It’s worth stopping to talk about that reaction.
As you know, if you’ve been reading this blog, I’m the first in line to argue for dynamic equivalence. So it may come as a surprise that I have some sympathy for those who have trouble with the concept. You see I was raised in church — Episcopal granted, but in a parish that wasn’t theologically liberal and one that gave me the solid grounding which made a full, conscious commitment to Jesus as a young adult easy. Growing up I learned both liturgy and Bible in wordings that may not speak to others but nonetheless still resonate deeply with me.
It is very meet right and our bounden duty that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to Thee, O holy Lord, almighty Father
Our Father, which art in heavenIt’s this emotional resonance that we feel for passages we learned from the KJV that makes it hardest for us to accept dynamic equivalence translations. If I translate:
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
for ever and ever. Amen.
God loves people so much that he sent his one and only son to make it possible for everyone to live forever simply by putting their trust in him.We will all still hear:
For God so loved the world that gave his only begotten son so that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.And we experience cognitive dissonance.
Wikipedia has a nice informal definition.
In laymen's terms, [cognitive dissonance] is the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time.For us the conflict is between the wording we are emotionally attached to and one that speaks clearly.
The concept of cognitive dissonance was originally developed in the 1950’s to explain people’s refusal to accept facts plainly in evidence because of deeply held beliefs. Further research has shown that it is a much more general phenomenon. J. S. Atherton, a British expert on teaching, observes something based on cognitive dissonance research that is of further relevance to the Bible translation debate, beyond just the emotional connection.
Ordeal is an effective — if spurious — way of conferring value on an experience. … The more obscure and convoluted the subject, the more profound it must be.This should cause us to pause and reflect seriously.
Many wordings in the most popular literal translations are obscure and convoluted. Learning what they mean takes some work; it is an ordeal of sorts. Are we reacting to new wordings because they don’t measure up as translations, or are we rationalizing that the familiar, emotionally satisfying wordings are more profound because of cognitive dissonance?
 ATHERTON J S (2005) Learning and Teaching: Cognitive Dissonance and learning.