1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Featured Dynamic Equivalence--Again!

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by John of Japan, Oct 25, 2022.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Existentialism has nothing to do with modern Bible translations.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    II. The Originators of Existentialism
    A. Various philosophers contributed to the rise of existentialism, so it is difficult to pin down one single founder.
    B. Soren Kierkegaard is sometimes called the father of existentialism. “If existentialism was not founded by Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), it was at least anticipated by his thought.”[1] He actually was a Christian of sorts, having degrees in theology and philosophy from the University of Copenhagen. However, he was never ordained.
    C. Including Kierkegaard, here are some leading thinkers in the development of existentialism.
    1. Kierkegaard is often quoted by existentialist philosophers, so his writings are foundational for the philosophy. “In the latter part of his life waged war upon religion as exemplified in the national Danish Church.”[2] This does not mean he opposed Christianity as a whole, but that he saw the deadness of orthodox ceremony.
    2. “Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844-1900) atheistic emphasis on the human will also served to give rise to existentialism, a major tenet of which is subjectivity.”[3] Nietzsche was the inventor of the “God is dead” concept, and his works inspired the Nazis. “Nietzsche’s starting-point is the non-existence of God. Man is therefore left to fend for himself. Since God does not exist, man must devise his own way of life.”[4]
    3. John-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). “John-Paul Sartre’s atheistic existentialism involved a form of radical subjectivism in ethics. He believed that there is no objective meaning or value to life.”[5] This view makes Sartre’s existentialism similar to nihilism.
    4. Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was the mistress of Sartre, but an existentialist philosopher in her own right. An extremely immoral woman, she was very influential in feminist thought.
    5. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). “In Heidegger’s thought there is also an important distinction between authentic and inauthentic existence…. Authentic existence…is to be what we are meant to be, to live life in such a way as to fulfill our human potential. An example of inauthenticity is failure to exercise one’s ability to choose and act freely. To do something simply because everyone else does it, going along with and conforming to the crowd, is to fail to be one’s own person.”[6]
    6. Albert Camus (1913-1960) is often classified with the existentialists, but was an absurdist. “Camus counsels that our only hope is to acknowledge that there is no ultimate hope. Like the ancient Stoics, we must limit our expectations in view of our mortality.”[7]

    [1] Erickson, 45.
    [2] Elgin Moyer, Who Was Who in Church History, rev. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1968), 234.
    [3] Erickson, 45.
    [4] Colin Brown, Philosophy and the Christian Faith (London: Tyndale, 1969), 139.
    [5] Norman Geisler, Options in Contemporary Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), 19.
    [6] Erickson, 910.
    [7] Flynn, 48.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    III. The Teachings of Existentialism
    A. There is no authoritative central clearing house for existentialism. Some writers are atheists, others are Christian in one form or another. However, there are some beliefs and themes in common.
    B. Existentialism is always going to be man-centered. Its advocates do not subscribe to messages of eternal truth, absolute surrender to God’s will, or sacrificial living (unless that floats your boat as an individual).
    C. Therefore, basic Christian living done according to existentialism does not produce great Christians; in particular, there are no well-known missionaries who were openly existentialists, though there are famous liberal missionaries such as E. Stanley Jones.
    D. “Five themes of existentialism.”[1]
    1. “Existence precedes essence. What you are (your essence) is the result of your choices (your existence) rather than the reverse. Essence is not destiny. You are what you make yourself to be.”
    2. “Time is of the essence. We are fundamentally time-bound beings. Unlike measurable, ‘clock’ time, lived time is qualitative: the ‘not yet’, the ‘already’, and the ‘present’ differ among themselves in meaning and value.”
    3. “Humanism. Existentialism is a person-centered philosophy. Though not anti-science, its focus is on the human individual’s pursuit of identity and meaning amidst the social and economic pressures of mass society for superficiality and conformism.”
    4. “Freedom/responsibility. Existentialism is a philosophy of freedom. Its basis is the fact that we can stand back from our lives and reflect on what we have been doing. In this sense, we are always ‘more’ than ourselves. But we are as responsible as we are free.”
    5. “Ethical considerations are paramount. Though each existentialist understands the ethical, as with ‘freedom’, in his or her own way, the underlying concern is to invite us to examine the authenticity of our personal lives and of our society.”

