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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Favourite NRSV editions

Iyov has devoted a post to his favourite NRSV editions. I have been leaning in the direction of this translation myself recently and explain one reason in my comment on Iyov's blog. I wrote,
    Thanks for this excellent post. I am persuaded that many who used to preach from the RSV would be more comfortable with the NRSV than any other translation.

    My own pastor explained that he could not preach from the TNIV because of John 12:50.

    "I know that his command leads to eternal life." TNIV

    "And I know that his commandment is eternal life." NRSV, ESV, RSV

    "And I know that his commandment is life everlasting:" KJV

Doug at Metacatholic also has a good post on translation, On liking a bad translation.


At Fri Jun 29, 04:22:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Just in case anyone takes this as an anti-TNIV point, the NIV rendering of John 12:50 is the same.

What does the KJV, RSV, NRSV and ESV rendering mean? I have no idea! This is not English, it is a collocational clash. In fact it probably means how NIV and TNIV have interpreted it, as understood by the learned professors of Greek and theology who prepared these versions. But an ordinary reader is unlikely to get anything much from this verse, unless they happen to guess at the (T)NIV interpretation.

At Fri Jun 29, 06:53:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

You may be right, Peter, but some people do not like change in the text. They like the familiar. For those who are more comfortable with the familiar ...

At Fri Jun 29, 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

But is the original an easily-understood sentence in Greek? It's true that Jesus isn't making an identity statement in a strictly logical manner, and the English way of saying it does, in the way we normally hear English, sound like an identity claim. It's also true that in ancient Greek you would have uses of the verb "to be" that were not identity claims (as we do in English but a little more frequently and a little more ambiguously). But this is a difference of degree, and it still may have sounded strange to a Greek speaker. For that matter, the original Aramaic might have sounded strange to an Aramaic speaker. I'm not sure this is the case, but I'd want to see a stronger case than I've seen.


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