Contextual accuracy in Bible translation
But, she warns that those who provide contextual information for Bible users must ensure that it itself is accurate. She properly states that
contextual adjustment materials should not offer speculative embellishments on the text. For example, in Matthew 21 in the Message, after Jesus runs the "loan sharks" out of the temple, Eugene Peterson adds, "Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in" (1993:52). This implies that the 'loan sharks' were keeping the blind and crippled out by taking up all the space. This misrepresents the situation. In fact, handicapped people were not allowed in the temple because they were considered unclearn, and the fact that Jesus allowed them in was as astounding as the way he chased the moneychangers out.Now, as with any of our critiques of Bible versions on this blog, we do not dismiss The Message as having no value as a translation, simply because of this and other mis-translations by Peterson. We must deal with each translation wording in any English Bible version on a case-by-case basis and not be dismissive (or accepting, for that matter) in a blanket fashion.
I happen to like reading The Message. My wife and I use it for our morning Bible reading together. But we have to be careful that we do not take every translation wording in this translation, or any other Bible translation, as gospel truth, without checking to be sure that the translation is accurate.
How about you? What parts of the Bible have become more understandable to you once you were exposed to footnotes, an explanation in a commentary, or listened to a Bible teacher? And how do you determine which kinds of "contextual adjustment materials" to trust as faithfully representing the context of the original biblical author?