Bible translation is a business

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by BobinKy, Sep 2, 2010.

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  1. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    Bible translation is a business, or at best, a career for scholars.

    As I reflect upon my own purchases of Bible versions over the years, I must confess that I have spent a lot of resources (money and time) in pursuit of the perfect rendering. I wish now--over my lifetime--I had applied those resources toward some ministry rather than book publishing.

    Is there no end in sight for developing and publishing English Bible versions?

    Rather than becoming more united in our worship of God and carrying out the Great Commission, we are hunkering down into our own piece of religious diversity. Denominational versions of the Holy Scriptures? Who are we kidding?

    There used to be a Bible display in a Christian Book Store in Xenia, Ohio. Lined up on a specific shelf was every Bible version published at the time. The display sign read something like Owners of these Bibles now read only one Bible--King James Version.

    I am not a King James only Bible reader. However, I see the wisdom of sticking with one--and only one--version.

    Now a days, my version is the New Revised Standard Version. Yes, there are rendering backups. But I find using one version offers more advantages than disadvantages.

    No matter who we are, we only have so much time to study God's Word in the course of the day. Should we spend that time sifting over diverse translations? Or should we spend our time reading God's Word in a single Bible version and single Bible edition, allowing time for meditation and prayer over what we read?

    Some spiritual lessons are hard to learn.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
    #1 BobinKy, Sep 2, 2010
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  2. Ruiz

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    You said a lot but didn't say anything. Are you saying that Bible Translators who make money because of the translation are evil because they make money on it?

    Business is not inherently evil. Making money is not inherently evil and I hope the translators are paid well for their efforts as I do believe the laborer should be rewarded for their labors. I also believe Bible translations have sharpened us as a Christian Community.
     
  3. annsni

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    Most people go through a few versions in their lifetime, finding one that is accurate but easy to study and/or read. If I wanted to just sit down and read as I read a regular fiction book (not saying Scripture is fiction but comparing it as in just reading through and not studying), I'd most likely pick the NIV. But for study, I find the NIV to be lacking a bit and I'd rather use a version more like the NASB for that. But if I were to just sit down and read through the NASB as a book, I'd have a much more difficult time.

    So I think the multiple resources we have available are great. I am NOT up on all of the "specialty Bibles" and would rather see most of those resources that are added to make them as separate books - even a wrap-around that can fasten to your Bible but is still separate none-the-less.
     
  4. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    Ruiz...

    Thank you for your comment.

    I am sorry what I wrote did not say anything to you. No, I am not anti-business. In fact, I am a retired businessman myself.

    If there is something I wish you to take from my post, it is this--

    No matter who we are, we only have so much time to study God's Word in the course of the day. Should we spend that time sifting over diverse translations? Or should we spend our time reading God's Word in a single Bible version and single Bible edition, allowing time for meditation and prayer over what we read?​

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
  5. Ruiz

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    I think that is a false dichotomy. Yes to both.
     
  6. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    Ann...

    Thank you for your comments.

    "Wrap-around" Bible versions and editions. I know the concept--or at least used to practice it myself. I had several book stands--the kind that are sold in craft stores to display plates and books--and I would sit at two study tables with various Bibles displayed in a circle around me. One table was in front of me, the other table was behind me. I sat in a swivel chair and would spin around as I studied a passage.

    :1_grouphug:

    . . .

    Now, in my 60s, I find that my soul prefers to sit and read one version and one Bible edition. Not in a swivel chair--but an easy chair with my feet propped up on an ottoman and a lamp by one arm and a small table with notebook and pen by the other arm.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
  7. annsni

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    No - I don't mean wrap-around Bibles but the extra content that is put in the plethora of Bibles. Other than study Bibles, there are Bibles for specific ministries, for men, for women, for teens, etc. I'd love to see just the Bible, maybe the study notes and from there, the extras be made into Bible covers or something. So that way, I don't have to change my entire Bible to get the information. I find THAT is the reason many people change Bibles - not so much for the version but for the extra content.
     
  8. Friend of God

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    The truth be told, I think a lot of us have made these mistakes, and end up kicking ourselves when the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. Thanks Bob for pointing them out. I'm sure you and I are not alone for having done this in our search for the "perfect" Bible version.
     
    #8 Friend of God, Sep 2, 2010
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  9. TomVols

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    Like the KJV translators, I believe there is profit in comparing various translations. Ruiz, I don't think BobinKy is trashing new translations, just wondering what all of us wonder: do we have to niche ourselves to death with translations?
     
  10. glfredrick

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    The up side to the conversation is that a LOT of people are interested in the Bible, and they are actively marketing the Bible to everyone they can. That, in and of itself is a sea-change shift from the RC paradigm leading up to the days of the Reformation, when reading the Bible was an offense, and punishable by the Church. We ought to be grateful.

