Better Bibles Blog has moved. Read our last post, below, and then
click here if you are not redirected to our new location within 60 seconds.
Please Bookmark our new location and update blogrolls.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

ESV blog misrepresents The New Yorker

Jeremy Pierce has written an interesting piece about a post on the ESV blog. Jeremy has discovered that the ESV blog post actually misrepresents (Jeremy uses stronger words) the article in The New Yorker which it quotes. What was apparently intended as a criticism of "adding all sorts of commercialized nonsense to Bibles to attract younger readers" was turned by the ESV blogger, by a selective choice of quotation, into a criticism of communicative translations. So, as our very own Wayne writes in a comment on Jeremy's post:

Excellent post, Jeremy! I, too, was disturbed by the ESV Bible blog post, but I hadn't realized that the original quote was taken out of context. Good sleuthing to your brother and you.

It is so sad that many Bible readers have been misled in recent years about literal translation of uncommunicative biblical figurative language. There is a world of difference between what they actually do not want, I think, which is transculturation, and accurate translation of the meanings of biblical figurative language.


At Tue Dec 26, 03:11:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

For the sake of posterity, it should go on record that the juxtaposition of those quotes was unintentional. The ESV blog post now has a disclaimer and some edits to try to remove the unintended inference. I don't think the edits have removed all confusion, but those who read the whole post will no longer be able to conclude what had seemed to me to be the obviously intended conclusion.

At Tue Dec 26, 11:14:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Jeremy Pierce noted:

The ESV blog post now has a disclaimer and some edits to try to remove the unintended inference.

Thanks for noticing that revision, Jeremy. I have looked at it after your comment here and I appreciate Stephen Smith's attempt at the blog to clarify things. But the problem is really with the original New Yorker article. It is not sequenced well, so the inference that functional equivalence is one way of bringing the Bible to the reader, instead of the reader to the culture of the Bible, is still easy to come by. If I were editing what was excerpted from the New Yorker, I would have deleted the final paragraph quoted originally on the blog, or even more accurately, I would have, instead, deleted the second and third paragraphs. They simply do not fit into an article on the marketing of Bible editions to niche groups.

There simply is no connection between degree of formal equivalence and how accurately the culture of the Bible is portrayed. The author of the New Yorker article and many other people appear to confuse transculturation, which *does* change culture items of the Bible to more contemporary items, and true translation which looks to find *linguistic* equivalents in a language which express the original meaning of any original form whether it was figurative or not in the natural forms used within the target language. There is far too much misinformation promoted on these issues, not just in the New Yorker, but by well-intentioned Bible teachers who love God's Word but do not understand well how to accurately transfer the meaning of forms in one language into the same meaning using the forms of another language.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home