Bock

About Translations: In Search of the Holy Grail of the Perfect Writ Nov 25

I am back from the Evangelical Theological Society, Institute of Biblical Research and the Society of Biblical Literature meetings. These are always full of interesting conversations and papers. One of the presentations I had to give was a response to chosen readings in the TNIV.

I am back from the Evangelical Theological Society, Institute of Biblical Research and the Society of Biblical Literature meetings. These are always full of interesting conversations and papers. One of the presentations I had to give was a response to chosen readings in the TNIV. I also met for meals with people associated with the ESV, NLT, and the Voice, translations I have worked on to one degree or another. The people reponsible for the NET Bible (from Bible.org, of course) were also there. One of the key people in my own seminary training now heads up the Holman Christian Standard Version. All of this translation activity got me to wondering how confusing all of these choices must be for people. Throw in the hype of the publishers claiming that their translation is the one (like looking for a spouse?), and the pressure to find the right one is on. Add onto that study bibles, which the versions all produce, and it gets even more complicated. (This year the ESV, NLT and HCSB all produced study bibles).

So which one is THE one? Well, this blog will disappoint you because Bibles are not like spouses. It is OK to have more than one, and it can be helpful to use more than one. I do. Translation is always a tricky business because it forces a singular choice. The presence of different translations allows one to get a sense of what the options are for reading the text (even in a choice among synonymous terms in a specific passage). The NET was created to allow the reader to know what choices one has to face in rendering the text. The NLT is a lovely rendering of the English in a style that we are sued to in our language. The ESV has produced not only a solid update of the RSV, but a first class study Bible to go with it.  The Voice has paid special attention to the presentation of change of genres and speakers in a text. The TNIV and NIV also do a solid job of trying to make the resultant force and meaning of a text clear in English. Just as solid is the HCSB. And I have not even mentioned all the good ones out there. With any Bible, someone who knows the language can and will disagree with a reading here and there, preferring an option not chosen for the text. This is why the marginal notes giving alternate readings are helpful. 

My point is that there is no perfect Bible out there. Each has its strengths and benefits. One of the key elements is the text that underlines the translation. That is why the KJV and NKJV are so different than other translations. They are based on a different prioritizing of the Greek families of manuscripts (one most scholars today do not see as the most likely priority). Among the rest, some translations are more dynamic (read try to give you the full sense in the English with English style- NLT, Voice, TNIV), while others are called more formal (tend to render more like the Greek with less expansive renderings- NASB, ESV). Formal translations claim to be more literal but that is really not true. They simply are more circumspect about how far to press the implications of their translation choices in wording. Dynamics are less shy about such moves. Some fall inbetween (NET, HCSB). Either a formal or a dynamic rendering might do a better job on a verse depending on the verse in question and the accuracy of the judgment made about the translation's force. This is why teams of people contribute to a translation, even to the point of having specific people work on specific books which they know in more detail than other biblical books. They are trying to get it as right as they can, given what they are trying to do. It is not easy. We should be grateful to all those who have worked seriously on translation, as well as remember the need for some people in other languages to have a Bible, since the Bible does not yet exist in their language (So thanks, Wycliffe Translators).

So my point is to be a little skeptical when someone hails one translation as far superior than another, or especially when they hype it as THE one.  Relax, more than one version might be good for your Bible study now and again. Often the best rendering will depend on the verse or unit in question and will shift fromversion to version. Most do a pretty good job as a rule. Where translations differ on a verse, you can know that there is an interpretive or textual wording issue present, if the difference is not merely the choice between different synonyms. 

 

19 Comments

  • Avatar

    Wayne Leman

    no perfect translation
    Darrell, thanks for your fair, wise, and irenic post on English Bible versions. We need to hear this more often as blogs, preachers, and others help contribute to a new kind of ___-Onlyism, where the blank would be filled in by our favorite version or the one we believe is better than all the rest.

    I had to smile when you wrote that “Bibles are not like spouses. It is OK to have more than one, and it can be helpful to use more than one.Bibles are not like spouses. It is OK to have more than one, and it can be helpful to use more than one.”

  • Avatar

    Blake

    AMP?
    If you had the time I’d really like an expert’s opinion on the Amplified Bible. I’m confused why I don’t find many scholars recommending it. I’ve also heard pastors classify it as a paraphrase when discussing such things with their congregations which doesn’t make any sense to me. Does it do what it claims to do in making available a fuller view of the meanings of the words in the original languages?

