A Choice?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    Suddenly, you are presented with two large books that claim the same title on their covers. One has a red cover, the other has a blue cover. You are informed that they are actually completely separate translational works from multiple documents in an ancient language which you cannot understand. You read portions from each translation and discover that the wording of the pair of books is about 95% in precise agreement. Some of the exposed differences seem trivial (mostly minor punctuation and spelling variations). Yet, a few differences (less than 1%) may be considered completely irreconcilable. Some of the content is historical narrative, some seems to be allegory, some poetry, and some in other styles of ancient literature.

    You do not know ANYTHING about the origins of either book: you know nothing about the translators themselves; you do not know when, or where, or how (or really even why) the two books were translated; you cannot determine which book was translated first; you cannot identify the publishers; you do not know if either book enjoys copyright protection; etc.

    The contents of the two large books are completely NEW to you: you have never read these stories before; you have never heard anyone comment on these stories before; no one you could ever meet in person could have firsthand knowledge of the details presented in the stories; the stories are set in an ancient time and distant place; the characters in the stories apparently are of a different culture than your own; etc.

    Which one is the better translation: red or blue?
     
  2. EdSutton

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    I'm going with the all 'black' one, myself.











    Oh wait!

    'Red' (and 'blue') is referring to the cover of the book, and not some portion of the print, isn't it? ;)

    G'nite, all!

    Ed
     
    #2 EdSutton, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2009
  3. historyb

    historyb
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    I will say blue since I like that color
     
  4. Rippon

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    A 'read' book is better than an unread one -- so I'll go with the homophone of red. I don't read blue material.
     
  5. Tater77

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    NO YOU!!!!!
    Logic trap !!!!!

    Oh the pretty blue one.
     
  6. Mexdeaf

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    I'd buy them both, then study the issues out for myself.
     
  7. franklinmonroe

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    Yours is the only legitimate response, Mexdeaf. You really have no choice here but to look for internal contradictions of logic or fact. However, with zero outside sources for assistance in this scenario, I'm not sure a definite determination of "better" could be established between the two books (you would likely identify questionable issues within both texts).

    Now notice how the other reponses focus on the only tangible difference described (the color of the covers). These results just further magnify the point: when evaluating Bible texts virtually ALL the criteria applied is external to the texts themselves. Hopefully, it is more clear now that the debate over versions is really a division over how people feel about many peripheral issues: manuscripts, methodology, translators, copyrights, profits, etc.

    Now this may seem like very elementary point, but how often has it been asserted on the BB that a Christian should be able to just read a word or phrase and just 'know' whether it is genuine Scripture or not. In another thread this comment was made --
    By removing all the peripheral factors in the OP example, it should be obvious that version differences (while existing in the text) do NOT arise from the text itself (whether an anonymous volume or Scripture). Consequently, the resolution of 'Bible' version issues will not come from the text of a 'Bible'.
     
    #7 franklinmonroe, Apr 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2009

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