    [1] Flynn, 8.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    IV. The Theological Version of Existentialism: Neoorthodoxy
    A. Through a number of philosophers and theologians, existentialism entered Christianity as a theology called neoorthodoxy. After World War II, classic liberalism, with its overly optimistic view of the goodness of Mankind, was largely defeated. Neoorthodoxy stepped in to fill the vacuum.
    B. Using much the same language as orthodox Christianity, the neoorthodox theologians were able to sneak their theology into the seminaries and gain respect.
    C. The three main theologians to teach this were the “three Bs”: Emil Brunner (1889-1966), Karl Barth (1886-1968), and Rudolph Bultmann (1884-1976).
    D. Other influential neoorthodox theologians include Paul Tillich (1886-1965) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945). Bonhoeffer in particular, being a martyr to the Nazis, has unusual influence through his life and through his book, The Cost of Discipleship. (This book has 588 customer reviews on Amazon, which are overwhelmingly positive.)
    E. Here are some primary characteristics of existential theology.
    1. “There have been various effects of this existentializing of theology. First is the subjectivizing of truth. Truth is truth when it becomes truth for me. It is not to be thought of as an objective set of propositions; it must be assimilated by someone if it is to be regarded as truth.”[1]
    2. “The heart of neo-orthodox existential theology is that the Bible gives us a quarry out of which to have religious experience, but that the Bible contains mistakes where it touches that which is verifiable—namely history and science. But unhappily we must say that in some circles this concept now has come into some of that which is called evangelicalism”[2]
    3. Again, neoorthodoxy distinguishes between religious truth and objective truth, in reality making religious truth inferior.[3]
    4. Then, it makes the truths of salvation relative. “Truth, sin, and salvation are not fixed substances, ‘blocks of reality,’ or permanent states. They are dynamic occurrences.”[4]
    5. “Existentialism has difficulty supporting its values and ethical judgments. If meaning is created by one’s own choice, are not the good and the right whatever one makes them to be by one’s own choice? On existentialist grounds, helping an old lady across the road or beating her over the head and snatching her handbag might be equally right.”[5]
    6. Bultmann was a strong proponent of the liberal discipline of form criticism. “The underlying assumption was that knowledge gained from studying the patterns of various forms in other literatures could be applied to the Gospel accounts. Observation of the laws of development followed by the oral forms in other cultures could help lead to an understanding of the development of the forms lying behind the Bible.”[6]
    7. “Bultmann brought Martin Heidegger’s existentialism to his interpretation of the New Testament. Since the message of the New Testament is existential rather than historical (i.e., it does not tell us what actually happened), does it not make good sense to interpret it by using existential philosophy?”[7]

    [1] Erickson, 47.
    [2] Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1984), 49.
    [3] Ibid.
    [4] Erickson, 47.
    [5] Ibid., 48.
    [6] Ibid., 90.
    [7] Ibid., 1166.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    CONCLUSION: The essence of existentialism is human-centered personal freedom. It teaches that one’s choices in his or her existence form his or her “essence.” Sartre “insists that the ultimate value, the goal of our endeavours, should be the fostering of the freedom of the individual.”[1] This makes the philosophy completely unacceptable to a believer in Christ. Christians must realize that they have no rights of their own. Each one is “bought with a price,” and must glorify God in his or her body and spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

    [1] Flynn, 47.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    And you pick nits. :p
     
  7. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    JJ "rails against DE" a month ago, but two days ago claims "I really haven't posted on DE/FE for a long, long time, so you really don't know where I am now."
    It's laughable. Of course we know where he stands now because he started this very thread on the topic. Some people.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    So I start a thread since I haven't posted on the subject in years, and in the thread I say I haven't posted on it in years, and Rippon points to the very same thread and says, "You are wrong in saying you haven't posted on it in years because look at this thread in which you posted, in which you point out that you haven't posted in years, but now you are posting in this thread!"

    Nitpicking, without the slightest doubt. :Cool
     
  9. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    You claimed that no one would know where you stand now on the issue of DE, yet you made this thread on dynamic Equivalence and decry it. You are illogical.
     
