In my recent thread on the meaning of paraphrase I mentioned that Eugene Nida followed the godless philosophy of existentialism in formulating his semantics (the study of meaning). I thought I'd at least get the sources out there for this statement so no one thinks I'm just playing the nasty fundamentalist. I'm still thinking through the ramifications, so I may not post or discuss much beyond the quotes. We'll see. At any rate, here is the first quote: "Nida drew on the existentialist philosophers, particularly Ludwig Wittgenstein, who held that the meaning of any word is a matter of what we do with our language. Knowing the meaning of a word can involve knowing to what objects (if any) it refers, recognizing whether the word is slang or figurative language, knowing what part of speech it is, and also being aware of its connotative values. Essentially, then, to oversimplify somewhat, the meaning of a word stems from its use. Functional equivalence as an approach to translation depends on this idea." (Stine, Philip C. Let the Words Be Written. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004, pp. 143-144) Just so you know, Stein was a close associate of Nida, and the book is basically a puff piece rather than a scholarly tome (though it has lots of good information in it). So you know that Stein was not saying this in criticism of Nida but in agreement.