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Monday, August 18, 2008

Hot topics in Bible translation

Since my fellow BBBers have been silent for several days I thought I would jump in not with a post but a question:

For you as a reader of this blog, what do you consider to be a hot topic in Bible translation?

Tell us in the comments and maybe we can start up a good debate.


At Mon Aug 18, 09:14:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

What are advantages of using non-standard English in Bible versions?

At Mon Aug 18, 09:36:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Can I play too? :)

How come Paul gets to be a "minister" and us regular peons are always "servants" or "deacons"?

How come no major translations are willing to call Titus & Epaphroditus "Apostles"? (2Cor.8:23 & Php.2:25)

How come Paul "preached" all night in Troas, when the Greek word means "held dialogue"?

In short: is there a clergy-bias in our NT translation? And more importantly, when will it end?

At Mon Aug 18, 10:31:00 PM, Blogger David Ker said...

Keep 'em coming!

At Tue Aug 19, 06:25:00 AM, Blogger Jay Davis said...

Word for word style vs. meaning style
Example: NASB95 vs. NLTse

At Tue Aug 19, 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think gender language in translation continues to be a relevant issue for many. And, of course, the formal vs. dynamic equivalence debate will rage on indefinitely.

Lately I have been thinking about translators' philosophy about the unity of the Bible. That is, do translators approach the OT text as part of the Christian Bible, or a discreet, pre-Christian witness? How does NT usage of the OT affect our translation of the OT? Do translators capitalize "H"oly "S"pirit in the OT, or not? Do they translate Genesis 15:5 (and others) as "offspring/seed" (singular, referring to Christ) or as "descendants," (plural, referring to the Israelites), especially in light of Galatians 3:16?

I haven't heard many people talking about this, but I think it's important!

At Tue Aug 19, 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

I have recently decided to make the NRSV-CE my primary Bible for ministry work with young adults as well as my own graduate studies at the local major seminary. But my question is why is this translation so poorly promoted? Having read this blog often for the past year, I have learned much more as to why certain translations are more popular than others. Too academic? Heck, even the poorly designed NRSV website is down.

At Tue Aug 19, 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Ooops...looks like it is back up. But it still looks like it hasn't been updated. C'mon Harper Collins!

At Tue Aug 19, 06:27:00 PM, Blogger Trierr said...

Is a consumer driven market creating a "need" for translations with specific theological or denominational preferences (e.g. NET, ESV, HCSB)?

At Tue Aug 19, 07:38:00 PM, Blogger David Ker said...

Wow. Lots of great stuff.

See Bob's post here for NT in the OT and also TC writes here about idiomatic/literal conundrums.

And Bill takes up some of the questions in his comment in more depth on his blog.

To Wayne, I would reply, "That's a leading question!" But also, non-standard English can give rather ordinary ideas a novel twist and also sound more poetic.

At Wed Aug 20, 10:18:00 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Thanks for the link, David, but to spare the three people who might aimlessly searching my site, I've never actually blogged on those specific topics.

I'll withdraw and revise that final question, because I'm honestly looking for some help here. Whether or not those things are examples of what I call "clergy bias", how do bible translation teams actually justify such decisions? Is it tradition? Or do they have some specific reasoning to support the decision?

I can assume away all on my own. I'm honestly trying to check those assumptions, here.

Does anyone know?

At Wed Aug 20, 01:40:00 PM, Blogger David Ker said...

Bill, you're being too modest. I did see some of these same ideas at your blog and much else that is worth looking at. Keep it up!

At Wed Aug 20, 05:53:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Thanks very much, David. The core ideas, yes. And I will keep it up. But I can only tilt at so many windmills at once, you know...

I'll also keep waiting patiently for some BBB perspectives on the translation issues.

At Thu Aug 21, 07:33:00 AM, Blogger David Ker said...

I haven't forgotten you. Just enjoying the recent discussions that have flared up. (And I'm busy with work in the real world)

At Mon Aug 25, 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Just A Berean said...

Just a small note here as a Bible Teacher who is still learning.

If idioms were interpreted in the text in a form that noted this was an idiom, and then had a footnote with the literal Greek or Hebrew including an explanation, I think my job as Bible instructor would be much easier. For one I wouldn't have to go round and round with literalists who didn't know what they were talking about. And the average Bible reader would not be misled yet again.


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