What Constitutes a Valid Translation?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Dr. Bob, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    WHAT constitutes a valid English Language translation (and by extension, a valid translation of God's Word into any other receptor language).

    I will start it out by stating the obvious - there must not be a theological "bent" or "slant", so that it is intentionally deceptive or translated to support a denominational position.

    Example of such an IN-valid translation would be the NWT (New World Translation) done solely by the Jehovah's Witness cult to support their heresies. It has not just "poor choices" of words, but intention deception and false choices.

    'nother?
     
  2. dfj

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    Which Translation

    That will not be easy as all translating work is comprised of individuals with strong denominational and ecclesiastical bias.

    There is strong resentment against the NIV and yet there were over 125 translators of the NIV who were purported to be world-renowned scholars of the original biblical languages.

    In the preparation of the NIV, it is alleged that, they translated directly from the original Greek and Hebrew texts. Thus, the NIV is an entirely new translation, rather than a revision of a previous English text. These scholars, it is said, also made full use of all the most recent archaeological discoveries which shed light on the biblical text. They also consulted the Dead Sea Scrolls, and all the ancient versions of the Bible in other languages (such as the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint, Symmachus & Theodotian, the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, the Targums, the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome, and numerous others). It is said that they also carefully compared the more than 5000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament writings in order to try and determine the most accurate readings.

    How much more could one ask of a translation committee?

    Were they all strong born-again believers? I can't say; I am sure there were some!

    Are there questions regarding the end result? Yes there are.

    I have personally written to the NIV translation committee and asked why they translated certain passages as they have and why there are certain foot notes regarding some controversial passages. I must admit that I was not happy with the response that I received.

    However, after saying this, I must confess that as I studied the translating process of many of these translations, including the NWT, there are always questions regarding the why in every translation.

    I am not pro any translation; I use the KJV and others, including the Greek and Hebrew for study and the NIV for reading.
     
  3. annsni

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  4. Deacon

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    Of course we all approach Scripture with our own biases or prejudices, we read it through tinted glasses.
    Part of the process of studying Scripture is identifying our biases and molding/transforming them into our Savior’s image (so that we may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect).

    Translators are not an exception; they make decisions based upon philosophies and ideas they have developed over time.

    When I study a translation I want to know what those biases are (that's what a preface is for).
    The translators of the New World Translation (if that’s what they really were) based their decisions upon distorted and deceptive doctrine.

    Like I’ve said it in the past, that’s putting the cart before the horse.
    Doctrine flows from Scripture rather than Scripture from doctrine.

    So…WHAT constitutes a valid English Language translation?

    Characteristics include:

    Accuracy - justifiable meaningful decision processes

    Well composed/cogent/sound – the translation doesn’t deviate from it’s own conventions or philosophy of translation.

    Rob
     
  5. dfj

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  6. Dale-c

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    This is similar to the question that first got me to reconsider the KJV only position I once held.
    I wondered by what authority the KJV translators (or any translator) did such a work?

    I would put it as simply as this: any translation that accurately conveys to the reader the truth of Gods word is God's Word.
    Even in the case of a printing error etc you have an imperfect printing of perfect Truth.
     
  7. dfj

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    Errors

    And there are some printing, grammatical and bios errors, but nothing that one who has read the entirety of Scripture and who has humbled him/her-self before the Lord could not recognize if the time was taken.
     
  8. robycop3

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    A valid bible translation is one that follows its sources, those sources being the recognized ancient Scriptural manuscripts. No translation uses ALL these mss, of course, but about all newer ones use an eclectix mix of them.

    The validity of the mss themselves is a different question entirely, one that has never been clearly answered, and it's doubtful if it ever will be, in this age.
     
  9. Deacon

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    But it is high time to leave them, and to shew in brief what we proposed to ourselves, and what course we held, in this our perusal and survey of the Bible.