  10. OnlyaSinner

    OnlyaSinner Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    999
    Likes Received:
    151
    Faith:
    Baptist
    On a previous thread, a poster attacked me for being in favor of the dynamic equivalence (DE) theory of translation. This was in spite of me not ever saying that, and in fact having written against it here on the BB.

    The above shows the first two sentences from the thread's OP. Not sure how they fit with "You claimed that no one would know where you stand now on the issue of DE,"
     
  11. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    See the above
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    No, that's not what I claimed.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    From Post #7:

    "Neo-orthodox theology has given a new perspective to the doctrine of divine inspiration. For the most part, it conceives of inspiration primarily in terms of the response of the receptor, and places less emphasis on what happened to the source at the time of writing."
    Nida, Eugene. Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1964, 27.

    "Nida had read Barth’s work as well as the writings of other prominent theologians such as Rudolf Bultmann and Paul Tillich, though he never referred to them in his writings. As a member of one of the commissions of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States, Nida once met with Richard Niebuhr of Yale, an important American neo-orthodox theologian, to discuss developments in theology as they related to effective communication of the Christian message."
    Stine, Philip C. Let the Words Be Written. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004, 144.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    More on Nida and how existentialism impacted his translation theory:

    Stine wrote in his book that “Nida drew on the existentialist philosophers, particularly Ludwig Wittgenstein, who held that the meaning of any word is a matter of what we do with our language. Knowing the meaning of a word can involve knowing to what objects (if any) it refers, recognizing whether the word is slang or figurative language, knowing what part of speech it is, and also being aware of its connotative values. Essentially, then, to oversimplify somewhat, the meaning of a word stems from its use. Functional equivalence as an approach to translation depends on this idea” (Let the Word be Written, pp. 143-144).

    "If the problem of describing the area covered by a particular linguistic symbol is difficult, the assigning of boundaries is even more so. The basic reason is that no word ever has precisely the same meaning twice, for each speech event is in a sense unique, involving participants who are constantly changing and referents which are never fixed."
    Eugene Nida, Toward a Science of Translating (Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1964), p. 48.
     
  15. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Words from the proverbial horse's mouth above. He claims that we don't know where he stands on the subject of DE translation, but from the other side of his mouth he says he rails against it. That's self-contradiction.
     
  16. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Posts 93 and 94 do not prove that modern Bible translations are based on existentialism, or have anything to do with it. The proof of it is demonstration. You will have to give examples from the texts.
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Now you're trolling.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Folks, Rippon doesn't know Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, or any modern language. He's never translated a word in his life. Yet he sets himself up as an expert. So, I'm putting him back on ignore.

    For my part, I'm the lead translator of the Lifeline Japanese Bible, and teach Greek and translation.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  19. RipponRedeaux

    RipponRedeaux Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,643
    Likes Received:
    224
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Foreign language skills are not needed to see logical inconsistencies.
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18,668
    Likes Received:
    1,599
    Faith:
    Baptist
    So there are two areas in which Nida was indebted to existentialism/neo-orthodoxy:
    1. His formulation of reader response theory.
    2. His semantics: his belief that no word has exactly the same meaning twice, but the context is absolute in determining meaning.

    As for #1, his formulation of reader response depends on the response of the reader more than the intent of the original Author, so he argues against verbal inspiration. In existentialism, what is important is not truth, but the experience of the moment. In neo-orthodoxy, the Bible is not the Word of God, but "becomes" the Word of God based on the reader's response. So in existential translation theory (DE/FE) what matters is the moment that the reader is blessed from the Scripture: the response, not the truth! I believe the influence of existentialism in modern America is why young people nowadays say, "That's your truth, not mine. I have a different truth." But that is totally against the doctrine of verbal inspiration when applied to Scripture.

    As for #2, I could disprove that in many ways, but just consider one. Anytime you read or hear the word "gold," you will have one of two responses: you will think of the precious metal, or you will think of the metaphor it is used in denoting superiority or value: "That chess player's king pawn opening is gold!"

    The Chinese character for "gold," used also in Japanese, is 金. It has meant the same in Chinese for over two thousand years, and in Japanese for over 1200 years. (The Japanese did not have a written language until the eighth century.) Context does not change the meaning of the word in the slightest, and it never has.
     
    #100 John of Japan, Nov 30, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    • Winner Winner x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...