Proverbs In The ESV And TNIV

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Sep 10, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    I was going through the marginal notes of the NASU where it had : "Lit. __ ". In the book of Proverbs from chapters 1 - 21 there were 229 such occasions where the literal was noted in the margin and not in the text itself . That's rather staggering for what many think is the most ( next to the NKJ ) literal English version around .

    I then went to the HCS Bible and saw 73 footnotes where the literal is givenin the footnotes and a more dynamic rendering is in the text . I found when looking at those 73 notes (for chapters 1 to 21) that the NASU had 17 of them in the text . The ESV had 15 , and the TNIV had 14 . That's pretty close among those versions , don't you think ? It is especially interesting because the TNIV is derided because it is considered too dynamic . Yet it matches up well with these rivals . Of course the book of Proverbs is just one book . It may not be representative . I shall see .

    Meanwhile I will compare the ESV ( at the top ) and the TNIV ( below ) for some examples of what I see as much better wording in the latter . The accuracy of the meaning is not compromised either . I see a lot of bad grammar and unnatural speech that slipped the attention of Leland Ryken in his quest for literary excellence .

    1:3 wise dealing
    prudent behavior

    1:14 we will all have one purse
    we will all share the loot

    3:8 It will be healing to your flesh
    This will bring health to your body

    6:28 his feet not be scorched
    withou his feet being scorched ?

    7:21 with much seductive speech
    with persuasive words

    9:5 eat of my bread
    eat my food

    11:3 the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them
    the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity

    11:8 The righteous is delivered from trouble
    The righteous are rescued from trouble

    11:14 a people falls
    a nation falls

    11:24 and only suffers want
    but comes to poverty

    11:31 If the righteous is repaid on earth
    the righteous receive their due

    12:16 The vexation of a fool is known at once
    Fools show their annoyance at once

    13:5 The righteous hates falsehood
    The righteous hate what is false

    13:25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite
    The righteous eat to their hearts' content

    14:16 One who is wise is cautious
    The wise fear the Lord

    14:20 The poor is disliked
    The poor are shunned


    To be continued later . Will you wait with baited breath ? Or will you simply be expectant ?
     
    #1 Rippon, Sep 10, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2006
  2. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    16:26 his mouth urges him on
    their hunger drives them on

    17:21 He who sires a fool
    To have a fool for a child

    19:7 He pursues them with words , but does not have them
    they pursue him with pleading , they are nowhere to be found

    19:18 do not set your heart on putting him to death
    do not be a willing party to their death

    20:13 Love not sleep
    Do not love sleep

    21:12 throws the wicked down to ruin
    brings the wicked to ruin

    21:18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous
    The wicked become a ransom for the righteous
    NLT - The wicked are punished in place of the godly .

    22:5 the way of the crooked
    the paths of the wicked

    22:7 The rich rules over the poor
    The rich rule over the poor

    22:9 he shares his bread with the poor
    they share their food with the poor

    22:23 rob of life those who rob them
    will exact life for life

    23:2 given to appetite
    given to gluttony

    23:5 When your eyes light on it
    Cast but a glance at

    23:20 be not among drunkards
    Do not join those who drink too much wine

    24:19 Fret not
    Do not fret

    24:28 Be not a witness
    Do not testify

    25:17 Let your feet be seldom
    Seldom set foot

    To be continued ...
     
  3. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    26:2 a curse that is causeless does not alight
    an undeserved curse does not come to rest

    26:25 believe him not
    do not believe them

    30:7 deny them not to me
    do not refuse me

    30:12 clean in their own eyes
    pure in their own eyes

    30:25 the ants are a people not strong
    Ants are creatures of little strength

    31:8 Open your mouth for the mute
    Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves

    31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands
    Honor her for all that her hands have done
     
  4. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Of those 40 citations only 10 are found in the NRSV . That alone would demonstrate that the NRSV team took more time and exercised careful attention with their revision . They had to spend some considerable time to weed out many awkward phrases and simply bad grammar . They did not go far enough , but they made much more progress with their revision in that regard than the ESV team 12 years later .

    Here are some examples of the changes they made to the RSV which the ESV team did not touch . The ESV rendering will be at the top and the NRSV wording will be below .

    11:8 The righteous is delivered from trouble
    The righteous are delivered from trouble

    11:31 If the righteous is repaid on earth
    If the righteous are repaid on earth

    13:25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite
    The righteous have enough to satisfy their appetite

    14:20 The poor is disliked
    The poor are disliked

    22:7 The rich rules over the poor
    The rich rule over the poor
     
  5. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    The book of Proverbs is replete with ancient Hebrew idioms (euphuism, similes and metaphors) which is an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements.
    The author's meaning often would not be properly conveyed by literalistic conversion.