    • Avatar

      bock

      AMP? dlb

      Blake:

      The Amplified is a translation I would criticize. It combines meanings of words in a linguisitically irresponsible fashion, actually making it hard to know what a passage means. This is why you often do not see it noted in discussions like my post.  

      dlb

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    Mason

    not the one
    Darrell,
    Unfortunately I was unable to go to ETS this year, though I have very much enjoyed it when can. Much of what I have heard this year, first from the ETS lecture catalog and now on the blogosphere, has concerned what you posted on here, the issues of translations and especially the two up and comers the ESV and TNIV.
    I, like you, have found the ‘this translation is the ONE’ mentality frustrating and counter productive. I’m a big fan of the ESV, but I also use the NRSV and TNIV quite a bit, and grew up using the NIV. Each has their place, and each does better in some areas than the others do.
    All translations can be improved, but none will ever be the only one a person needs. Once you see the depth of the original languages (which presumably all the scholars involved in the debate are well aware of) I do not see how anyone can insist that a specific translation is always or usually ‘best’ and most ‘usable/literal/accurate’. I appreciate the tone you took here, it is a needed contrast to much of the overly heated argument on the topic.

    • Avatar

      bock

      Not the one dlb

      Mason:

      Thanks for the feedback. There is far too much "heated argument" about translations these days.

      dlb

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    Mike

    thanks for the update
    dr. bock,

    thanks for the update, didn’t get to go this year on a student’s budget lol.

    has all the “gender-neutral” criticism of the TNIV died down yet? as dangerous as gender-neutrality could become, i’m probably with those who see the TNIV as doing a respectable, responsible job for the most part. just curious if some of the unwarranted attacks are still being hurled at it.

    i encourage church folks to use at least 2 reputable versions in their study, and different “kinds” of bibles at that (i use language like “word for word” or “thought for thought” with church folks).

    here’s something scary though . . . i see more and more people using the Message! anyone who would defend this one needs to justify psalm 1 before any other discussion can happen lol.

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    Barry Applewhite

    What Is a “Literal” Translation?
    Dr. Bock,
    In your article you say: “Formal translations claim to be more literal but that is really not true. They simply are more circumspect about how far to press the implications of their translation choices in wording.”

    I find this pair of sentences baffling. What do you mean when you use the word “literal” in regard to Bible translations? How do you justify the thought that pressing “the implications of their translation choices in wording” is not directly related to literalness? I think they are directly related and that your statement that certain Bibles are not more literal is incorrect.

    In my opinion the dynamic-equivalence approach to translation gives up a lot of ground that the Protestant Reformation gained in regard to the Bible. The Reformation removed the Roman Catholic priest from defining what interpretation was correct. But the dynamic approach just puts the priest right back in business by making his interpretation into the translated text of the Bible. In fact, we may be even worse off now than we were before; comparing dynamic translations of a specific verse is like going to two (or more) different movies.

    If you think someone out there has adequately answered Leland Ryken’s book The Word of God in English, I would like to know who it is. As a DTS grad, I have not seen an adequate answer.

    -Barry

    • Avatar

      bock

      “Literal” Translation dlb

      Barry:

      The proper term for "literal" translation is "formal" equivalence. This renders in a target language in a form and with a wording that is as close to the original language as is possible (at least that is the claim). The problem is when idioms and such are used or when words appear that are capable of beign renered in a variety of ways (or other formal ambiguities appear). Is it really as clear to leave an idiom ambiguous and stated in the form in which it is presented or to translate the meaning of the expression (ie, bring out the force of the idiom more directly.)? The fact is ALL translations intepret and are forced to do so in making interpretive decisions. No translation theory prevents this.  (eg, this is always the case when a word can have more than one possible meaning in a context in which it appears — ie both meanings could make contextual sense and you have to choose one that is intended based on judgments about contextual factors). 

      As for your remark about the Reformation (it is baffling to me). Yes, there is no magisterium, but interpretation remains (and the judgments that go with it in rendering a text or a translation remain). So unless we declare what a text is by fiat, we still have to work to render the text and develop what that rendering actually means in terms of intended force. Dynamic equivalence simply says the goal is an attempt to bring out that intention more explicitly. 

      With regard to the choices different translations engender, as your education at DTS made clear, that is part of the sorting out process of determining what a text might mean versus what it does mean as a way moving to the divinely intended meaning. My point was not that all renderings are equal in value, but that being aware of what a text might mean may point out to me its meaning (by bringing to my attention a rendering I may not otherwise have seen or considered). We all know that grammar and syntax alone does not guarantee meaning, but a combination of factors associated with the given context of a passage.

