Psalm 103 cont.
Mike also comments on Gender Blog's assessment of the TNIV. There is an interesting discrepancy between the two lists.
Since some still promote the notion that there is such a thing as a literal Bible whixh translates word-for-word, I thought I would do a rough critique of Psalm 103 in the NASB. It is still considered by many to be the most literal Bible available.
1. First, at least 6 feminine pronouns in the address to the soul are completely omitted by the NASB translation. The gender aspects of this psalm are not treated faithfully and universal truths are hidden.
2. The four different words for " human beings" in Hebrew are all translated as "man" in the NASB. This is especially destructive of the true sense of this psalm since enosh, verse 15, is the word used in the Messianic expression "son of man" in Daniel. The connection to this term is obscured.
3. The reference to the Spirit is also obscured. Ruach is translated as wind in verse 16.
4. While beni is faithfully translated as "sons" in the "sons of Israel" thus maintaining the truth that the sons represent all the people, in verse 13 the same word is translated as "children" thus obscuring the meaning of the text, that fathers have womb-like feelings for their sons.
5. Body metaphors are not translated literally. In verse 8, the evocative poetic features of the Hebrew are obscured by translating "long of the two nostrils" as "slow to anger." This has serious repercussions as the careful student of the English Bible will not be able to compare 1 Cor. 13:4 with this phrase. The scripture truth that "love is long in both nostrils at once" is no longer clear.
6. In verse 5 the word "vulture" has been transposed into "eagle" which is very likely reflective of the geopolitical origins of the text.
7. Participles have been turned into finite verbs throughout causing one more loss of fidelity.
It is a clear measure of God's providence that the NASB update comes after The Message in sales. I wonder if that reflects its level of literalness.
My recommendation is that people should be prepated to study Hebrew and make their own translation of this wonderful psalm.