Translation: What are you missing?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Deacon, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    The purpose of a translation is to transfer the meaning from one language to another in an understandable way.

    I've noticed quite a few unique translations to the New Living Translation where the translators have taken the extra step, making the text more readable and understandable.

    Here are a few simple ones in the early Psalms.
    I'll post more complex ones later in a separate post.

    1. Zion

    For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne
    in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”

    Psalm 2:6 NLT

    In the NLT, Zion is used 16 times in Psalms (compared to 39x in the NASB95).

    2. Selah

    So many are saying,
    “God will never rescue him!”
    Interlude

    Psalm 3:2 NLT

    3. Githith

    For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.
    Psalm 8:1 (title) NLT

    4. Higgaion. Selah

    The LORD is known for his justice.
    The wicked are trapped by their own deeds.
    Quiet Interlude

    Psalm 9:16 NLT

    5. Cherub

    Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,
    soaring on the wings of the wind.

    Psalm 18:10 NLT

    (*NET version uses winged angel)

    Rob
     
    #1 Deacon, Aug 11, 2008
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  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    This one assumes that the reader isn't smart enough to figure out what or where Zion is. It takes the desire for further study out of the equation. I don't think that was God's original plan.

    Funny. I thought no one knew what Selah meant!



    What in the world is an angelic being? A being that is kind of an angel but really not? By making angel into an adjective here, the translators needlessly complicate. We use "angelic" to describe a baby!
     
    #2 John of Japan, Aug 11, 2008
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  3. Deacon

    Deacon
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    I find the NLT refreshing and unpretentious.

    Re: Zion: No, I don’t understand why the NLT translates it as Jerusalem in some places and Zion in others, that may take a bit more study.

    Re: Selah: Sure, no one really knows what Selah means,
    …but of course we tell everybody that it probably means…”pause” or “interlude”.
    Why not translate it that way and provide a textual note with the Hebrew term?
    There are plenty of places in the OT where the Hebrew is unclear, or where words are unknown and guesses have to be made.

    Re: Cherub, It’s humorous, You wrote, “We use "angelic" to describe a baby!”.
    Cherub is a transliteration... and we all know that they’re those chubby-winged, baby angels that fly over baby Jesus’ manger at Christmas. :tongue3:

    While the word cherub isn’t used, the NLT uses cherubim 66 times.
    Why would they use word and not the other?

    Rob
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Not having the NLT I can't research it, but my guess is that it's an editorial problem. The final editor has a huge job to keep things unified as far as how certain words or phrases are translated. Some are fairly easy, as in the famous "God forbid." However, the editor of the NLT may have missed the Jerusalem/Zion rendering, much like the continuity editor of a film may miss that frame with a car from 20 years in the future of the film.

    I call this concordance according to context. That is, you may translate a certain word of the original differently according to its semantic domain, determined by context. However, a word should always be translated the same in the same context. For example, "order" of Melchizadek--the translation should always read "order" when talking about the priesthood if that is what you start with.
    Point taken.

    Ah, yes, the old bugaboo of transliteration. This is what some advocates of freer translation like to accuse translators with of who use more literal methods. But the truth is, all translators do it. Who translates the meaning of the names of cities or people? Almost no one, though there are rare cases in some Bible translations where it is done, especially in the book of Acts. Having said that, I just read a biography of a Chinese Christian where the Chinese names were translated, and they had a nice ring!
    Cherub is the singular and cherubim is the plural, as you probably know. But cherub has survived as an English loan word while cherubim has not. So what does that explain? I'm not really sure! Maybe they could have said, "cherubic angel." :laugh:
     
    #4 John of Japan, Aug 12, 2008
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