      Hope this helps to clarify what was unclear to you.

      • Avatar

        Barry Applewhite

        Artificial Clarity in Translation?
        Dr. Bock,
        Yes, that is considerably more clear. Let’s take, for example, a narrative text such as Genesis. How much of that text do you think would be considered idiom? I concede that idioms must be translated in a non-literal manner for best results, but talking as if that justifies dynamic translation across the board is disingenuous. It is a common argument by proponents of dynamic equivalence who wish to treat 100% of the text as deserving of their dynamic treatment.

        I notice your comment: “we still have to work to render the text and develop what that rendering actually means in terms of intended force. Dynamic equivalence simply says the goal is an attempt to bring out that intention more explicitly.” What I wonder is “more explicitly” than what? All too often dynamic translations eliminate ambiguity in the text by guessing at the right “intended force,” to use your words. What if their guess is wrong?

        I give you the example of Genesis 6:3.
        NET: “My spirit will not remain in humankind indefinitely, since they are mortal.”
        ESV: “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh.”
        HCSB: “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt.”
        One of the lexical options for the Hebrew word bashar shows in the HALOT lexicon as “flesh,” but the translations “mortal” and “corrupt” are not shown to be in the semantic range. So, why is the reader better off with an interpretive translation that pushes beyond the semantic range of the word? And when I do jump that gap, do I go for “mortal” or “corrupt”? NET does not discuss its reasons here.

        The translation “flesh” is certainly more ambiguous than “mortal,” but why would a translator want to be more definite that the text he is translating? It seems to me that is a gamble one does not need to take. Why not put those more interpretive alternatives into the margin rather than into the text?
        Finally, I think the idea of moving toward “intended force” easily becomes a bridge too far. We do not know what the original impact or reaction was to the readers of Genesis 6:3. Translation can become an exercise in audacity.

        -Barry
        P.S. I do understand “formal equivalence” but prefer “literal” for economy of expression.

        • Avatar

          bock

          Artificial clarity dlb

          Barry:

          It sure will help if you deal with all the argument presented. I mentioned idioms and words. I could have added syntactical options.  I also noted that at spots we can take a verse and we might prefer one translation over another at a particular point. My point is that the translator has numerous points in a verse where judgments are made. One needs to do this with care and I know that is what you are rightly concerned about. This is why teams of translators work on the major translations.

          As to "what if their guess is wrong." First, it is usually not a guess (that makes it sound pretty random and so is a rhetorical characterization of the process), but a possible rendering. Second the use of multiple translations will usually surface where the uncertainty or debate about precise meaning might be, making the point I was originally making; there is value in working with multiple translations because the differences between them can show these issues.

          But let’s take a closer look at your compaint in Genesis 6:3. What makes flesh flesh (merely that it is material or matter)? No, there is more to it than to say it is fleshy stuff. The point surely is that flesh is described as flesh because it is not immortal and what makes it temporary is the judgment that fell on flesh as a result of sin (as the context of Gen 3 has told us before we get here).  I do not know what edition of HALOT you are reading but I have in the entry the following under the term BASAR and living flesh: entry 8 "b) what is frail, transient (sarx in the NT)" texts noted are: Is 10:18; 31:3; Ezek 44:7. You might also check Is 40:6- "all flesh is grass" pointing by idiom to this association (also Zech 14:12 is rendered rotting flesh in flesh as part of body). Here is what Brown-Driver-Briggs says, "5. man over against God as frail or erring Gn 6:3". This all points to transience associated with the term. So perhaps the dynamic translation as not as far off as you suggest in this verse.

          Hope this helps. Believe me I understand the concern and want the text rendered faithfully like you do. It does no one any good not to render the Word carefully. Clarity in terms of force can do that. It is worth the effort.

          dlb

          • Avatar

            Barry Applewhite

            Assumptions Brought to Translating a Verse
            Dr. Bock,
            You say: “What makes flesh flesh (merely that it is material or matter)? No, there is more to it than to say it is fleshy stuff. The point surely is that flesh is described as flesh because it is not immortal and what makes it temporary is the judgment that fell on flesh as a result of sin (as the context of Gen 3 has told us before we get here).”