    When "the glass is half full" is communicated in some contexts it would be understood that the meaning is about "optimism". Persons outside a common linguistic culture would unlikely ascertain that meaning from that phrase alone. An idiomatic statement may have no meaning, or a completely different meaning, in an unrelated society or presented in another era (or both). In this case, the words are secondary to the idea.

    I applaud the NASU for at least notifying its readers that there is an element of historic interpretation being provided in their translation at these verses. This demonstrates that the NASU is not merely a 'mechanical' translation. But if the reader values the actual words, they are still available in the notes.

    This is the insult with some translations: they assume that a sentence/thought is always more important than the actual words (sometimes individual letters and word order are relevant); thus, they presume the ignorance of their readership when it is unnecessary.
     
  6. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    In a thread of the past I had quoted some things from : " The Challenge Of Bible Translation " . The general editors are Scorgie , Strauss and Voth . It was pulished in 2003 .

    I'll be citing some of the authors here . First , Moises Silva .

    ... translating clauses and sentences that cannot be rendered word-for-word and thus require restructuring would give students an entree into the genius ( i.e. , the authentic character ) of the foreign tongue . It would also help them see much more clearly that such restructuring could be the preferable method of rendering even when it may not appear "necessary." The point here is that a nonliteral translation , precisely because it may give expression to the genius of the target language ( in this case English ), can do greater justice to that of the source language . ( P.44)

    D.A. Carson is next .

    ... I have taken second-year Greek students aside and explained at length how rarely a Greek participle should be rendered by an English participle , how many of the Greek connectives must find no formal equivalent in a specific English word but survive in the flow of the English sentence , and so forth . ( p. 102 )

    Mark Strauss follows .

    Or what about the obscurity and consequent distortion of meaning that so often result from the wooden literalness and linguistic naivete of the NASB and the NKJ ? ( 124 )

    On a related note John H. Stek says :

    ... the main attraction of the NASB was its attempt to meticulously reproduce as fully as possible a word-for-word , clause-for-clause mirror reflection of the original-language texts , retaining their word order and reflecting their very grammatical nuance -- to reproduce form as well as content in the service of "accuracy . " But others were convinced that this supposed great strength of the version was in fact its major weakness . It was founded on unsound linguistic assumptions concerning how languages differ from each other in communicating meaning . ( 243 )

    Walter W. Wessel wraps things up . He discusses the second Wycliffe Bible which was more idiomatic than the first overly literal version . Wycliffe's secretary -- John Purvey was most likely involved in this second endeavor . Wessel quotes Purvey .

    First , it is to be known that the best translating out of Latin into English is to translate after the sentence [ meaning ] and not only after the words , so the sentence be as open [ clear ] or opener , in English as in Latin , and go not far from the letter ; and if the letter may not be followed in the translating , let the sentence be ever whole and open , for the words ought to serve the intent and sentence , or else the words be superfluous or false . ( 201 )

    Wessel cites F.F. Bruce .

    In other words , the translation must be intelligible without reference to the original . And if it is to be intelligible , it must be idiomatic , sufficiently idiomatic to convey the sense without difficulty to the reader whose only language is English . Yet the translator must bear in mind that it is Holy Writ that he is translating ; therefore , he will not depart from the letter of the original more than is necessary to convey the true and plain sense . ( 201,202 )
     
  7. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Rippon, I humbly disagree with your accuracy statement. When I read many of these comparisons I definately preceive differences. I confess now that I do not know which (if either) is right or closest to the original meaning. I have not investigated the contexts or complete verses... just using what was provided in the post. I am not quibbling here... personally, I get a different message conveyed or signified from these words.

    1:3 wise dealing - "dealing" primarily means transactions in relation with others
    prudent behavior - "behavior" means a response or reaction to stimuli
    While both words can deal with the manner of treatment of others, there are subtle connotations that could be significant to the original purpose of the verse. I accept "wise" and "prudent" as being equivalent.

    3:8 It will be healing to your flesh - "healing" indicates wounded or sickness (verb)
    This will bring health to your body - "health" implies biological function (noun)
    Not synonyms.

    7:21 with much seductive speech - "seductive" is tempting to the emotion
    with persuasive words - "persuasive" is more an appeal to the rational
    In my opinion, a substantial disparity.

    11:3 the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them
    the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity
    There are two comparisons in this verse:
    "crookedness" can mean general corruption and perverseness
    "duplicity" is only specifically about deliberate deceptiveness
    and
    "treacherous" involving danger of risk, loss, or injury
    "unfaithful" means disloyal, a traitor

    11:8 The righteous is delivered from trouble - "delivered" suggests avoidance
    The righteous are rescued from trouble - "rescued" indicates already exposed to peril
    They do not mean the same thing to me.

