How Do You Know It's Dynamic Equivalence?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Feb 8, 2009.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In recent days both TCGreek and Rippon have said the NIV and/or TNIV are not dynamic equivalence (DE) translations. This goes contrary to what I've always heard and contrary to what I believe about these translations as a Greek teacher and a student of translation methodology.

    I'd really like to know how these men (or anyone else who wants to contribute) judges whether or not a translation is DE.
     
  2. OldRegular

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    Frankly I would call both of them brief paraphrases. Unfortunately a lot of Southern Baptists have been suckered by the NIV. There are several modern translations that are available [NASB, NKJV, ESV] that allow those who prefer the KJV to follow as the pastor reads the Scripture. That is next to impossible with the NIV.
     
  3. Rippon

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    Not to insult your intelligence -- but you may have heard some false things.I'll grant that even some fans of the NIV have mistakenly called it a dynamic version at times.However,that does not make it so.Sure it uses dynamic-equivalency sometimes -- a bit more than the ESV for instance.Yet it is not a member of the DE camp.

    The TEV (which used to be called the GNB),GW,NCV and CEV are the really dynamic versions.The NIV/TNIV do not have an affinity with them.The NIV/TNIV are closer to the translational methodology of the NASBU in comparison.

    You have quoted a lot from Eugene Nida over your years here on the BB.You should realize that his pet English Bible which exemplified the dynamic-equivalency model was the GNB (now called the TEV).It is distant to the translational method of the NIV/TNIV.The GNB/TEV stands in bold relief when contrasted with the NIV/TNIV.

    You really need to distinguish more clearly between the various kinds of English translations.To lump the NIV/TNIV in with the real dynamic versions is not using clear discernment.
     
  4. Rippon

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    You know I respect your views in other areas OldRegular.But here you are very wrong.Try out the old Living Bible to see what an actual paraphrase looks like.( But there have been better ones.)The NIV and TNIV are far different from the LB.

    Just how have they "been suckered"? Do you mean that they have grown to appreciate the NIV?Do you mean that the Lord has used that translation to help them in their spiritual growth?


    I use the TNIV and NLTse to follow along with my pastor who uses the KJV.I follow along fine.And as I have pointed out on other occasions -- when he explains the text his explanation is sometimes just like the rendering from the NLTse or TNIV.Interestiing -- huh?Sunday he quoted the KJV: "novice" and then said "Or recent convert".The TNIV had 'recent convert.
     
  5. OldRegular

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    There is one sentence in the preface of the June 1978 edition that is of concern to me: "Because thought patterns and syntax differ from language to language, faithful communication of the meaning of the writers of the Bible demands frequent modifications in sentence structure and constant regard for contextual meaning of words."

    There is no doubt that the above statement has merit. A comparison if an interlinear Bible and a "word for word" translation does show that modifications in sentence structure is necessary. Obviously the context can change the meaning of words. My own personal opinion is that the NIV exercises far too much latitude in their structure of sentences and as they say context can change the meaning of words. I, therefore, consider it a brief paraphrase since the sentence structure differs significantly from "word for word" translations and obviously reflects the opinion of the "translators".
     
  6. Rippon

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    Wrong again.Can't you tell the difference between paraphrases,dynamic-equivalent versions ,formally equivalent versions and mediating versions?

    And what in the world do you mean by brief paraphrase?
     
    #6 Rippon, Feb 8, 2009
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  7. Rippon

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    It shouldn't concern you.The NASBU and ESV among other more formal versions do the same whether they say so or not.But as I recall,the CSB admits as much in its Preface.
     
  8. Rippon

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    A quote from The Story Of the New International Version (p.13) appears on page 57 of The Challenge Of Bible Translation -- Glen G.Scorgie,Mark L. Strauss and Steven M.Voth General Editors.

    "As for the NIV,its method is an eclectic one with the emphasis for the most part on a flexible use of concordance and equivalence,but with a minimum of literalism,paraphrase,or outright dynamic equivalence. In other words,the NIV stands on middle ground -- by no means the easiest position to occupy.It may fairly be said that the translators were convinced that,through long patience in seeking the right words,it is possible to attain a high degree of faithfulness in putting into clear and idomatic English what the Hebrew and Greek texts say.Whatever literary distinction the NIV has is the result of the persistence with which this course was pursued."
     
    #8 Rippon, Feb 8, 2009
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  9. John of Japan

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    Sorry, no one has answered the OP yet. This is not about the NIV specifically. It is about how to determine when a version is a DE version. What are your criteria? Without criteria, your opinion of the NIV/TNIV as not being DE matters nothing to me. It has no expertise behind it.

    Let's say you have a new translation in your hands, the "New Bible Version," or the NBV. How can you tell if it was translated by the dynamic equivalence, or DE method?
     