            As a noted and respected scholar (certainly by me!) you make a number of unsupported assertions. [Of course, you could more fully argue them.] When you argue with phrases like “merely,” “there is more to it” and “surely,” you are essentially saying (in the common manner of scholars) trust me, I know about these things. But I might prefer that you make fewer assumptions in Genesis 6:3 (for example). Consider:
            1. Bashar does not necessarily imply what is temporary or transient because bashar existed prior to sin and “the judgment that fell on flesh” (Bock). See Gen. 2:21 and 2:23, which have nothing to do with mortality or the fall.
            2. HALOT-3 does indeed have “what is frail, transient” as part of its eighth entry, but note that the first entry is “skin” and the second is “flesh,” both conveying the ordinary meaning you seem to disdain (in this context). Why do dynamic translations so frequently slide to the tails of a lexical probability plot? Or off of the plot altogether?
            3. Instead of going to Genesis 3 for context, why not stay in Genesis 6 and say bashar might contrast with the “sons of God” (Gen. 6:2), who may be angelic beings? Assuming that more immediate context probably takes one in a different direction than “mortal” (NET) or “corrupt” (HCSB).

            You offer reassurance from teams of translators. Teams of translators do not deliver us from the danger of questionable selections from the population of possible renderings. The translators are all following a certain translation philosophy, and that will yield different translation results for different philosophies. Further, your teams of scholars making knowledgeable judgments regularly come up with different translation choices for the same word (“flesh,” “mortal,” “corrupt” or no translation at all!). So, in the final analysis, what did teams of experts buy me in terms of accuracy?

            My example in Genesis 6:3 used NET and Holman Christian Standard Bible, which are both mildly dynamic. The more fully dynamic Contemporary English Version drops the entire causal clause (“I won’t let my life-giving breath remain in anyone forever.” Gen. 6:3, CEV). Compare that to the formal equivalent “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh” Gen. 6:3, ESV). I think you will agree that some teams employ dynamic philosophy to a fault.

            My reading has convinced me that this debate is best pursued with concrete translation comparisons such as Genesis 6:3. Otherwise the jousting goes on in a vacuum.

            At the end of the day, a Bible student who owns several translations ends up with a handful of different possibilities. Most have no way to sift these for a decision. I agree they should use more than one translation, but a problem remains.

            I do appreciate your scholarship and opinions as well as your irenic spirit.

            -Barry

          • Avatar

            bock

            Assumptions dlb

            Barry:

            What you call assumptions are actually contended for in the exegesis that feeds translation work in the committees (I have done work with several teams with distinct philosophies). Let’s look at the ESV you commend in Gen 6:3. Is not the force of the translation the transience of the human in contrast to angelic beings? If not, then why the contrast with forever in the parallel line?  If so, then the ESV rendering is actually little different than many dynamic equvalents on this text you seemed initially uncomfortable with. Flesh, mortal and corruption ARE translation options that are quitepossible part of the intention of the choice by the original author of the word, as the lexicon shows. To simply render it flesh may actually say too little in terms of the passage’s intent. The latter two options (mortal and curruption) bring out why one calls someone flesh in a context like Gen 6:3. Barry, this is the point you seem to be uncomfortable with, namely, trying to make such a clarifying move. One does not mention flesh in this text merely to describe the human shell but to characterize humanity. This is not an assumption; it is part of looking for a reading that yields a sense that best explains the context as a whole. I am not saying merely trust me. I am saying think about it. Is flesh here the best rendering for this kind of a context? Is the point in Gen 6:3 about fleshiness as matter or about some other association with flesh (which the word often DOES mean and with a recognition that association is how language often works through terms). The translator sees that other association as intended (and thus serves as a clearer rendering because it is the best of the options) and then tries to render the resultant force (In doing so, he makes explicit the kind of explanatory gloss a lexicon gives for the word to point to the term having this meaning in some cases). We appeal to Gen 3 because in Gen 6 we are in a context of sin, not pre-fall as in Gen 2.

            I agree that it is best to engage in concrete translation comparisons (if I am understanding you right). The comparisons help and I would want to stress that in the choices of versions to use for this process one should not only use dynamic equivalent translations but certainly inlucde a few formal translations.This is why I have worked on texts like the ESV, as well as the NLT.

            I am taking time on this in these responses because often we (not you, I mean a host of those reading this) do not entirely appreciate how many hours and conversations feed into a translation. This is why they take years to do. The renderings people see are often part of conversations about the detail of the text and are tied to its exegesis.

            dlb

          • Avatar

            Barry Applewhite

            How Dynamic Translations Limit Interpretation
            Dr. Bock,
            First, I do appreciate the interaction, and I think it will benefit those who attempt to understand the implications of translation philosophies.