    About all the various translations, most folks tend to settle in two one or two anyway. I've found that the computer Bible study software lets me compare at will, and I can do language study, key word study, encyclopedia study, cultural study, etc., all at the same time, simply by deciding which books to tie together in my search parameters. What would have taken a Doctor of the Church a lifetime to process can now be laid out in a matter of minutes. Some will see that as a minus -- not spending as much time in or with the Word as before -- I see it as a plus, I get to spend more time in actual study that is fruitful and solidifies my teaching and preaching from a distinctly biblical perspective. It also tends to eliminate eisegesis...
     
  11. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    Thanks Bob for your post, and welcome to the BB.
     
  12. Rippon

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    Miles Coverdale (1488-1568)

    "Whereas some men think that many translations make divisions in the faith and in the people of God,that is not so;for it was never better with the congregation of God,then when every church almost had the Bible of a sundry translation."
     
  13. robycop3

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    I find that reading multiple versions gives me a broader view of the MESSAGES & MEANINGS of Scripture, seeing as how many Hebrew or Greek words/phrases have multiple valid English meanings. In sticking to only one version, we are actually sticking to one translator or setta translators,and THEIR views insteada forming our own views based upon an eclectic mixa translations.

    God's word is ALIVE, not frozen in time, & is still under His supervision.
     
  14. BobinKy

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    At some point--I do not know when exactly--I looked at my Bible study book cases and asked myself: Am I spending more time reading the Bible "face to face" with God's Word or more time reading about the Bible seeing God's Word "in a mirror, dimly" (1 Corinthians 13:12)? I came to the conclusion that I was spending more time seeing God's Word in a mirror, dimly.

    Try it sometime. Clock yourself and write the times on a log or calendar. How much time are you face to face with God's Word and how much time are you seeing God's Word in a mirror, dimly. Your log can be very simple--two columns. At the top of the first column draw a face or a single Bible; at the top of the second column draw a mirror or a book case full of books.

    And when you receive those moments when you feel God is speaking directly to you--"a sound of sheer silence" (1 Kings 19:12)--make a mark in your log, maybe a little ear or lips to signify the times you distinctly heard God speaking to you in your Bible study. After several months, add up the marks of sheer silence when God spoke directly to you. Which column has the most God speaking marks--Face to Face (reading God's Word) or Mirror, Dimly (reading about God's Word)?

    And when God does speak to you, grab your Soul Notebook, computer, or margin of the passage in your Bible you were reading when God spoke to you--"Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it" (Habakkuk 2:2). Write it plain and bold--because that runner may be you.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
    #14 BobinKy, Sep 2, 2010
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  15. BobinKy

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    Tom...

    You said it better than I ever could!

    Thanks.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
  16. BobinKy

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    Have you ever stopped to consider why niche Bibles are marketed? Who are the publishers trying to sell to? How have the publishers gone about making their niche Bible different--better--than the others? Have you ever followed up on the users of these niche Bibles? Why do they use the niche Bible instead of a traditional Bible? Is it peer pressure? Is it an ax to grind? Is it something else?

    I challenge you to log your Bible study. It should be easy with a computer. Just two columns: Face to Face (one Bible) and Mirror, Darkly (several versions, aids, encyclopedias, etc.). A hint for you--I do not think bouncing between translations can be counted in the Face to Face column. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself: Why am I not content with the translation I just read? What am I looking for? Why? . . .

    The Doctor of the Church--whoever that was supposed to have been?--I am sure this good Doctor thought his life was more than just a matter of minutes. I am sure God thought so too, or God would not have let this man live beyond a matter of minutes.

    How about the work of the Holy Spirit? Does the Holy Spirit live in a matrix? Does the Holy Spirit only work digitally now a days?

    Sometime, pick up a Bible and head for the pulpit, no preparation but prayer, turn off the little screen on your lap and in your pocket, turn off the big screen the people are watching, open your Bible to a passage and start to preach word by word, line by line. See what happens? Does the Holy Spirit really need gadgets to speak through someone's mouth? To work in someone's heart?

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky--East of Louisville by a few mountains and an Appalachian hollow or two :flower:
     
    #16 BobinKy, Sep 2, 2010
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  17. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    Stilllearning...

    Yup--that's me too! Still learning after six decades.

    Thank you for the welcome.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
  18. BobinKy

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    Been a few years since Miles Coverdale. Over the centuries, a lot of Bibles have rolled off the presses.

    . . .

    One time, when I was a teenager I came upon an old Bible in a cabin in the woods. Someone had shot a bullet in the middle of the Bible. I remember crying right then and there. What would have possessed someone to have shot a bullet into a Bible? I prayed for that person then . . . and I just said a prayer, now as I am typing these words, 45 years later.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
  19. rbell

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    Nice summary of the OP's point. I agree that we can get carried away if we're not careful. This would be especially true of folks with an over-the-top giftedness in teaching. One of their temptations is getting lost in the minutae.
     
  20. BobinKy

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    robycop3...

    Thanks for your comments.

    Yes, God's Word is ALIVE and can reach across translations--including the personal theology translators have laced into their translations. I wish I could read Hebrew and Greek fluently. I also wish I knew more about how the original texts came about. But, at my age, I am content that God will provide the answers in his own time.

    ...Bob :0)
    Kentucky
     
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