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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bro.Bill, Jun 15, 2004.
Is the NET Bible a paraphrase or an accurate translation?
It's certainly not a paraphrase, though it's not as literal as the ESV and NASB. The translators' notes are impressive.
NET TRANSLATIONAL PHILOSOPHY
The NET is, in my opinion, an excellent example of what can be done using formal equivalence intelligently. I am still waiting for them to publish their edited Greek text which underlies the New Testament, and the criteria they used as a guideline in that editorial process, so the jury is still out regarding that matter.
However, I like the fact they include the wording of contested passages in brackets, indicating many believe the words are an interpolation, but included them anyway because, by the same token, many believe them to be canonical. I like that kind of honesty in scholarship. They even acknowledge the other side may be right sometimes!
How available is the NET can you get it at any Christian Book Store or is it web only. It seems more and more Bible translations have gone to publisher's website only.
If you want the printed version (a bargain), it's only available on the Web.
I like and use the NET Bible. The notes are helpful and they will explain the various views of many difficult or disputed passages.
I got mine by calling the toll free number given on their site. I had their earlier edition which was bigger and harder to handle. This second edition is more a regular size (and not expensive). They will have another, final edition later at some point.
The Senior New Testament Editor of the NET Bible is Daniel B. Wallace. Dr. Wallace earned a Th.M. at Dallas Theological Seminary, as did almost every single one of the seminary’s faculty members. He also earned a Ph.D. from the same seminary. These facts should raise very large, bright red flags regarding the NET. Any seminary that hires, with very few exceptions, only those people who graduated from their seminary is very likely a highly-opinionated seminary that strenuously resists free and honest scholarship. But, of course, graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) would have considerable difficulty finding employment at any seminary or university known for academic excellence.
DTS provides the following information about Dr. Wallace,
Notice that nothing is said about his work on the NET Bible! I find this very encouraging. Since DTS is not bragging about this work, they are probably enough not exceptionally proud of it, and this suggests to me that some of the afore mentioned “large, bright red flags” may be lowered, neatly folded, and put away.
I have not yet read very much of the NET nor the copious notes, but it appears to me that a genuine effort was made to base the translation on the consensus of contemporary, evangelical scholarship. And as Dr. Wallace himself writes, contemporary, evangelical scholarship has made some rather radical left and right turns in recent years. But is the consensus of contemporary, evangelical scholarship a solid foundation for a translation of the Bible? From the point of view of Dr. Wallace, the answer is a definite yes; from the point of view of those who value more highly, as do I, the scholarship of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers, the answer is a definite NO!
From my point of view, the primary value of the NET Bible is as a source for the consensus of contemporary, evangelical Biblical scholarship and the turns in the road that it has taken since the RSV first appeared on the scene. Nonetheless, the very copious notes can be of great benefit to the discerning reader.
I didn't know the NET contained the Apocrypha. I prefer a Bible that doesn't contain it.
Preface to the NET Bible Apocrypha
The NET Bible was begun with the intention of ministering to as many people as possible by making the best study Bible ever written available for free on the Internet. Many website visitors will notice that draft versions of various books of the Apocrypha are now also available on the website. Since these are not considered canonical by a majority of Protestant churches, an explanation as to why we are including these books is warranted. Inclusion of the Apocrypha in future editions of the NET Bible is based on a desire to minister to as many different Christians in as many different Christian traditions as possible. Of all the major Christian traditions, the Protestant tradition is the only one to exclude all the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha from the canon. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches (both Greek and Russian) accept some of them, although not the exact same ones. Our intention is to impact the body of Christ as a whole, not simply Protestant believers, and for the NET Bible to be acceptable to those different church traditions, the Apocrypha will be included.
By doing so we are not making any claim to canonical status for these books. We are simply acknowledging that they are an important part of many church traditions and that they have inherent value for understanding the historical and theological background to the New Testament. The Apocrypha provides understanding of the intertestamental period, and it provides understanding of the Judaism of Jesus' day. To understand the New Testament, both of these areas must be understood well. Giving people access to the Apocryphal books with the same depth of notes as in the NET Bible Old and New Testament will help Bible readers understand the Old and New Testaments better than they have before.
Although no final decisions have been made, the printings of the NET Bible which include the Apocrypha will vary much as current Bible printings do. This is reflective of the different status accorded the books within each Christian tradition. Some editions of the NET Bible will be printed without the Apocrypha at all. In other editions of the NET Bible these books will be placed between the Old and New Testaments in their own distinct section just as a number of other Protestant Bibles have done (for example, the New English Bible, Revised English Bible, New Revised Standard Version, and the King James Version for much of its history). It is also likely that some editions of the NET Bible will be printed with the books of the Apocrypha in the order used by Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. By providing these different editions, the editors and translators of the NET Bible desire to make the NET Bible useful to Christians in all traditions.
Many Protestants oppose the inclusion of the Apocrypha in the Bible, arguing that mere inclusion of the Apocrypha in the NET Bible is an implication that it is inspired scripture. A quick look at the NET Bible and many other published Bibles will show that Bibles include a great deal of material between their covers which would never be considered scripture: maps, study helps, applicational notes, poetry, etc. The NET Bible itself includes thousands of notes which explain the Biblical text, but they are not regarded as scripture. The guiding rule for inclusion of extra material is that it is material the editors believe will be helpful in understanding the inspired text of the Bible, and that is the attitude the NET Bible translators and editors are taking toward inclusion of the Apocrypha. These books are important for understanding the historical and theological background to the New Testament, and this is a worthy reason to include these books as a separate section within the pages of the NET Bible.
The Editors and Translators of the NET Bible
Good article. But, it begs the question. If the NET bible includes the Apocrypha, but says it is not canonical, will the anti-kjvos now stop their tirade against the KJV for including the Apocrypha while not believing it was canonical? Or will they launch an attack against the NET bible?
My first NET Bible did not contain the Apocrypha nor does my second NET Bible. It seems that online they include it but I am not sure they include it in the print version. Their latest print version, which I have, does not include it.
The fact they include it does not bother me as long as they make a clear statement it is not canonical.
Given their reasons for including the Apocrypha, I think they will see attacks.
Oh my! I can hardly believe that this came from the same institution that blasted the RSV so heavily back in the 50's. Well, maybe I can believe it. This is classic new evangelicalism and DTS is squarely in that camp.