When are paraphrases appropriate?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Refreshed, Jun 24, 2003.

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In your opinion, which of the below are appropriate uses for a paraphrase

  1. Pulpit

    30.0%
  2. Bible Study

    10.0%
  3. Personal Study

    20.0%
  4. Reading for pleasure

    5.0%
  5. Devotional

    5.0%
  6. New Christian's only Bible

    10.0%
  7. Reference in study

    5.0%
  8. Paperweight

    10.0%
  9. Doorstop

    5.0%
  10. I am paraphrase only

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Refreshed

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    I want to find out what people think of paraphrases and the circumstances in which the use of a paraphrase would be appropriate.

    Jason
     
  2. Forever settled in heaven

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    in popular usage, paraphrase refers to an extremely loose or idiomatic translation, on the opposite end of the line fr an Interlinear or a transliteration.

    technically, tho, paraphrases happen everytime one language is translated into another. every single time. that's becos languages r different fr each other (otherwise they'd be the same language, duh, n to repeat the KJBO mantra, things that r different cannot be the same!) in a hundred different ways. any time we map across diff languages, we use diff vocab choices, diff syntax choices, idiom choices, punctuation choices, etc.

    in other words, we paraphrase.
     
  3. Refreshed

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    I disagree with you. Paraphrase, in the common usage of the term, means a work based on the Bible with a focus on readability and common vernacular, avoiding the issue of accuracy altogether. To paraphrase something means "in other words." I'll not say that through reading a paraphrase a person cannot be saved, but when we have much more accurate translations with much less propensity for interpretation, it is clear that the paraphrase is no better than a commentary when compared to an accurate translation.

    A look quickly into the Oxford Concise Dictionary, the purpose of the dictionary to define common usage of a word gives us the following definition:

    "a free rendering or rewording of a passage."

    When we allow free rendering and rewording of passages of the Bible, interpretation too easily slips in.

    Jason :D
     
  4. Refreshed

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    Interesting, I thought that more people would think a paraphrase would be appropriate for a new Christian's only Bible. Of those 88 percent who did not think it would be appropriate, why?

    Did anyone else notice the Bell curve, which holds with all choices except the New Christian option? I also found it interesting one person is Paraphrase only, but I'm sure it's a statistical anomaly. If you are the person who is Paraphrase Only, please defend your view in this topic.

    Thanks for participating in the poll, comment on it, and the appropriateness of paraphrases in Christian life, in this topic.

    Jason :D

    Jason
     
  5. Forever settled in heaven

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    the last part is pejorative n has no basis either lexically or in reality.

    in fact, literalness does more in "avoiding the issue of accuracy altogether" than paraphrase, which seeks to produce the Closest Natural Equivalence of meanings across languages.

    bottom line is how one defines "accuracy."
     
  6. Refreshed

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    the last part is pejorative n has no basis either lexically or in reality.

    in fact, literalness does more in "avoiding the issue of accuracy altogether" than paraphrase, which seeks to produce the Closest Natural Equivalence of meanings across languages.

    bottom line is how one defines "accuracy."
    </font>[/QUOTE]Ah, yes, so now a paraphrase is more accurate and faithful to the original languages as a literal version? You, sir, have redefined the terms of the debate, so we will have to agree to disagree.

    Jason
     
  7. Artimaeus

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    Paraphrasing is not a problem, if it is identified as such. All preaching, authoring, commenting etc. is paraphrasing. When we quote a verse and then say, "What this means is..." we are paraphrasing. It is a good thing and appreciated. The problem happens when a paraphrase is presented as, "This is what God said". The Living Bible (for example) is a very good paraphrase and well worth reading and having. It is NOT the Bible, it is a commentary on the Bible and it's author is clearly identified as Kenneth Taylor and NOT God. This is why they should never be a "new Christians ONLY Bible". It's use in the pulpit is OK if it is identified as such.

    It is nitpicking nonsense to say that all translation is paraphrasing. Translation is an attempt (good or bad) to say what the other language SAID, a paraphrase is an attempt (good or bad) to say what the other language MEANT. It is the difference between a quote and a rendering of the "gist" of the thought behind it. Both are good things but they aren't anywhere near the same thing.
     
  8. Forever settled in heaven

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  9. Forever settled in heaven

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    all of the above which, of course, is not true.

    the King's word, in whatever language--with or without like grace--is still the word of the King. yea, even the meanest translation, if i might paraphrase the KJB's translators, IS the very word of God.

    to claim that the paraphrasing done by the KJB's translators is somehow the word of Myles Smith or Bancroft is patent nonsense.

    NOT even the KJB--nor even most "literal" versions--"say what the other language SAID." without paraphrase, it's gibberish, n they know it.

    but none can argue if u continue referring to the popular, if pejorative, use of "paraphrase."
     
  10. Refreshed

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    I don't believe Artimaeus is KJVO, but I'll let him speak for himself.

