Footnotes

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robustheologian, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. robustheologian

    robustheologian
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    I recently bought a Bible for a friend, she then alerted me to the fact that there were not footnotes...at all. Michael Marlowe at Bible Research believes in the abundance of footnotes and their ability to explain textual variants, technical terms, and literal translations of Greek words. Just how important to you are footnotes in a bible translation?
     
  2. annsni

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    I believe that they are vitally important, especially when you begin to understand the difficulty of translation and allowing the reader to understand some of the other possible valid translations of that passage. I appreciate them quite a bit.
     
  3. Rippon

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    Invaluable

    Ditto.

    There are explanatory footnotes and alternative renderings. I can't ignore what is being referenced at the bottom of a given page.

    The Holy Scripture stands alone, but for any academic book I make sure to read the footnotes. They add more necessary information.
     
  4. PreachTony

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    Depends on your intent. Are you studying the Bible in a more academic sense? Then I can see great value in them, though with the caveat that they may carry the opinion of the editor, and not the Lord. Are you studying the Bible for spiritual edification? Then, perhaps, footnotes are far less important than the actual scriptures.
     
  5. Deacon

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    There are various ways a person can approach the bible.

    1) Just plain reading it - good for the "big picture". Notes may helpful but may also be a distraction.

    2) Devotional - somewhat akin to just reading and notes may be helpful but not necessary. They help answer the big questions so you can move on in the story.

    3) Pastoral - used for teaching and preaching, notes are a very important part of understanding the text in the setting the aurthor wrote it. Notes and commentaries assist in developing a fuller indersanding of the test.

    4) Academic - or critically reading the text; evaluating opposing views, notes are very important but by this stage individual commentaries tend to replace notes.

    I'm not a great fan of the NET Bible (New English Translation) but its notes make it a translation that can't be ignored.

    I'm preparing a Sunday morning class on the books of Samuel plan on
    carefully delving into some textual issues brought up in the footnotes.
    The footnotes will provide a steping off point for me to introduce these issues.

    Rob
     
  6. robustheologian

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    I think the NET Bible is great!!
     
  7. JonC

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    I agree with Ann. For me they are very important (although a good commentary may perhaps be better for study).
     
  8. Zenas

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    It depends on who wrote the footnotes, which invariably reflect the POV of their writer. For example Ryrie sees the millennial kingdom in many prophecies. If you believe in a literal millennium these notes are very helpful. If you don't believe in a literal millennium, you will roll your eyes when you read them.
     
  9. Friend of God

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    I also agree with Ann and Jon C.
     
  10. JonC

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    Good point. I don’t like the MacArthur study Bible for a similar reason (pretty much any “study Bible” for that matter), even though 9 times out of 10 I agree with MacArthur. I meant notes on translations and alternate meanings (not Bibles where the commentator places his position as Scripture). A good commentary is better, IMHO, than footnotes. But often the footnotes alert me to variations in translation.
     
  11. Rippon

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    Foonotes are good in that they can alert us to textual variants. I created a little notebook of fairly significant textual variants in most New Testament books based on Philip W. Comfort's work.
     
  12. rsr

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    I appreciate translator's notes. I am wary of study notes for the reasons already mentioned.
     
  13. robustheologian

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    Those would be more like study footnotes. You're right...study notes are subject to the editor's points of view. I was really referring to translation footnotes...which for the most part TRY to remain neutral.

    Are you talking about New Testament Text and Translation Commentary?
     
  14. Rippon

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    Yes, it's a wonderful resource. P.W.C. put a lot of hard work into that.
     
  15. franklinmonroe

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    Excellent point! "Footnotes" at minimum ought to be distinguished as either Textual Notes (how the translators handled the text) or Study Notes (those extra-biblical explanations and opinions).

    I will add that I agree that owning a copy of Scripture with no accompanying notes can be quite beneficial.
     
    #15 franklinmonroe, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2015
  16. Yeshua1

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    While the NET bible is not my cup of tea for primary studying, do think that the notes in that version do shed great light on the textual background to the text, and also think that the NKJV does a nice job in detailing the various ways the text has been rendered...
     

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