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Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, May 17, 2013.
...faithful and accurate way to translate each word,phrase,sentence and passage of Scripture?
No. That is part and parcel of translating.
Now, I know ZERO Greek and Hebrew. But I speak Spanish.
And based upon my experience, there are many ways to
translate a sentence....some better than others.
No, but might be better asked if there was a better way to approach translating?
And are you going to say that going the route of so-called formal equivalence or even essential equivalence is somehow showing more fidelity in translating God's Word?
Of course we appreciate a particular translation based on our perceived ideas of what constitues a good translation...general principles which we believe a given translation has.
But a translation of all 66 books is a mammoth undertaking. Some passages in your favorite version might be better rendered in another version. On a passage-by-passage basis your translation has to be given some study.
For instance,though I prefer the NIV overall. I recognize the superiority of some renderings in other versions. Would a KJVO'er admit as much? Not likely. But even an ESV'er (having kind of of a kjvo mindset at times) might find it hard to concede that the NLT for example made a better rendering in a certain verse.
The KJV translates the words, phrases, sentences in some passages with different words or different word order (or even leaving words out) even when the context is clearly exactly the same in those parallel passages.
Yes,you are right.
Acts 10:28 :Greek word :allophylo :English word :foreigner :KJV one of another nation
Heb. 10:32 : Greek word anamimnesko ;English word : remember or recall : KJV : call to remembrance
Acts 16:27,36 : Greek word : desmophylax :English word : jailer : KJV : keeper of the prison
Romans 8:26 : Greek word : hyperentynchano : English word : intercedes : KJV : maketh intercession
Greek figure of speech : in Matt. 16:23 : stumbling block : KJv ffense: NIV:stumbling block
Greek figure of speech in Matt. 18:6 : causes... to stumble :KJV : shall offend : NIV: causes...to stumble
Greek figure of speech in 1 Cor. 9:27 : Pummel my body and make it a slave : KJV : Keep under my body and bring it into subjection : NIV: Strike a blow to my body and make it my slave
Greek figure of speech in 2 Peter 1:13 : Tent : KJV: Tabernacle :NIV : Tent of this body
In a translation of the sheer size of 66 books it has to be regognized that in many places the stated aim of a given translation is not going to be hit.
The ESV aims at being "essentially literal" but it uses a good deal of paraphrase and functional equivalence (not much differernce between the latter two really). The NIV is more honest about its approach in its Preface. The NLTse uses a lot more formal-equivalence in its translation than is commonly supposed;sometimes being more literal than the NASBU and ESV.
We talk a lot about translations;but what about the thousands of translations within the translation?
As others have said, no I don't believer there is...note added caveat...especially when one is translating from an inflected language to a non-inflected language like English.
Then we add in the challenge of differing philosophies: formal equivalence to dynamic equivalence.
When one compares how the NT authors treat the OT there isn't a clear rule established. As the Bible interprets itself there are examples of both degrees on the spectrum, and everything in between.
So no, I don't think there is a single way to translate each passage.
We need to remember that languages evolve over time. I am in my 40's and some things my children who are 20ish say confuse me. I have also observed that some idioms my parents and grandparents use also confuse me at times also.
Having said that.... While the King James was translated faithfully and accurately 400 years ago, the english language has changed tremendously in usage in the last 20 years and the 20 years before that and the 20 before that. Language is dynamic. I am not blasting any translation in particular, but we need to remember that as usage of a language evolves, the level of skill required to accurately understand and apply the truth being taught increases.
My preferred translation is the NASB, however I also use various translations in studying the Word. Most translations have their positives and negatives. We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate authority in teaching us to properly interpret and apply God's Word to our lives and teaching.
I was thinking more like the Greek word opsarion (Strong's 3795) used in John 6 (the story of the feeding of the multitude). In verse 9 the KJV translates it "little fishes" but two verses later it is just "fishes". Did that species of fish suddenly become larger during the intervening verse?
There are two primary things to consider: 1) what does the original mean in light of its historical context and 2) who is reading the translation? We consider the understanding of children when we talk with them about how babies are born.
God is presenting one message, not differing messages to each translator.
The type of fish were what the Jews normally broiled (ynynwm) and is using the diminutive. They were small fish. But, not being privy to Jewish culture one may not get that. That is the very meaning of the root optos
However, the rendering of "just fishes" doesn't say the fish are any bigger, or any smaller, it just says fishes. Small fishes are still fishes whether they are bigger or smaller. Verse 11 shows that fish is plural, not how big they are (or small), nor does the text say they became bigger, nor does "just fishes" imply they are bigger.
If there were 1000 fishes, and I told you to there were 400 small fish and 600 big fish 10 minutes ago, but then later when getting ready to cook told you to bring the fishes, are you going to ask for the 400 or 600, or bring what was requested: the fishes. There's no contradiction there or error in translation.
DrJamesAch, your post is spot on!
Those that wish to diminish faith in the reliability of our English translations sometimes interpret the scope or extent of a descriptive word or phrase to create a supposed conflict with another verse. A sound rule of interpretation is to ask, what is the least that is being said. Here we have a provision, probably cooked fish, that was served with bread. It is not an unreasonable stretch to consider that the boy probably did not bring multiple large fish for one person. Thus small fish presents the probable, and does not create a conflict with translating the same root word as fish, because, as DrJamesAch pointed out small fish are fish.
Easily said but much harder to translate the message correctly. Not all words can be translated into English.
While it may be true that some words and phrases in Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic, might not be able to be translated into English, using a single word, I think whatever the idea or message or meaning of any word can be conveyed with English words.
Do the varying translations do this in every verse? Of course not. But that just means there is plenty of room for improvement of our translations, not that it is impossible to improve them. The issue is why do some translations make the underlying message into two messages, that conflict.
For example the Word was a god means the Word was not God, NWT, but the correct translation is the Word was God. Some translations pour the translators doctrine into the text. Not good.
Yiou are presup[posing that Greek and Hebrew have equivalents in English. The fact is they do not always. For example there are several Greek words which translate "love". To better understand the message one has to understand what those Greek words meant in their historical context. An example of that is when Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. In that passage two different words are being used for "love".
An example in Spanish would be "¿Cómo estás?" ("How are you?") and "¿Cómo está?" ("How are you?"). They have very different meaning but translate with the same English words.
That points to a poor translation, lets say agape means divine unconditional love, and philo means brotherly love. If the two words had been translated distinctively, then the passage would have made the message clear. Jesus accepted the brotherly love of Peter, and said feed my sheep.