Theology In Translation?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Rippon, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Should one's theology be the basis of their translational method? Robert Martin of : Accuracy Of Translation thinks so. He says that a translator's decision of what to put in the receptor's text "must be made predominantly on theological and not on grammatical grounds." (P.42)

    However, James White,in his updated :The King James Only Controversy says otherwise.

    "We dare not allow our theology to determine our translation,which,sadly,is what we have in many KJV Only presentations." (p.176)

    "We note that Mr.Green's reaction is based on his understanding of theology,not upon the text's external evidence." (p.324)

    Regarding Romans 8:28 and the NASB rendering as opposed to the KJV wording :"...if one were to determine textual readings on the basis of theological superiority,here the Alexandrian reading,which plainly presents God as the one who works all things together for the good,would be the better reading,but is absent from the KJV." (p.331)

    "The passage at 2 Peter 1:1 is even more compelling.Some have simply bypassed grammatical rules and considerations and opted for an inferior translation on the basis of verse 2,which,they say,'clearly distinguishes' between God and Christ. Such translation,based on theological prejudices,is not commendable." (p.335)

    White quotes A.T.Robertson :"We must let these passages mean what they want to mean regardless of our theories about the theology of the writers.' (p.339)
     
  2. BobinKy

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    Rippon...

    This could become a very interesting thread.

    My request is for someone to develop some kind of tool to measure the theology level and bias present in the various translations. How this might be done and what this tool might resemble--I have no idea. However, such a tool (if possible) might be an interesting method to measure theological content and bias.

    ...Bob
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    This is a good thread, hate to post and run...

    I'd suggest that it is impossible to not let one's theology inform their translation exercises. Too many times you come to a phrase, idiom, word, form, syntax etc that necessitates a theological decision. From my translation work it just isn't possible.

    This is why I translate all passages before seeing what the various modern version have said. Too often you can see the fingers of one tradition in one verse and another tradition in another. The goal shouldn't be whitewashing, but informed, humble translation.

    Now if your theology is driving your translations...well that's something different. :)
     
  4. go2church

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    I read some time ago that one Bible translator thought it would be a good idea to see a translation of the Bible from someone without any Christian background, just concern for accuracy. I certainly be interesting.
     
  5. TCGreek

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    Well, there's the extreme of the NWT of the JW's.

    ESV has been accused of being too complementarian. I think this is fair.

    And HCSB as too SBC influenced.

    ...just a few
     
  6. mcdirector

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    I think we can strive for theological-bias free, but since we all have a theology (even the non-Christian), makes it impossible I think.
     
  7. TCGreek

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    Yep, that's the fact of the matter.
     
  8. Rippon

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    From Philip W.Comfort's book :Essential Guide To Bible Versions:

    "At the core,those who advocate the Majority Text do so more for theological reasons than for textual ones." (p.153)
     
  9. annsni

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    What would be an example of that? I've read the ESV through and I don't see any more bent towards complementarianism than any other version.
     
  10. TomVols

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    Essentially, a theological bias is in the eye of the beholder, with few exceptions. Just what makes the HCSB SB, for instance? Are there more references to fried chicken and potlucks than in other translations? :laugh: Did the Acts 6 discord erupt over Cooperative Program allocations? :thumbs:
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    I know this thread is older, but...

    What textual reasons are suggested?
     
  12. Rippon

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    Mr.Comfort says:"They [those who favor the Majority Text] reason that God would not have allowed a corrupt or inferior text to be found in the majority of manuscripts,while permitting a superior text to be hidden away in a few early manuscripts somewhere in the sands of Egypt.Further,they reason that the church's adoption of the Majority Text was a vindication of its correctness,while the obscurity of the Egyptian text was a sign of its rejection.But most textual scholars today realize this as an erroneous view because the early church fathers (second to third century) did not quote a text anything like the TR,and because most of the manuscripts are vastly different from the TR in significant ways (which suggest that the originals were differnt from the TR as well)." (p.153 of Essential Guide To Bible Versions)
     
  13. Van

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    The digital age is approaching and sooner rather than later, we will be able to obtain software that translates based on word meanings and grammar, and without regard to existing theology.

    Now all of us are tempted to translation shop. If one translation has one verse that best matches our theology, we might quote that one, rather than the one that differs from our view the most. We can do it wholesale, I like this bible version over that bible version, or verse by verse. All that behavior speaks to our unwillingness to submit to God's word as it was written, for we are predisposed to submitting to scripture as interpreted by those we agree with. :)

    That is why I strive to stick with the NASB, rather than picking the one that makes my case. But there is often a gap between my striving and my doing.
     
    #13 Van, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2011
  14. ReformedBaptist

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    Who is he referring to specifically? Who are the they and the "those" that favor the Majority Text? If you don't know, that's fine. No biggie.
     
    #14 ReformedBaptist, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2011
  15. Rippon

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    Modern advocates such Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad. (Not all proponents are dead however. :) Maurice Robinson is alive,though ill these days I hear. But Comfort didn't mention him by name.

    More from Comfort's book :

    "Most contemporary scholars contend that a minority of manuscripts -- primarily the earliest ones -- preserve the earliest,most authentic wording of the text. Those who defend the TR and KJV would have to prove that earlier manuscripts or the originals themselves must have had these words and that the earlier manuscripts are textually corrupt. However, not one scholar has shown that there was any kind of major recension of the New Testament text in the late first or early second century. Certainly there were some minor changes here and there,but most of the major editorial changes were introduced later in the course of textual transmission." (pages 153,154)
     
  16. jonathan.borland

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    First, Justin (2nd century) quotes a text that is far different from the UBS/NA text! Second, the TR is not the same as the Majority text.
     
  17. jonathan.borland

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    I advocate the Majority Text and do not do so more for theological reasons than for textual ones. Therefore, Comfort's statement is false!
     
  18. michael-acts17:11

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    Someone could develop an interpretive program that would take the Greek or Hebrew text & translate it into English. It would be interesting to see how an unbiased computer would interpret the text.
     
  19. Jerome

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    Yes, the ESV even calls Phoebe Paul's PATRON in Romans 16!

    Online Etymology Dictionary
    How did that get past the CBMW censors?:laugh:
     
  20. John of Japan

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    I have a PC program that translates Japanese to English and vice versa. Believe me, such software is nowhere near what you would need for a valid Bible translation. The high end programs are better, but a human correcter is still needed.
     

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