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Needlessly Loose Translation Choices

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Van, Dec 20, 2017.

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  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    In a recent thread, several verses of the CSB were asserted to contain loose translation choices. Translating a Greek word not according to lexiconal meanings, but according to the context of the verse and the passage in view. For example a Greek word meaning to take hold of or grasp or understand was translated surprise.

    Another factor associated with needlessly loose translation choices is lack of concordance, where the same Greek word meaning is translated using the same English word or phrase, such as when we see siblings we would understand fellow born anew believers are in view.

    At the other end of the spectrum would be to translate the Greek word meanings using many different English choices so as to obliterate correspondence with the Greek word meaning.

    Let's consider "Katalambano G2638" which is a transliteration of the Greek and refers to several different forms of the word in Greek. Words in he word group (G2638) appears about 16 times in 14 verses in the CSB. The CSB has translated the various forms of the word into 13 different English words or phrases. This form of "loose translation" obliterates correspondence between the Greek word meanings and the corresponding English word or phrase used in the loose translation.
     
  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Word Study Katalambano G2638

    Here are the verses and translation choices of the CSB. The bolded words translate G2638.

    Mar 9:18
    “Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”
    [​IMG] Jhn 1:5
    That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
    [​IMG] Jhn 8:3
    Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center.
    [​IMG] Jhn 8:4
    “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery.
    [​IMG] Jhn 12:35
    Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going.
    [​IMG] Act 4:13
    When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
    [​IMG] Act 10:34
    Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism,
    [​IMG] Act 25:25
    “I found that he had not done anything deserving of death, but when he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him.
    [​IMG] Rom 9:30
    What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness — namely the righteousness that comes from faith.
    [​IMG] 1Co 9:24
    Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.
    [​IMG] Eph 3:18
    may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love,
    [​IMG] Phl 3:12
    Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
    [​IMG]Phl 3:13
    Brothers and sisters, I do not[fn] consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,
    [​IMG]1Th 5:4
    But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to surprise you like a thief.
     
  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Here are the same verses with G2638 translated more concordantly.

    Mar 9:18
    “Whenever it takes hold of him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.”
    [​IMG]Jhn 1:5
    That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not understand it.
    [​IMG]Jhn 8:3
    Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center.
    [​IMG]Jhn 8:4
    “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery.
    [​IMG]Jhn 12:35
    Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t take hold of you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going.
    [​IMG]Act 4:13
    When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
    [​IMG]Act 10:34
    Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism,
    [​IMG]Act 25:25
    “I understood that he had not done anything deserving of death, but when he himself appealed to the Emperor, I decided to send him.
    [​IMG]Rom 9:30
    What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have taken hold of righteousness — namely the righteousness that comes from faith.
    [​IMG]1Co 9:24
    Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to take hold of the prize.
    [​IMG]Eph 3:18
    may be able to understand with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love,
    [​IMG]Phl 3:12
    Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
    [​IMG]Phl 3:13
    Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,
    [​IMG]1Th 5:4
    But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to catch you like a thief.
     
  4. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Ah, the fabled concordance. Good for spreadsheets and computers, but not so much for language.
     
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  5. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    The NASB uses 11 different words or phrases. Is 11 that different than 13?



    NASB (11) win, seizes, comprehend, caught, overtake, understood, understand, found, attained, lay hold, laid hold,

    Head counting is not the way to evaluate the renderings for καταλαμβάνω. Context....middle or passive....present, past....what effect does κατά actually have on the word and how does it effect our english rendering....what conveys the meaning best in English????. Things like that matter. Did the CSB step out of line and miss on a rendering?





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  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Two wrongs do not make a right. The goal of concordance would try to translate the same source language word or phrase meaning into the same English word or phrase. Thus there would be correspondence between the Greek word or phrase meaning and the corresponding English word or phrase. In my example I used three different meanings (take hold of, catch, and understand.) And each of these appeared in slightly different forms, understood, caught, taken hold or takes hold. Thus in my example I created correspondence. But I did not address overlap. Other Greek words are probably also translated into the English words understand, catch and take hold of.

    My question is why would translation teams pay lip service to the goal of concordance, but appear to not even try.
     
  7. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Because you don't know what you are talking about. That's the first step you need to take. Second get rid of your imperial mindset.
     
  8. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Because they understand that cognates can mean entirely different things. And you don't. A cognate of your word could rise up and bite you and you still wouldn't recognize it for what it is.
     
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  9. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    It would be ill advised to do such a thing. Lets look at the same form of the word in question in two places. Lets do κατέλαβεν.The NASB and ESV both have "attained" in Romans 9:30. In John 1:5 the ESV reads "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." The NASB reads "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend(footnote has overpower) it." Both the ESV and NASB are both viable in John 1:5. Though ESV is preferable to me here(along with NASB footnote).

    So your "concordance" would demand the same english word here. Is the darkness failing to "attain" the light? Why would the darkness try to attain it? Lets reverse it and change Romans 9:30 to overcome, overpower, comprehend. Is Paul talking about the gentiles comprehending righteousness???? That would miss the intensity of κατά here and also make no sense.

    Are we saved by a comprehension?
    How about overpower?

    Did the gentiles overpower righteousness? Did they overcome it? Are they trying in someway to defeat righteousness? No, that would not make any sense and contradict the rest of scripture. John 1:5's rendering is controlled by context and a little word οὐ. It has a negative sense. To translate the same word, the same way, void of tense, voice, mood, persons, context, etc... would just be folly. My Greek knowledge it small compared to others here and especially those who worked on major translations. But even I know that would be a mistake.