            In relation to Genesis 6:3, you ask: “Is not the force of the translation the transience of the human in contrast to angelic beings? If not, then why the contrast with forever in the parallel line?”

            My take on the meaning of bashar (Heb.) in Gen. 6:3 is that we are dealing with the difference between what is earthly and what is heavenly. The sons of God (Gen. 6:2) are angelic beings who, by impregnating human women, have transgressed God’s will that reproduction should be according to kind.

            God has infused humankind with life and enabled them to reproduce and create new life. The transgression of the angelic beings has usurped this life-producing process and twisted it into a sin-producing process.

            In my opinion, the contextual emphasis on transience has nothing to do with the nature of bashar (“flesh”); it has to do with God being disgusted and repelled by the abuse of the life he granted, so he decides when to put that abuse to an end. I reached back to Genesis 2’s uses of bashar to demonstrate that there is nothing inherent in “flesh” that makes it either transient or affected by sin. Those associations are incidental and develop in biblical history subsequent to Genesis 2.

            So, in summary, I see bashar as dealing with what is earthly with possible overtones of what has proven to be vulnerable to spiritual attack, first in the garden and then in many ways which are cut short by God’s judgment.

            Sorry to waste so much space on my own interpretation, but I do so in answer to your question and to demonstrate that some interpretations do not necessarily lead to transience as the accurate interpretation of bashar in Genesis 6:3.

            Please note that the interpretation you have chosen and the translation that results from it (“mortal”) work to foreclose any consideration by the reader of the interpretation I have described.

            We could consider other adverse influences of dynamic equivalence. By replacing “flesh” (a noun) with “mortal” (an adjective), one unintended result is to make it much harder for average Bible students to do concordance studies of “flesh” in the Old Testament. On a similar note, how many times and where does the word for “Christ” occur in the New Testament? You cannot easily answer that question by looking at a concordance for the NIV, unless you select that concordance carefully.

            I have also noticed that many literary touches accomplished through repetition of the same word in the original text are lost due to the freedom felt by dynamic translators to make the target language more readable and clear for contemporary readers. So, gains in clarity are matched by losses in identifying the author’s emphasis.

            I respect those involved in translations based on dynamic equivalence, but those of us who prefer formal equivalence do so with reasons that are not easily swept aside.

            -Barry

          • Avatar

            bock

            Dynamic limits dlb

            Barry:

            A few simple questions about your reading, if I may. Why then does the following explanation limit a man’s life to 120 years? Does that not reinforce the point about transience? How does flesh equal earthly? Is that not the same kind of move you complain about in a dynamic equvalence?

             

            Your comparison of noun versus adjective reflects English not Hebrew, I think. Does a rendering like mortal make an English concordance work harder? Not if it is done right and checked against the original Hebrew word. Otherwise you need to insist that an English word always get the same gloss and we all know that is liguistucally fallacious. The translation I choose only forecloses options if (1) a person does ntocheck for other options and (2) marginal options are not noted (And the NET, for example, does give the alternate gloss, thus no forclosure of the option).

            Nothing you have said to me in these posts seems to show definitively the benefits of only working with formal equvalence {In fact, the claim to preclude an interpretation works both ways, IF one chooses only to work in one way- that is, only in one of either way} What I am sensing is an insistence that only that option is best (Sorry to be so frank, but if you look at the point of my original post; it was on the value of working with both kinds of renderings, for reasons I think our exchange in our various posts shows).

          • Avatar

            Barry Applewhite

            Interpretation = Translation OR Interpretation = Margin ?
            Dr. Bock,
            Concerning our discussion of Genesis 6:3 (both its translation and its interpretation), you say: “A few simple questions about your reading, if I may. Why then does the following explanation limit a man’s life to 120 years? Does that not reinforce the point about transience? How does flesh equal earthly? Is that not the same kind of move you complain about in a dynamic equivalence?”

            Please recall that I prefer the translation “flesh” for Hebrew bashar in Genesis 6:3. My interpretation is something that would belong in the margin or notes, if anywhere. So, yes, I have an interpretation of “flesh” (earthly aspect of man), but, unlike those of you who “go dynamic” (not a Bock remark), I do not put my interpretation into the translated text. So, I have made no “move” in regard to the translated text. I’m afraid those who move their interpretations into the translated text mostly gather in your camp!

