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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Is the TNIV more literal than the NASB?

Yes, believe it or not, sometimes the TNIV (and its predecessor, the NIV) is more literal than the NASB. How do I know? My blogger friend and careful Bible student (perhaps even scholar, by now), Rick Mansfield, has told me so. And he's happy to tell you so, also. Just click here to read his latest post. Note that Rick doesn't simply make a broad brush claim, but, rather, examines specific instances where the TNIV is more literal than the NASB. Note also that Rick is not suggesting that, overall, the TNIV is more literal than the NASB. It isn't. But in specific verses it sometimes is.

To me, Rick's post is an example of the kind of work that needs to be done when we compare Bible versions. It is detail work, dealing with specifics. It is objective research, dealing only with the facts of the biblical languages and English.

That's the kind of research I like. Objective, careful, specific. This is why we have this blog. We don't want to make broad brush generalizations about Bible versions. We don't want to make claims based on theology or ideology or who has endorsed a translation. We want to be as objective as possible. We realize that we are a small blog in a big pond. I harbor the naive hope that maybe English Bible translation teams or publishers would someday consult our blog and find ways that they can improve their Bible translations. But mostly, I think, the benefit this blog can have is helping each of us who think about translation topics become more aware of the specific issues involved and what can be done to improve Bible versions.

The header to this blog invites us to note specific wordings of specific verses in specific translations which can be improved. We continue to extend this invitation to each of you. When you come across a wording which seems odd or doesn't make sense to you in the version you are using, why not return to our blog and note the problem in the blog section for that Bible version.

Maybe if each of us does our little part, becoming more sensitive to how Bible translations can be improved, eventually we will have some positive influence upon the wordings in Bible versions. We really do want to make a difference. We do not want to tear down. We want to build up, to help improve, so that the good Bibles that we already have can become even better Bibles.


At Tue Jan 16, 06:41:00 PM, Blogger USpace said...

Very thought provoking...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe does
not believe in religion

At Wed Jan 17, 12:04:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

small blog in a big pond. I harbor hopes

Mixed metaphor alert. (Or, just see Ezek. 27:34).

At Wed Jan 17, 04:23:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I'm not sure we are such a small blog in the big pond of blogdom. Indeed according to Technorati we are number 20,458 out of over 50 million blogs - and that rating would be higher if updated more recently. No, we are a significant harbour in that confusing pond, large enough to harbour hopes in. The problem is, are the people we want to communicate with in our pond at all, or are they sailing a separate ocean? Well, at least some of them are bloggers and must be aware of the links and comments that are sent to them even if they delete them.


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