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    **lots of spelling errors. Been traveling all day....I will blame the planes. Hahaha
    Sorry fixed a bunch
     
    #9 McCree79, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  10. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    In the book The Challenge Of Bible Translation Glen G. Scorgie has the following in his chapter :

    "The fallible translator is under considerable pressure to determine in each instance which meaning of sarx the apostle had in mind. Much is at stake, since the potential meanings of the term range from those with neutral connotations to those with highly negative associations. A tempting response, therefore, and one followed by a number of more 'direct' Bible translations, is to apply a simple word-for-word equation and let sarx come through consistently as 'flesh.' The problems with this option are (1) that it leaves the determination of meaning entirely to the reader, which is an abdication of the translator's responsibility, and (2) it only sets the reader up to confuse material reality (one meaning of sarx) with sinfulness (another meaning of sarx) --along the lines of the ancient Gnostic heresy. The TNIV actually uses twenty-eight different words or phrases to translate sarx..." (p.33)
     
  11. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Did anyone else catch this howler?:
     
  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    In post #3 I corrected the error. How did you miss that? And why nitpick instead of addressing the topic.
     
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  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Hi McCree79, here is part of what you said:
    No, you do seem not to comprehend the concept. The Greek word (G2639) has a range of meanings, at least three, to take hold of, to catch, and to understand. Therefore the goal of concordance would be to use three different English words or phrases to express those thee differing meanings, not one which of course would not work. Note that in post #3, "take hold of" is used in Romans 9:30,, and in John 1:5, understand is used. Two different word meanings translated into two different English words or phrases. That is the concept.
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, you made two of the points of the thread, if sarx was translated concordantly, then one English word or phrase would be used when the meaning intended was physical material (flesh of a body) and another would be used when the meaning intended was associated with sin. Additionally, if sarx is only used to convey those two meanings, then only two sets of distinctive English words or phrases would be needed, not twenty-eight. Twenty-eight would be the result of needlessly loose translation.
     
  15. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    You are limiting the word unnecessarily. Your concordance based upon strongs would restrict καταλαμβάνω beyond what it is capable of. If you want to just head count based upon a lexicon....

    καταλαμβάνω (aor. κατέλαβον; pf. κατείληφα; pf. pass. κατείλημμαι; aor. pass. κατελήμφθην) act. and pass. obtain, make one's own, attain; come upon, overtake #Joh 12:35, 1Th 5:4; attack, seize #Mr 9:18; catch #Joh 8:3,4; perhaps put out #Joh 1:5; midd. realize, understand, learn; see, find #Ac 25:25


    Well, there is 12 words in this lexicon....which is in the back of the NA28. And if you dont double count the CSB using past or present tense, they don't exceed the head count.

    What if Lexicon's list different words? What is your authoritative lexicon?

    Mounce's list 15 words or phrases

    2898] καταλαμβάνω katalambanō 15x to lay hold of, grasp; to obtain, attain, Rom. 9:30; 1 Cor. 9:24; Phil. 3:12, 13; to seize, to take possession of, Mk. 9:18; to come suddenly upon; overtake, surprise, Jn. 12:35; 1 Thess. 5:4; to detect in the act, seize, Jn. 8:3, 4; met. to comprehend, apprehend, Jn. 1:5; mid. to understand, perceive, Acts 4:13; 10,34; 25,25; Eph. 3:18* [2638] See catch; grasp; obtain; seize; understand.

    You even say "atleast 3" in its "range of meaning". So why would you limit it to just three? Is it so you can attack the CSB? Seems to be. You acknowledge that there can be more than 3 meanings, yet you want to hold a transaltion to 3 words or phrases?



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  16. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    I will add that if a greek verb has 36 different forms, and context will also effect the translation---how can we possible think a limit of 3 words or phrases is sufficient for transaltion?

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  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I missed where you indicated a fourth or fifth meaning. I am not limiting the range of meaning of any source language word or phrase. Each one of them, should be translated concordantly using a distinctive English word or phrase.
     
  18. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    You are limting what it is capable of communicating. You gave it 3 meanings. "to take hold of, to catch, and to understand. " Which one of those meanings can means attack? Which ome means surprise? None of those effectively communicate that. If you only see 3 specific meanings, you didn't read the post you quoted.

    *probably a better way to look at it is how many ideas or thoughts can
    καταλαμβάνω be used to communicate? That is the purpose of language.....to communicate...exchange thoughts, ideas, information. To proper use καταλαμβάνω, it shouldnt be held to 3 words or phrases in translation.


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    #18 McCree79, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    So here you are repeating the assertion of more meanings. But you did not give any. Rather you reversed the assertion and claiming the meaning was "attack" or "surprise." Those are not historical word meanings found in lexicons.

    Here is part of a lexicon:
    katalambanó: to lay hold of, seize
    Original Word: καταλαμβάνω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: katalambanó
    Phonetic Spelling: (kat-al-am-ban'-o)
    Short Definition: I seize tight hold of, overtake, comprehend
    Definition: (a) I seize tight hold of, arrest, catch, capture, appropriate, (b) I overtake, (c) mid. aor: I perceived, comprehended.

    Now seize tight and take hold of reflect the same meaning. perceived or comprehend reflects the same meaning as understood. And overtake something is similar to catch up to something. The issue is not really what the word meanings are, but rather should translations consistently translate those meaning.
     
    #19 Van, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Would you use Strongs as the main translation tool, or would you use things such a current NT/OT lexicon in preference to it?

    And how much Greek have you studied and learned then, as think all on the various translation teams on the whole have Dr titles, and years of learning in this?
     
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