Should Scripture be rendered in a 'separate' language?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jul 31, 2007.

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  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    From a document I have (which I can name later) an assertion is introduced by a 1800s citation of an Archbishop Trench --
    “It is good that the phraseology of Scripture should not be exactly that of our common life;...just as there is a sense of fitness which dictates that the architecture of a church should be different from that of a house” (Tyndale’s Triumph, Milford, Ohio: John the Baptist Printing Ministry, 1989, p. iv).​

    Is that true? Is it "good" that the text of Bible be unique from everyday speech? There would be some advantages (the article the goes on to espouse some these).

    We know that originally the sacred writings were essentially in the vernacular of the local audience. But should it remain in such a common form; more importantly, is it God's desire to have His revelation communicated through extraordinary language? Is it possible that conversational English is an unfit vessel for Holy Scripture?

    Some questions immediate arise, and one is: What (when, or whom) becomes the standard of speech? To an uneducated streetperson today a simple passage from a children's Bible may sound like 'church language'.

    Some more questions: What would be the minimum difference be between the 'sacred' English and the 'secular' English? Assuming it could be measured and monitored, wouldn't this gap be subject to change over time? What if our society began adapting 'biblical' terms became colloquialisms? Conversely, would the ultimate "good" occur if the 'sacred' language drifted so far away from 'secular' that it had to be taught to ordinary Englishmen in order that they understand what they read?

    Finally, should the logical extreme (maximum difference) be ruled out, that is, our reading only out of a completely foreign language Bible text? (koine Greek or Latin, perhaps!)
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Jul 31, 2007
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  2. TCGreek

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    Of all that you have expressed, the above quote is what I will venture and then add, "That the conventional elements in translations are only necessitated, IMO, by a "Christian language."
     
    #2 TCGreek, Jul 31, 2007
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  3. Salamander

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    Um Elizabethen?
     
  4. Mexdeaf

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    Thou canst not spell it and thou dost not use it. :laugh:

    Did you know that Elizabethan English pronunciation differs greatly from todays? Here is an interesting site about the subject-

    http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/literature/languagesubj.html
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    From http://ise.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/ideas/bible.html

    The English Bible that Shakespeare was most likely to have owned was the "Breeches* Bible." Like all others in the period, including the justly admired and long-lived King James version, it was based on the translations of William Tyndale* and Miles Coverdale*.
    The act of translating the Bible was revolutionary in effect, since it made the most powerful book in the debate over religion available to all--even those who could not read could understand it as it was read in the church each Sunday*.
    And its influence extended beyond the religious: the prose style that Tyndale and his followers chose was an elegant and poetic balance between the plain style of ordinary communication and the ornate style later popularized by Lyly.
     
  6. Keith M

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    If Scripture was inspired and written in the then-current and common language of the people, IMHO it should be translated into the current and common language of the people. No one should be expected to use a special religious language they often don't understand.
     
  7. franklinmonroe

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    Here is another paragraph from the AV Publications document (italics theirs, bold mine)--

    The Holy Bible is thousands of years old. It is not a passing fancy or current craze. It must communicate its antiquity and longevity to the reader. Its seasoned sentences must communicate to their reader the sense that it is a book which has withstood the test of time and is still in print. The special words tell the reader that the book has time-honored thoughts and timeless wisdom.​

    Is that true? Must the Bible communicate its age and endurance in its language? If so, why? Is this a scriptural mandate? They attempt to support this assertion with this verse (Eccl. 12:10, KJV) --
    “The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.” ​
     
    #7 franklinmonroe, Aug 1, 2007
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  8. robycop3

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    The Scriptures weren't antique when first written. Their current antiquity is evident throughout when they're read in a receptor language by one who understands that language. It's replete with the names of ancient implements, modes of transportation, names of ancient places 7 nations, ancient customs, etc.
     
  9. StefanM

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    Greek and Hebrew are more ancient than English. Why bother translating?

    If we must translate, we can always go with the Vulgate.:BangHead:
     
  10. franklinmonroe

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    I don't notice any 'special' words in this verse. I use all these words regularly; although I use "upright" mostly during the football season! :laugh:
     
  11. Mexdeaf

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    That sounds like something Rufus_1611 would say!
     
  12. Salamander

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    Did you know the praticality of Elizabethan is based solely upon its preciseness and doesn't include vague discrepencies associated with modern English?

    You mock as if that makes any sort of evidence to the contrary.

    Did you know that many English word pronunciations are subject to culture and locality? But Elizabethan English overcomes those linguistic complications?

    Of course you'll begin to argue further to the effect of some correalation to the KJB, as if that really amounts to anything less than an attack.:laugh:
     
  13. Salamander

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    I believe if we are allowed to observe the entirety of the context that the importance of knowing what the Bible says verses the constant changing of the English language which leaves the reader at the mercy of having to keep up with every nuance of our language.
     
  14. Salamander

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    Therein lies the problem, you expect the word of God to bow to the explicit degradation of modern man as he falls further into the realm of immorality.

    Next thing we know, modern scholars to be attributed, we'll have common street slang incorporated into the pages of "Holy Script" ( I suppose so the "common" man will better understand?):tonofbricks:
     
  15. Salamander

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    Precisely, and of the utmost importance to convey the message of the Bible. As man changes you should not expect the word of God to change with man and his ultimate end of being completely devoid of the truth of the word of God.:D
     
  16. Salamander

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    Yes, and I would rather have the words upright than exalt my excitement over the modern concept of Grecian sports.

    Preachers have been known to speak expressly against the influence the Greek gods had upon society, you are no exception, I see.:tonofbricks:
     
  17. Deacon

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    Personally I find that the different style makes memorization easier.

    Rob
     
  18. Mexdeaf

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    And I suppose it hasn't changed a bit since 1769?

    From http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-language.htm


    An amusing example of words now 'extinct' in the modern English language is 'gong'. The Elizabethan word 'gong' meant dung. The men whose job was to empty and dispose of the waste from the privies (toilets) were called 'Gong Farmers'!



    Elizabethan English also used different letter forms. Perhaps we should return to those?

    I await your snappy comeback.
     
  19. robycop3

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    Well, it appears that the WOG DID change with the language! And JUST WHOM caused/allowed all those changes? Man? or, GOD?

    John 3;16, as it was found in the English of C. 1000 years ago:“God lufode middan-eard swa, dat he seade his an-cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif."

    If this ancient English is rendered in today's English, it still doesn't match the verse as it's rendered in the KJV, or in today's versions. BUT IS IT INCORRECT? Absolutely NOT. it was perfectly understandable to any English user of its day.


    Now, did man, or GOD, cause it to appear in English as it does today?
     
  20. Keith M

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    As usual, Salmander, you've taken what I said and twisted it into something else. You're really becoming an expert at twisting the word of others in a futile attempt to "prove" your point.

    What basis do you use to equate the changing language with the "degredation of modern man?" We're not talking about "gutter language" here, Salamander - just your basic everyday English. No one expects the word of God to bow to anything human. The word of God has always been the word of God no matter what language or translation we use. The word of God says what it has said for many, many years.

    "Modern street slang" is not what I mentioned at all, and you know it. Of course no one expects the Bible to use vulgar language, although the appearance of what we consider course and vulgar language is not new to Scripture. One example of this is found in 1 Samuel 25:22 in the Wycliffe Bible (1395), the Bishops' Bible (1568), the Geneva Bible (1587), and the King James Version (1611). So much for your errant position in the "street slang" comment.

    :tonofbricks: :tonofbricks:
     
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