            As to the “120 years” (Gen. 6:3) in relation to the transience of flesh, my preferred interpretation is that taken by NET that 120 years is a reference to the time left before the flood ends the lives of all on earth except for those God allows on the ark. You evidently take the more traditional view.

            Again, my point was that “flesh” as a translation for bashar allows the reader to consider context and come to an interpretation. Some, such as you, will head for “mortal” as an interpretation. Some others, such as I, will prefer “earthly aspect of man.” Both are interpretations of the original Hebrew term. They only become translations for bashar if I move them out of the margin, where they belong, into the biblical text. But once you move the interpretation into the translated text in the name of clarity, you have picked a winner in the interpretation competition, and the Bible reader without tools does not even know the door has been closed.

            However, you say: “The translation I choose only forecloses options if (1) a person does not check for other options and (2) marginal options are not noted (And the NET, for example, does give the alternate gloss, thus no foreclosure of the option).” That is all true, but you are assuming our Bible reader owns a full version of the NET Bible or uses the download, because my Readers Edition of the NET Bible makes no marginal mention of “flesh” as an alternative gloss.

            On this topic of selecting interpretations for promotion to translated text, I repeat my earlier post: “You offer reassurance from teams of translators. Teams of translators do not deliver us from the danger of questionable selections from the population of possible renderings. The translators are all following a certain translation philosophy, and that will yield different translation results for different philosophies. Further, your teams of scholars making knowledgeable judgments regularly come up with different translation choices for the same word (“flesh,” “mortal,” “corrupt” or no translation at all [CEV]!). So, in the final analysis, what did teams of experts buy me in terms of accuracy?” You seem not to acknowledge the variability in the translated text introduced by dynamic equivalence. Translations based on formal equivalence agree in wording on a far greater amount of the biblical text.

            We do agree that using more than one type of translation is best, but the average Bible student does not understand how to resolve the inevitable differences.

            -Barry

          • Avatar

            bock

            Interpretation et al dlb

            Barry:

            We are making progress. The one point we may disagree on is who is translating and who is interpreting. A choice potentially to underinterpret a term is just as much an interpretation as one that potentially overinterprets it. BOTH are interpretations. All these decisions about how to render the choices are interpretations (read judgments). Remember, as well, my remarks are made suggesting the benefits of using a variety of translations and one that uses margins well (so the reduced NET does not work so well for these concerns. We are agreed on that). Everything you say about being delivered from the danger of questionable selections of interpretive options applies both ways here. Do not miss a point I was making about the options you do not like ("mortal" and "corrupt"). That is that these renderings are not so much differences as they are nuances on a reading that explains the transience being appealed to. One simply says "transient"; the other explains theologically why in terms already noted in Genesis. So the difference here is not great (I will recognize that sometimes that is not the case between the options). The answer to what your (my) team of experts buys you is simple. It gives you an awareness of the potential force of the text, which is what a good translation should do. They all attempt to give us "the" text, but no translation reaches this goal. You claim that a formal text agrees more often than dynamic renderings, but this does not mean such agreement necessarily brings us closer to the actual intended meaning.  In part, this is because in many cases a failure to render more ambiguous phrases, as formal renderings often leave such ambiguities, may actually leave the text very unclear.

            So here we are. We have made it clear that I see more value in dynamic equivalence than you do with your preference for a formal rendering. We agree on the value of careful students paying attention to the options a variety of translations give. We probably agree that the average Bible student does not (always) understand how to resolve these differences, which explains why study Bibles are also emerging as an option for the average student. So let’s agree that as we discuss what is out there (and both types are here to stay), that we are clear on the benefits and risks of it all. That is something I hope this exchange of posts has done for everyone.

            dlb

  • Avatar

    jimmy

    Translation Committee Notes
    With the internet and new technology, we are no longer limited to just pages that must be printed on paper and thus be limited by space. Perhaps since many of the translation issues are debated within the committees anyways, they should be written down as notes available on an online version of the translation. Because few word choice can rarely capture the Greek words, intentions, etc – a fully explanation – like the discussion the two of you are having – would be helpful as notes for all the discussions of potentially debated verses. (expanded version of NET bible?)

    • Avatar

      bock

      Translation Committee Notes dlb

      Jimmy:

      A nice request. This is what the full NET Bible is, a translation with notes discussing the choices made. You should check it out on the bible.org web site. Yes, this is something notes with a Bible on the NET could do. It also is what commentaries do, sometimes in immense detail.

      dlb