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Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by west, Mar 27, 2005.
HCSB Literal or Dynamic Equivalence ?
HCSB uses "Optimal Equivalence."
Here is what the introduction to my copy of the HCSB says,
'In practice, translations are seldom if ever purely formal or dynamic but favor one theory of Bible translation or the other to varying degrees. Optimal equivlence as a translation philosophy recognizes that form cannot be neatly separated from meaning and should not be changed (for example, nouns to verbs or third person 'they" to second person "you") unless comprehension demands it. The primary goal of translation is to convey the sense of the original with as much clarity as the original text and the translation language permit. Optimal equivalence appreciates the goals of formal equivalence but also recognizes its limitations.
'Optimal equivalence starts with an exhaustive analysis of the text at every level (word, phrase, clause, sentence, discourse) in the original language to determine its original meaning and intention (or purpose). Then relying on the latest and best language tools and experts, the nearest corresponding semantic and linguistic equivalents are used to convey as much of the information and intention of the original text with as much clarity and readability as possible. This process assures the maximum transfer of both the words and thoughts contained in the original.
'The HCSB uses optimal equivalence as its translation philosophy. Whenn a literal translation meets these criteria, it is used. When clarity and readability demand an idiomatic translation, the reader can still access the form of the original text by means of a footnote with the abbreviation "Lit."'
Just wondered what other versions would fall into the "Optimal Equivalence."?
I have no idea; I don't know.
I think that the key is that the HCSB alerts the reader when the translation departs from the literal by giving a footnote with the abbreviation "Lit." That way the reader can see for himself that some of the language is unclear or not used in English and one has to use a dynamic equivalence.
Do you use the HCSB? I use mostly KJV, but I have NIV, NKJV, NASB, and HCSB as well as a translation in Spanish. I now use HCSB instead of NASB.
Thanks, West! Happy Easter 2005!
I have been using the HCSB for awhile .I read through the Bible last year in it and started again this year .I really like the ESV also .Thanks church mouse guy and a Happy Easter to you also !
I think the HCSB does a MUCH better job than the NIV at alerting you to when they deviate from the actual Greek. The NIV has times where they change stuff and they don't tell you that they've changed it.
I must admit, the HCSB seems to have a MUCH better translation philosophy than the NIV. It seems to me to make it a more reliable version.
Optimal Equivalence is basically a new word meaning essentially the same thing as dynamic equivalence, largely because of how the phrase dynamic equivalence has been demonized by some conservative Christians.
How can you say that, Gold Dragon? One could say that it means basically Literal with the same logic, couldn't one? It is basically literal except that it notifies the reader of what is happening, as APuritanMindset wrote above.
I consider it HCSB more like the NASB, a wooden literal translation. I used to use the NASB but now I use the HCSB, as I said before. I seldom look at the NIV and usually use the KJV.
The HCSB translators try to equate dynamic equivalence with paraphrase, but essentially, dynamic equivalence has the same goals as the philosophy of "optimal equivalence" that tries to strike a balance between literal and paraphrase translations in attempting to avoid the weaknesses of both translation philosophies.
Granted, the HCSB is more literal than the NIV in many cases, but it is nowhere near the literalness of the NASB.
Bible Researcher - HCSB
Isn't that just the opinion of Michael Marlowe?
I guess the difficulty is in the varying definitions of what dynamic equivalence is and what translations use dynamic equivalence.
If you are to describe the spectrum of all translations as being between formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence where the most literal translations are on one side and paraphrases are on the other, I would describe both the HCSB and the NIV as being somewhere in the middle, with the HCSB leaning more literal than the NIV.
I guess it is unfair to call the HCSB a dynamic equivalence translation, but I would say that it uses dynamic equivalence to an extent comparable to the NIV.
But the HCSB lets you know for the most part (I use the HCSB 90% of the time) when they take a dynamic aproach and not a literal one. I think, like that link you posted states, that the notes more than make up for some of the less-than-literal renderings in the text.
I think that is great. I should note that I'm not trying to knock the HCSB.
I personally prefer the NASB for word-level biblical studies comparing with the KJV and NRSV. I also use the NIV for more causal situations and would consider the HCSB to be valuable in similar situations because of similar translation philosophies.
Those margin notes sound like they are an excellent resource for students of the bible.
[ March 28, 2005, 12:41 PM: Message edited by: Gold Dragon ]
NASB is my #1 favorite translation of the Bible, particularily for study. For public reading I use the ESV or the HCSB. NASB is so much easier to do word studies with than those other two.
I am in my third year of college on the Religious Studies program at Oakland City University, so the notes in the HCSB come in handy for me sometimes when I use that version in papers rather than the required NRSV *shudders at the thought of having to use the NRSV*
Come on, the NRSV isn't so bad, is it?
I know many conservative Christians don't like the NRSV because of its "liberal" tendencies but I consider it to be a very scholarly work and differences with the NASB help to highlight passages and words where translation is controversial in the english language and possibly worthy of deeper study.
It is a useful translation for word-level comparison, especially if we are discussing theology with more liberally minded Christians.
The HCSB takes liberties with the Greek text that distort the meaning of the New Testament. Compare the HCSB translation of Romans word for word with the Greek text of Romans and you will see that the HCSB is neither a literal translation nor a dynamic equivalence translation, but a very inconsistent hodgepodge mess. It translates most words and phrases literally and others it makes a ridiculous mess out of. Indeed, the “translation” method is so extremely inconsistent that it does not appear to me that it is a genuine translation from the Greek and Hebrew texts, but rather a rewriting of English translations of the Bible. If it is an actual translation, the work was obviously done by armatures that know very little about translation theory.
There are now many good translations of the Bible available—so why would anyone want to bother with the HCSB?
The NIV was being seen more and more as a "liberal" translation by conservatives and fundamentalists because of the TNIV and other attempts at gender neutralization. This is despite the fact that the NIV itself was a conservative evangelical response to the more liberal and scholarly RSV.
The HCSB was an attempt to appease conservatives (mostly Baptists) who were distancing themselves from the NIV while retaining the benefits of a similar level of dynamic equivalency used in the NIV.
Anyone who believes that the NIV is a "liberal" translation has some very loose screws, and it is highly probable that some of the screws have completely fallen out. I do not like the NIV and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone—not even my mother-in-law—but it is a very conservative translation theologically speaking.
Whatever the attempt may have been, the product is too poor to be worth bothering with. In another few years people will be saying, “The HCSB—what is that?”
Baptists have brought derision upon themselves over the KJO issue; let’s not bring further derision upon ourselves by using a distinctly inferior translation of the Bible.