    Here are my definitions of accurate and faithful.

    Accurate - Conforming exactly to the truth or with a given standard.

    Faithful - Accurate, true to fact.

    These are definitions from the Oxford Concise Dictionary. I could look them up in other dictionaries if you would like.

    Since accurate and faithful mean the same thing, I apologize for being redundant.

    Does a paraphrase conform exactly to the truth or with the given standard with respect to the original languages? I contend it does not.

    Does a faithful translation conform exactly to the truth or with the given standard with respect to the original languages? It does, by definition.

    You would have a very hard time trying to convince most people who hold the Bible to be the word of God that a paraphrase can be held with the same veneration as a translation.

    Thus, like I said, you are redefining the word paraphrase from:

    A free rendering or rewording of a passage

    to:

    Translation.

    To change the prospect of your argument by redefining terms to suit your needs is an old tactic found mostly in the liberal political camp. Tell me, do you think most people consider a literal translation of the bible to be a paraphrase?

    Jason
     
  11. Forever settled in heaven

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    thank u for sharing ur definition (n Oxford's). i think it speaks well for itself.

    nowhere does it suggest the Form is conformed to--fact, or truth, is. fact n truth r greater than mere words. yes, words carry facts n truths in the language they're written in, but in translation, u can't (n shouldn't) carry across the words. u shd carry across the TRUTHS n FACTS--hence, the need for meaning-based translation.

    another name of which is "paraphrase."

    n i'll just leave it at that.
     
  12. Refreshed

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    Okay. Like I said, we'll just agree to disagree. Thanks for participating in the poll.

    Jason [​IMG]
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Think we've missed the true definition of a paraphrase altogether.

    What greek said = FORMAL EQUIVALENCE. Sometimes the idioms are lost from language to language, but each greek word has the best English word in its place. (NKJV is example)

    What greek meant = DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE. Giving the same meaning of an idiom or phrase, even if not word-for-word. (NASB is example)

    BOTH OF THESE ARE "TRANSLATIONS".

    Paraphrase is putting either/both of the above type of translations into "other words". No care about translating, no reference to the Greek.

    The Living Bible is not a translation, but a paraphrase of real transations. The words of a translation are inspired; the words of a paraphrase might be inspiring, but not the WORD of God.

    I seldom use a paraphrase. It seems like child's reading and NOT God's Word. It is not necessarilly accurate. It isn't the THOUGHT that is inspired; it is the WORDS!
     
  14. BrianT

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    Isn't it both? The whole purpose of words is to communicate thought.
     
  15. Marathon Man

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    Dr. Bob, I typically enjoy and appreciate your posts, but NASB an example of DYNAMIC equivalence?????
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    Mea culpa. Meant the NIV, not NASB, as dynamic. :eek:
     
  17. Forever settled in heaven

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    sigh [​IMG]

    i guess i'll just let the experts (professional linguists/translators) speak:

    check these out:

    http://www.geocities.com/bible_translation/glossn.htm#paraphrase

    check out the links there for the NON-TECHNICAL use of the term.

    ;)
     
  18. Artimaeus

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    all of the above which, of course, is not true.

    the King's word, in whatever language--with or without like grace--is still the word of the King. yea, even the meanest translation, if i might paraphrase the KJB's translators, IS the very word of God.

    to claim that the paraphrasing done by the KJB's translators is somehow the word of Myles Smith or Bancroft is patent nonsense.

    NOT even the KJB--nor even most "literal" versions--"say what the other language SAID." without paraphrase, it's gibberish, n they know it.

    but none can argue if u continue referring to the popular, if pejorative, use of "paraphrase."
    </font>[/QUOTE]Specifically, which part of what I said is not true? You quoted me but, your comments had nothing to do with what I said and seemed top be comments about others. Were you commenting on another poster?

    Translation does NOT equal paraphrase. These are two different words with two different meanings.

    Example: Bonjour is French, it is translated "good day". "Bon" means "good" and "jour" means day as in soup-du-jour. If I asked you what that Frenchman said and you told me "good day" then that would be translating. If, on the other hand you told me he said "Hello", THAT would be a paraphrase because you made no effort to tell me what he said, just what he meant (right or wrong). On the third hand, if you told me he said "good day" and that that is the French way of saying "hello" (among other things) then you would have educated me on the truth.

    You cannot paraphrase one language into another. You must first translate and THEN paraphrase.
     
  19. Artimaeus

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    Dr. Bob Thanks, I just discovered what I am. I am not a KJVO, nor am I an MVO, I am a FEO (Formal Equivalence Only). I didn't know how to phrase it but that is exactly what I am. Since I can't read, understand, or swim in the deep waters of the original languages then I must settle for the next best thing I can have. I have the KJV, NASB, The Englishman's Greek New Testament and I am sure others.
     
  20. Artimaeus

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    Good question. [​IMG] Obviously, if a literal translation is not a paraphrae then a paraphrase is not a literal translation.
     

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