    11:14 a people falls - "people" could intentionally mean only an ethnic group or tribe
    a nation falls - "nation" has a broader territory or organized government in mind

    11:24 and only suffers want - "suffers" gives the feeling/"want" could be temporary
    but comes to poverty - "comes" is not descriptive/"poverty" is a lasting condition

    11:31 If the righteous is repaid on earth - "on earth" defines the time and place
    the righteous receive their due - "receive their due" is indefinate on timing
    This could be an important distinction!

    13:5 The righteous hates falsehood - "falsehood" specifically are lies
    The righteous hate what is false - "what is false" includes much more than just lies

    13:25 The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite - "satisfy" is sustaining
    The righteous eat to their hearts' content - could be gluttoneous
    I know this from personal experience!

    14:16 One who is wise is cautious - "cautious" expresses careful and prudent
    The wise fear the Lord - "fear the Lord" is a reverence or awe
    Big difference!

    14:20 The poor is disliked - "disliked" shows the reason or the attitude
    The poor are shunned - "shunned" is an action or result
    (I wonder if either of these words explain the idea properly?)

    Again, I am making no judgement as to correctness or whether the ESV or the TNIV is better. I am just pointing out that (in more than half of the examples of the original post) there can be a distinction made in the phrases being used.
     
  8. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply FM . You made no comment on those quotes from "The Challenge Of Bible Translation " though .

    I will comment on your comments .

    In 1:3 prudent behavior in the TNIV is borne out in the next verse as well . In the NKJ: "... to give prudence to the simple ". As you indicated , the words "wise" from the ESV and "prudent" in the TNIV are fairly equivalent .

    3:8 It will be health to your flesh ... ( NKJ ) Flesh in this context means body . The Septuagint also has -- to your body . So the TNIV's : This will bring health to your body is about right .

    7:21 The NET text has : "... with persuasive words " -- just like the TNIV . It is not just a rational appeal . The whole verse in the TNIV is : with persuasive words she led him astray ; she seduced him with her smooth talk .

    11:3 The NET text has : crookedness of the unfaithful . I think in this case there is more merit in the ESV rendering . It goes : the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them .
    What you said about duplicity is correct -- it has a more narrow range .

    11:8 I had said that I was mainly addressing the bad grammar and unnatural language of the ESV . To render this verse as " The righteous is delivered from trouble" just ain't good speakin' in my pinion.
    The NET text has : "The righteous person is delivered from trouble . " that is a whole lot better . So you object to the TNIV wording : "The righteous are rescued from trouble . " You claim that using the word rescued " indicates [ one ] is already exposed to peril . " Well , I beg to differ . There are many biblical examples . Daniel applied Proverbs very well in his life . This servant of the Lord was certainly in a dangerous situation -- exposed to peril and everything . So there is nothing wrong with the TNIV rendering . There is nothing wrong with the intent of the ESV rendering for this verse either -- with the exception of its bad grammar .

    11:4 The ESV has " a people falls " . That's awkward language . The TNIV's " a nation falls " is correct . The NET text has it as well . I do not think that the use of the word nation is in any error .

    11:24 ESV : and only suffers want
    TNIV : but comes to poverty
    NKJ : But it leads to poverty
    The Hebrew has " comes to lack"
    The NET text has : " comes to poverty "
    You say poverty is a lasting condition . I disagree . This text is not referring to a perpetual condition . If one withholds unduly , or more than is right , it tends toward poverty .

    11:31 ESV : If the righteous is repaid on earth ( bad grammar )
    TNIV : If the righteous receive their due on earth
    NET : If the righteous are recompensed on earth ( NKJ almost the same )
    I think "recompensed" is a better word choice than the TNIV's " receive their due " . But the TNIV's basic thrust here still retains the same idea .

    13:5 ESV : The righteous hates falsehood ( bad grammar )
    TNIV : The righteous hate what is false
    NET text : The righteous hate what is false
    You are right . The words " what is false " includes much more than just lies . " What is false " could be a word or a thing . It is more comprehensive . I'llgo with the TNIV here .

    13:25 ESV : The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite ( bad grammar )
    TNIV : The righteous eat to their hearts' content
    You are right . The TNIV's rendering could suggest being gluttoneous . " Has enough to satisfy" has the connotation of being moderate which is more balanced wording .

    14:16 ESV : One who is wise is cautious
    TNIV : The wise fear the Lord
    Net note : probably does not mean fear of the Lord -- but consequences of actions .
    I disagree with the NET note . I think only when one fears the Lord will one shun evil . In 16:6b of the TNIv ... through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided .

    14:20 ESV : The poor is disliked ( bad grammar )
    TNIV : The poor is shunned
    NKJ : The poor man is hated
    NET note : The poor are rejected , avoided , shunned -- that is hated ...
    I will have to give it to the TNIV here again .
     
  9. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello Rippon, I hope things are well with you. This topic has become a dialog between just us, hasn't it?

    I see you are disappointed that I didn't respond to the other post, so I will now. I appreciated those quotes... they are really good. There were two reasons I didn't initially reply to the quotes from The Challenge Of Bible Translation: 1- the quotations made a point that I agree with, and 2- its off topic.

    Perhaps, the point of your statement was to recognize the NASU for not being as strictly literal as it is often portrayed, but it felt to me like a disparagement of the NASU when I first read it. I will reword my original response: the NASU should be commended for putting a literal word translation in the notes which calls attention the fact that the words in the text are an interpretation of ancient Hebrew idioms (in contrast to other mostly literal versions that don't seem to openly admit that is what must be done for a modern reader's comprehension).

    I will add a new statement (that should help clarify my position): I don't think that a translation that is entirely dynamic or paraphrasical has the same responsibility.

    The quotes you provided support not being literal when thought-for-thought expression is necessary, and I agree with that. But since I don't read Greek or Hebrew, I am thankful for some literal versions to compare with dynamic versions.

    I went on in my original post to state that sometimes dynamic versions seem to be overly interpretive when its not really necessary to convey meaning, and substitute synonyms for what appears to be merely the sake of making a change. For example. I've seen "Jesus wept" rendered "Jesus cried"... c'mon, is that really an improvement? I think there are so many English versions that new translators are hard pressed to not duplicate previous renderings.

    Now, let's get back to the topic of the ESV and the TNIV, shall we?

    As I stated, I did not read the entire passages cited and was not attempting to establish either the ESV or TNIV over the other. I did not claim that either was wrong, in error, or object to their renderings. So your comments on my comments, while thorough, unfortunately are irrelevant (as well as obscuring the original topic by invoking the NET, NKJ, Hebrew, Septuagint, etc). Basically, you are trying to take this discussion in an entirely different direction. This is primarily a result of the samples being so brief in the OP.

    I originally understood "either" in the OP above to indicate that the TNIV's smoother language is still as accurate as the ESV (implying that the ESV is also accurate). You never said that ESV wasn't accurate, so it could be taken this way. But based upon your response, perhaps you meant "either" to mean that the TNIV's "much better wording" doesn't affect the TNIV's accuracy. Ironically, this is just another example of how a written message can be understood different ways (often different than the author intended). I hope that at least now you see why I responded with comparisons between the two versions.

    My original point was that many of the words/phrases do have differences in meaning, and that both words/phrases cannot be the best representation (one should be closer to the original meaning). I am not interested in doing the research now and debating which version is more precise. You seemed to advocate that the TNIV has better phrasing in the OP, and that it is accurate in the followup post.

    I agree, flesh = body. Clearly, we are having some miscommunication, because your reponse isn't even about the same words that I compared: healing vs. health.

    Another example of your agenda being different than mine:

    You do not confess that these two translations at this verse are completely different, which was exactly what I had pointed out. Instead, you just state you disagree with the NET note which tends to support the ESV translation. It is clear that what you care about here is that the TNIV be the correct interpretation.

    Concerning the rest, I concede that I agree with most of what you present (that is, where you didn't already "agree" with me, even though I sought no agreement). I think you have well addressed the bad grammar and unnatural language of the ESV at these verses. I hope to have brought some things to your attention without offending.
     
  10. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    franklinmonroe: //Hello Rippon, I hope things are well
    with you. This topic has become a dialog
    between just us, hasn't it?//

    Dialogues are better than monologs.
    They also serve who only sit and read.
     
  11. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,410
    Likes Received:
    328
    Hi FM . First of all I want to be clear when I say that I appreciate both the ESV and NASU versions . They are both accurate , with the NASU leaning more toward formal equivalence . I primarily have an issue with the awkward language of both . The NKJ is even poorer in this regard .

    Maybe you didn't notice , but I had said that in two references the ESV handled the text better than did the TNIV . Those references were 11:3 and 13:25 .
     
  12. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello Rippon. I presumed that you thought the ESV (and NASU) were accurate, but its good to see it written and all my doubt is now removed. I understand your focus here is on awkward language; I know the NASB is awkward (although I've used it so long that it doesn't bother me anymore). I have not read the ESV nor the NKJ much, so for now I defer to you and others that have more thoroughly investigated it.

    I assure you that I did notice! When I read a longer post I usually read it more than once, and if I plan to repond to the post I read it several times... and yet I sometimes I still receive a different meaning than the author intended. It seemed you were being fair to the ESV.

    My hope and prayer is that you will have God's blessings upon you today.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...