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Translating the bible into all kinds of languages...

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
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    I think it's in Australia where they have a bible institute which focuses on bible translations for languages which are rather unknown. But the problem is that the understanding of phrases, symbols and parables also depends on the culture. For example in the arabic world they use symbols and phrases which we wouldn't understand because we don't know their culture. In other cultures what we mean when we talk about the heart wouldn't be understood by them because they rather refer to the stomach region when they refer to the heart. For example when the bible says you have to believe in your heart and you translate this 1:1 into their language they wouldn't even understand what this is supposed to mean. Does this mean that bibles have to be translated in a rather dynamic way and it doesn't have to be 1:1? But on the other hand this means that you change the bible and replace things with other things.
    Then we can as well say that in our society the people cannot really understand anymore how the life was 2000 years ago and that this is too strange for them and this means that we need a modernized gospel where Jesus lives in a 21th century city and his disciples are drug dealers and in the end he gets shot by the priests. This is also something which everybody would understand but it wouldn't be the same anymore. I don't think that we have to modernize the bible, or what do you think?
    I think this is rather dangerous. In Germany they also have a more modern "bible" version which is especially for teenagers because their argument is that teenagers and people which live on the street cannot understand a normal bible this means that we need a modern bible which is easy to understand and which uses slang and such things. In this bible Jesus is also much "cooler" and he uses slang and talks to God as if he is his homie...
    I think that as soon as you change Jesus' words and try to attract a certain group of people by making him either cooler or whatever you think will attract this group then you also change Jesus and it's not the real Jesus anymore. This is like me writing a "bible" for bikers and in this bible Jesus wears leather jackets and jewelry and he's totally cool and talks like a biker. This simply wouldn't be the same anymore. But these people claim that people are getting saved because of this modernized "bible" and that this is from God.
    But if this is from God then this would mean that the bible has become too old-fashioned for this generation and that it's not effective anymore and it has to be updated all the time.
  2. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Dec 12, 2005
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    All translations need to be periodically updated . The KJ revisors acknowleged that . But that doesn't mean that translators have to appeal to market-tested demographics seeing what concepts and ideas are more attractive for a greater acceptance of their version .
  3. rbell

    rbell Active Member

    Jan 16, 2006
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    xdx, you are oversimplifying the argument.

    We're not talking about this week's buzzwords being included in scripture. We're talking about a language over time becoming unrecognizable.

    Over the course of centuries, languages evolve and change. Eventually, the language spoken/read resembles the original language by the same name very little. Check out Chaucer, from "the parson's tale:" (14th century)

    75: Oure sweete lord God of hevene, that no
    75: Man wole perisse, but wole that we comen alle
    75: Yo yhr knoweleche of hym, and to the blisful
    76: lif that is perdurable,/ amonesteth us
    76: By the prophete jeremie, that seith in thys
    77: Wyse:/ stondeth upon the weyes, and seeth
    77: And axeth of olde pathes (that is to seyn, of olde
    78: Eth in that wey, and ye shal fynde refresshynge
    79: For youre soules, etc

    And it's modern translation (21st century):
    "Our sweet Lord God of Heaven, Who will destroy no man, but would have all come unto the knowledge of Him and to the blessed life that is everlasting, admonishes us by the Prophet Jeremiah, who says thus: "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths (that is to say, the old wisdom) where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls," etc."

    A language changing is more than just a slang word or cliche here or there. And therefore God in His wisdom gives folks a passion for translating the Scriptures so that a new generation can know the wonderful words of Life given to us by God.
  4. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

    Sep 25, 2006
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    Wow, Rbell! What a great example. :thumbsup: