The God-Breathed words

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Exegete, May 24, 2005.

  1. Exegete

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    This is a question with which I have honestly wrestled for a long time, and perhaps you have also. If all the original text are God-breathed and therefore God's message to mankind, should translators do everything in their power to accurately translate every word of the original? If so, should the Bible student choose a "formal equivalent" type translation over the more "dynamic" ones if he wants to know the exact will of God? Do you believe this gives the NASB an edge over all other English translations?

    Most sincerely,
    Exegete
     
  2. russell55

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    God breathed the particular words because they expressed his meaning adequately in the original language. If you simply formally translate the particular words of a text, you might get something that is actually less adequate than the original words to express his meaning, and there might be other words--less formally translated--that express the God's meaning better than a formal translation.

    That's not to say that I don't prefer formal equivalency. I do. But it's not always as straightforward as one might like.
     
  3. robycop3

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    Mark, I keep in mind that the same God who gave us His words also gave us our languages. Just as He guided the formation of the canon of Scripture without suddenly handing it to us & saying "This is IT". He has thus guided the translation and presentation of His word in the various languages unto this day. We must remember He knows every subtlety and every nuance of every language, and we must TRUST HIM to have presented us with His word ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, whether it fits OUR ideas of 100% accuracy or not. None of the language differences are lost on GOD. He is more than able to communicate with us according to His will, and the Holy Spirit is here to teach us from His word. Thus, He has led me to use several BVs, while He may have guided someone else to only one, or to others which I don't use.

    One thing is clear to me...GOD'S WORD IS NOT LIMITED TO ANY ONE VERSION. Just as God has different work for every believer, He has allowed His word to be translated into many versions, each one having a purpose in His grand overall plan.
     
  4. Nomad

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    Recently, I read a book called The Word of God in English by Leland Ryken, which is all about this subject. Although I don't agree with all of Ryken's assertions (several of which are somewhat subjective), he does put forth a strong argument that many DEs are more commentary than translation, and that "essentially literal" Bible versions are more faithful to the original texts. I recommend the book, even for those who may disagree with his viewpoint.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

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    The common Cantonese greeting "lay ho ma?" can be formally translated as "You good, eh?". A more "dynamic" and accurate translation would be "How are you?".

    Now if "lay ho ma?" was verbally inspired by God, which English translation most closely represents the "exact words of God"?
     
  6. robycop3

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    Gold Dragon: The common Cantonese greeting "lay ho ma?" can be formally translated as "You good, eh?". A more "dynamic" and accurate translation would be "How are you?".

    Now if "lay ho ma?" was verbally inspired by God, which English translation most closely represents the "exact words of God"?


    That would depend upon whether you were a Cantonese native who'd learned English, or an English speaker who'd learned Cantonese. I believe a person knows the subtleties and nuances of his/her first language better than those of a second language learned after mastering the first one. Sure, there are exceptions. I read about a British man who learned Japanese as an adult so well that he became a hanashika, a professional public story teller, whose spoken Japanese must be absolutely perfect in every aspect, including voice inflection. But this is the exception, not the rule.

    Once again, it would depend upon the language background of the listener or reader.
     
  7. robycop3

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    Gold Dragon's post reminds me of the fact that SOME DE and added words are necessary to make the translation more readable in English. I have no problem with adding words to an English version to smooth out the translation. In fact, even the Young's Literal Translation does it.

    Some of them "push the envelope", however, such as "God forbid" in the KJV. Now, while that was a very common British interjection for hundreds of years, it is not at all the meaning of the Greek "me ginomai", which is literally, "May it not/never be". But, in defense of "God forbid", it DOES mean essentially the same thing. "Then", you say,"Why is it such a big deal?" The answer is that it's GOD'S WORD; His name/title should be written only where it actually appears in the source being translated. God's name/title should NOT be used as just any ole common name.
     
  8. TCassidy

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    Cranston, once again you demonstrate a lack of unhderstanding of Hebrew idioms. [​IMG]
     
  9. Logos1560

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    At 2 Samuel 20:20, the Geneva and Bishops' Bibles have "God forbid" twice while the KJV has "Far be it" twice. This verse has the same Hebrew word that the KJV rendered "God forbid" at some other verses.
     
  10. TCassidy

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    Except we are not talking about the Hebrew. We are talking about the translation of the Hebrew idiom into Greek and then into English. In I Chron. 11:19 "my God forbid it me" is rendered in the Greek by "me genoito" even though the word God is in the Hebrew, it is not in the Greek but implied. Idioms can sometimes trip you up. [​IMG]
     
  11. robycop3

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    But the fact remains that "God forbid" was a very common BRITISH expression. There are many cases in the NT, such as in several of the Pauline epistles where the Greek is original and not a Greek quote from the Hebrew OT...and yet it's rendered "God forbid".

    I have been told in the past that the AV translators wanted to indicate a stronger negative, and "God forbid" is stronger than "May it not be", just as "Absolutely not" is stronger in current English than "No way Jose".
     

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