    1. many chosen…not too many
    2. learned
    3. They trusted in Him that hath the key of David…they prayed to the Lord
    4. Neither did we run over the work with that posting haste
    5. neither did we disdain to revise that which we had done
    6. using as great helps as were needful


    A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life,
    (else there were none virtuous, for in many things we offend all,)

    also a comely man and lovely, though he have some warts upon his hand;
    yea, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars.

    No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it.

    From the Preface to the KJV

    Translations are not inspired works, errors may be found in them, disagreements may be many, but even so they can still be considered valid and worthy.

    Rob
     
  10. Askjo

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    I checked this link and disagreed with its comments. Many comments by NIV Accuracy Defined are not true. I do not recommend it becaise of its dishonesty.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    It IS sad that some try to defend their pet translation by dishonestly attacking other translations.

    We cannot make "MUST BE FORMAL EQUIVALENCE" as a test of a "valid" translation. I have seen many instances of "dynamic" wording in even some touted as "formal" word-for-word translations.

    It happens! God forbid. :rolleyes:
     
  12. dfj

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    Does it really make a difference if it it is "Dynamic" or "Formal" if the Precept/Concept aka Teaching that the LORD wishes to convey is understood correctly.

    Parabolic, allegorical, metaphorical; all need to be correctly understood.

    After all the Bible is also the greatest of all literary works.
     
  13. Askjo

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    Not only equivalence, but many comments by NIV Accuracy Defined used naturalistic merhod because of different interpretation on same materials dues to its own doctrine excluding the divine inspiration and providential preservation of the Scriptures.
     
  14. Dale-c

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    You will never get a 100% literal translation.
    As I believe it was Dr Dan Wallace put it: a literal translation means that if you have 16 words in the greek, you will have 16 words in the english.

    But of course no version is THAT literal.

    My personal preference is a more literal translation when possible.
     
  15. Deacon

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    Strong accusations Askjo!
    Posts like that are called "flames".
    Plainly speaking, why should we care what you recommend?
    Back up your statements!

    Could you at least list your top 5 disagreements that you think display the articles dishonesty?

    Rob
     
  16. annsni

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    I recommend it because it shows the facts. It shows the facts of why the NIV translators did what they did. No, they don't say "We did this because we have this bent and want to be sure that our version sticks to that bent." but they were honest about their study of the manuscript evidence and how they came about with what they translated.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    To me, another invalid translation (just to narrow things down more) would be a paraphrase such as the Living Bible.

    “The statement of the contents of a passage, text, etc., in the same or another language, without following the original text verbatim.” (Dictionary of Linguistics, by Mario Pei and Frank Gaynor, p. 159)
     
  18. Jim1999

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    Is this rendering all "translations" or paraphrases of scripture invalid?

    I happen to read most of the so-called translations for their reading ease. I particularly like the J.B. Phillips New Testament in Modern English. J.B. Phillips was an English Anglican Vicar who was liberal to the core, but I enjoy the New Testament and benfit greatly from it in reading modern English as it relates to the Greek NT from any source. I often quote it in sermons and teaching.

    I remember when the RSV came out and translated the KJV "virgin" with "maiden". The translation was prolly correct to the Hebrew and context, but fundamentalists viewed it as denying the virgin birth, which was later related in the New Testament. Hence, a very decent translation was totally ignored and castigated by many people.

    Benefit from all, throw out that which is incorrect, in your opinion and get on with it. My KJV has so many marginal notations of corrections it is almost unreadable, but I still love it.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Rippon

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    What are these naturalistic methods to which you are referring?( Said for the sake of language purists. You claim that no one should end a sentence with a preposition.)

    No one on the NIV said that they don't believe in the full inspiration and preservation of Scripture.If you claim that they denied such you are lying -- plain and simple.

    What we are missing from your posts is documentation.
     
    #19 Rippon, Oct 19, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2008
  20. TCGreek

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    The following is from A Word to the Reader in both the NIV and the TNIV:

    The above quote, in my opinion, has all the elements that make for a valid translation.
     

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