  10. TCGreek

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    John, maybe you need to give us a working definition of DE as it relates to versions?

    Let's work from there.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    I'd rather hear it from you and Rippon. I have a very good idea of what I mean by the term, having read quite a bit of Nida and other authors, both secular translators and Bible translators.

    But you are the guys who are making the statements I'm reacting to. I'll give my definition of DE later on and give examples. But what is your definition of DE? And what are your criteria for saying a version is DE?
     
  12. Keith M

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    In English Translations of the Bible (http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/English_Translations.htm], Felix Just (S.J., Ph.D.) says of the dynamic equivalence translations:

    He then goes on to give an abbreviated list in which he lsts a few translations he considers "Formal Correspondence translations" (Douay-Rheims, KJV/NKJV, RSV/NRSV, NAB and NIV/TNIV) and a few translations he considers "Dynamic Equivalence translations" (NEB/REB, TEV/CEV and JB/NJB).

    At the TNIV web site, the NIV and TNIV are called "Balanced" or "Mediating" translations. The International Bible Society claim is that both the NIV and the TNIV fall between a literal (formal) and a free (dynamic) translation. (See http://www.tniv.info/light/balanced.php for more information.)

    I can accept the "in-between" idea much more easily than I can accept the idea the NIV and TNIV are "formal correspondence" translations.
     
    #12 Keith M, Feb 9, 2009
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  13. TCGreek

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    I can't remember either Rippon or myself calling the T/NIV anything other than mediating.

    But I'm glad that you've come to that understanding. :thumbs:
     
  14. Keith M

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    TCGreek, since I had quoted Felix Just in the same post, I assumed it would be understood that's where the "formal correspondence" classification for the NIV and TNIV came from. I quoted Just, then said "He goes on to give an abbreviated list..." I'm sorry if you thought I was saying you or Rippon called either the NIV or the TNIV formal.
     
    #14 Keith M, Feb 9, 2009
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  15. MNJacob

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    The best method I would have would be to compare the version with its Greek manuscript and do a bit of my own translating. The real problem is that a true formal equivalent wooden Greek translation is almost unreadable. Even those translations which are considered formal, i.e. the NASB and KJV still rearrange word order to adapt to English conventions and sometimes miss the emphasis of the original writer. This is not to say that they miss the intent, but they don't always convey the emphasis.

    English translations many times do not deal with participles well, and tend to give them equal weight to Imperative tenses, true commands. Matt 28:28 and Hebrews 12:1-2 are excellent examples. What is the command in 28:28 "make disciples", and in Hebrews 12:1-2 to run the race. And I have yet to see an English translation of John 1 which preserves John's quirky emphasis and word order. "And God was the word. " This shuts down the JWs right away.

    .
     
    #15 MNJacob, Feb 9, 2009
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  16. John of Japan

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    This definition by Just misses a very key element of the dynamic equivalence theory. I'm wondering if anyone knows what I'm talking about? What is the key difference between a true DE rendering of a passage, and a traditional "sense for sense" rendering?
     
  17. John of Japan

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    I think you mean compare the version with the Greek text, not manuscript. But what do you mean by a "true formal equivalent" translation? And how does it differ from a DE translation? There is a key element of the DE method that no one has mentioned yet.


    The Greek participle can actually have an imperative force depending on the context. In the case of Matt. 28:19 (not 28), the word for "going" is the participle poreuqentej, as you said, but the word for "make disciples" is an imperative, maqhteusate. Since "make disciples" is an imperative it gives imperitival force to the participle. Thus, "Go and make disciples" is a perfectly correct translation.

    As for Heb. 12:1-2, I'm not sure what you mean. "Let us run..." is the normal translation of the subjunctive there.

    But these passages don't answer the OP. If you want to answer the OP, please quote a DE translation and then show how it differs from a formal translation. There is a key to this that no one has mentioned yet.
     
  18. Rippon

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    JoJ,aside from paraphrases,do you acknowledge any other translational methods aside from functional,formal and your fav -- optimal equivalence?

    Can you allow that the NET Bible,ISV,TNIV might also occupy that same bit of mediating-turf as the CSB?The CSB being the one leaning most toward the formal side and the NET Bible leaning most toward the dynamic side?

    Further,if the NLTse is on the low end of the functionally equivalent versions and the NASBU is on the high end of formally equivalent versions -- where does that leave the TNIV?
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Sorry, Rippon, these questions are irrelevant to my OP. Maybe some other time.

    I'm trying to find out exactly what you guys (and anyone else) think DE is, and what criteria they apply to determine whether or not a translation is DE. So what is your definition of dynamic equivalence? Andy what criteria do you have for determining if a version is DE or not?
     
  20. Rippon

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    Too bad.I think they apply.

    Andy-who? I'll let him answer the question.We've been around the barn a couple of times on this one.
     
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