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Friday, March 02, 2007

The Bible version cage match

Lingamish and Rick Mansfield have started a series of comparisons of Bible versions which Lingamish calls a "no-holds-barred smack-down cage match", whatever that means, between "the best of the best in Bible translations", by which he means CEV, NLT, NIV and The Message. As I write, only Lingamish's first round has appeared, in which he looks at Psalm 7.

Lingamish and Rick are comparing these Bible versions not for accuracy but for quality of English. This is interesting because Lingamish and Rick are both English majors, as well as being theologically educated and geeks, a rare combination. (I use "geek" as a term of affection as being one myself, also theologically educated but not an English major). But neither of them is a defender of the Tyndale/KJV tradition of Bible translation, nor an advocate of formal equivalence translation.

One of the accusations often made against modern dynamic equivalence translations is that their language is of poor quality and banal. To some extent that is deliberate; the translators are trying to avoid high level language which is not widely understood. But I hope that this series will help us to evaluate better the styles of these translations.


At Fri Mar 02, 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Oh, this promises to be a lively, entertaining, as well as informative match. I've read the first round and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, Lingamish's blogging service did not (yet) allow me to post a comment so I will post it here. Here wrote:

So on one hand a translation written in standard English can be either too boring or too bizarre.

But it's not *because* of being in standard English. Any translation, written in any kind of English can be boring or bizarre.

At Fri Mar 02, 08:18:00 PM, Blogger exegete77 said...

Sadly, GW was not in the mix, which it should have been rather than The Message.

At Sat Mar 03, 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Wayne, it seems that Lingamish had set up BBB as a spam source! And so any comments referring to this blog were rejected as spam. Shame on him! But I don't think it was his fault, rather the fault of Akismet.

At Mon Mar 05, 07:55:00 PM, Blogger Rick said...

And my apologies, but it's a busy week for me. My contribution to Lingamish's cage match will have to come later this week.


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