Footnotes in Translations: Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by jbh28, Sep 20, 2010.

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  1. jbh28

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    Are footnotes good or bad for translations? All translations have done it. Some do it more that others. Is it better to keep a questionable text in and put that it's questionable in the footnotes(NASB), or is it better to just put the questionable text in the foot notes(ESV,NIV)?

    It was mentioned that this was a bad thing to do and I commented on the fact the even the KJV did this very thing. (though not as often). I felt that continuing that discussion there would be off topic to the OP, I decided to make a different thread.

    Some KJV only advocates who don't relize that the KJV did this very practice(again, not as often but did it) put down modern versions for doing this. They say it's "confusing" and "stupid."

    What are your thoughts on this. Should a translation put footnotes letting you know alternate renderings of a passage? Should a translation put footnotes letting you know of textual variants in the passage.

    Here is my response to the question to me from the other question.


    I'm glad you don't mind alternate renderings. There are some that go to that extreme.

    Here is an example of them leaving out a phrase and placing it in the marginal notes.

    Text Current KJV
    Luke 10:22 KJV All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

    KJV 1611
    All things are deliuered to me of my father: and no man knoweth who the sonne is, but the father: and who the father is, but the sonne, and he to whom the sonne will reueale him.

    "Many ancient copies adde these words, And turning to his Disciples he said"

    scanned copy
    http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?TextID=kjbible&PagePosition=1295
    Not when your put down a practice that the KJV uses as well.
     
  2. annsni

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    The KJV translators did it and explained in their preface/notes to the reader why they did it. It is vitally important so that there would be no question as to the translator's "bent". The choices are put forth to the reader and they can decide for themselves. Of course these are valid translational differences, not every single difference.
     
  3. jbh28

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    Exactly. And of course not every single difference or we would it would be more footnotes that text. :)
     
  4. RAdam

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    Apparently I missed where the KJ translators left out Luke 10:22 and then put it in using a footnote.

    I said: "Give me one example of the KJ translators leaving a text out and then placing it in the footnotes."

    You did not do this.

    The NIV translators left out 1 John 5:7, obviously because they did not believe it is authentic. My problem is they turned around and used a footnote to put it back in. To me, that is a cop-out. Either put it in or leave it out.

    I didn't bring up the KJ translation, but others did. I responded by saying I can't think of a single time they did this. I've yet to see an example of them doing this.
     
  5. RAdam

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    By the way, I have no problem with a footnote, or a margin note, or a center column note. In fact, the KJ I use has the original center column references and notes. My problem is leaving out a text due to doubting its authenticity and then putting it back in via a footnote. I think that is silly.
     
  6. Steven2006

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    In my opinion, when I study the Bible, I want to be able to try and best understand what God intended when He used the Holy Spirit to breath life into the originals. So I appreciate the value that translator notes and for that matter what more than one translation gives me towards that end. It is like looking at a statue of a person and being able to walk around all sides of him to get a better appreciation of what that person really looked like. Versus looking at just a painted portrait of that same person.
     
  7. jbh28

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    why don't you go back and read what I wrote. I did show you an example. They left out. "And turning to his Disciples he said" and put it in footnotes.

    So I guess the KJV translators were "cop-out(s)" too. They left part of verse 22 out like the NIV left part of verse 7 out.


    So you were prefer the NASB's way and put brackets around the text while keeping the text and putting in footnotes a statement about the doubt.
     
  8. RAdam

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    The NIV didn't leave out part of verse 7, they left out the whole thing. They reworded things so that they still had the same number of verses, but they left the whole verse 7 out.
     
  9. Deacon

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    .......

    Rob
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    Not everyone reading a modern English translation has either the access or the ability to access to textual apparatus of the manuscripts which were used in translation. Thus I think the footnotes are important and useful.

    Have you seen the NET over at Bible.org...its full of helpful info from the actual translators and provides a wealth (not kidding like 65,000 footnotes) of info that will help in understanding the text and decisions that were made in translation. :)

    Well far be it from the KJVO crowd to confuse the issues...:saint:
     
  11. jbh28

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    No, they have part of verse 7.

    NIV: For there are three that testify:
    KJV: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    Bolded is the part that is left out of the verse.

    Also, you said text. The KJV leaves some text out. You didn't say entire verses and neither did I. Don't back peddle. I have given you an example of the KJV leaving out some text and putting into footnotes.
     
  12. jbh28

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    Yes. NET translation isn't my favorite as far as a translation goes, but I do love their footnotes. Very helpful.
     
  13. annsni

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    See, actually it's that the KJV put the bolded in.

    Can you show me where the NIV was printed without the additional text at all and then they reprinted it with the footnote? You say that the NIV translators left it out then put it back in as a footnote. However, that is not how footnotes develop in Bible translations.
     
  14. jbh28

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    I wasn't saying they added the footnote in later. I was saying that the NIV doesn't have that portion of the text because they believed it to not be part of the original and thus put it in their footnotes. The KJV(originally) did the same thing with Luke 10:22.

    Also, I'm not trying to assume anything by "added" "removed" or anything like that.
     
  15. annsni

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    Sorry - I had quoted you but it was RAdam who said that the NIV translators removed the text then put it back in. :)
     
  16. jbh28

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    oh ok, that makes more sense now. I was confused, but sometimes I say things backwards.
     
  17. annsni

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    Trust me, you're not the only one....
     
  18. Mexdeaf

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    I would rather have a Bible with honest textual footnotes than a Bible with commentary notes. I was reading my Hendrickson 1611 reprint the other day and I was amazed at how several of the 1611 footnotes actually are used in the text of the NIV.

    Guess that's why they were taken out... destroys some KJVO talking points for sure.
     
  19. RAdam

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    I see you left out verse 8. How convenient. Verse 8 in the KJ comprises verses 7 and 8 in the NIV. Hence, the beginning of verse 7 in the KJ is not the equivalent of verse 7 in the NIV. Rather, the beginning of verse 8 in the KJ is equivalent of verse 7 in the NIV.

    NIV:
    7 For there are three that testify:
    8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

    KJV:
    7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

    The NIV left out the entirety of verse 7 as it appears in the KJ and the other older english translations and split up verse 8. They didn't leave out a part of a verse, they left out the whole verse. If that was their conviction, that is fine. I think it is silly, however, to leave it out and then footnote it back in. I have yet to see an example of the KJ doing this, which was the point of this thread. We aren't talking about a portion of a verse, but the whole thing.
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Verses are totally man created. What possible difference is there is 'leaving out' a whole or a part?
     
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