Greek and Hebrew.