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Featured What Is "Literal"?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Rippon, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    One of my favorite books is The Challenge Of Bible Translation. It was published in 2003 and had articles from twenty authors. One of the chapters was written by Mark L. Strauss: Current Issues in the Gender-Language Debate.


    Dr. Strauss speaks to the issue in the header in a few places.

    "There is, in fact, no such thing as a 'literal translation' (i.e. single, uniform, corresponding exactly with the Hebrew), since every Hebrew word or phrase ....could be translated in a variety of ways. Every translation constantly involves interpretive decisions, all of which change the words (from Hebrew or Greek to English) and all of which change subtle nuances of meaning." (p.123)

    "While one may appropriately speak of a primary sense of a word, this is very different from a literal meaning. A primary sense refers to the most common meaning and may serve a pragmatic function in translation: Try this first to see if it works. To call a primary sense the literal meaning, however, assumes the logical fallacy that one sense of a lexeme governs or controls all others. For example, to say that 'flesh' is the literal meaning of the Greek term sarx is to assume that this sense somehow imposes its meaning on other senses of sarx ('life,' 'human being,' 'sinful nature,' etc.) This is a fallacy. It is context alone that determines which sense of a lexeme is intended within its sematic range." (pages 133,134)
     
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  2. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member
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    KJV-only advocates will claim that the KJV is a literal, word-for-word translation as justification for their KJV-only view.

    Troy Clark contended: “The entire King James Bible has been translated from the original books the whole way by formal (verbal) equivalency. That is, each word being translated into the new language must be the same, literal word being translated from. Word equals Word” (Perfect Bible, p. 39). Troy Clark claimed: “God wants every word equally preserved” (p. 45).

    R. B. Ouellette claimed that the KJV “is a literal translation of the correct and pure Greek and Hebrew texts” (A More Sure Word, p. 8).

    Gail Riplinger maintained that the KJV is a “word-for-word translation of the Hebrew and Greek Bibles” (In Awe of Thy Word, p. 270). Gail Riplinger also contended that the KJV has “literal, word-for-word renderings of the Greek text” and claimed that it shows “all words, even if they seem repetitive” (p. 288). Riplinger claimed that “the KJV is the only English formal equivalency translation of the pure Greek and Hebrew Bible” (p. 90).

    D. A. Waite maintained that the KJV “preserves all of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Words of the Bible by means of an accurate English translation of those Words” (Fundamental Deception of Bible Preservation, p. 75). Waite asserted: “In our King James Bible, we have God’s Words kept intact in English because of its accurate translation of the verbal plenary preserved Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Words that underlie it” (p. 130). Waite claimed that “the King James accurately translates every Hebrew and Greek Word into the English language” (Foes of the KJB Refuted, p. 39). Waite declared: “I believe that the King James Bible ‘preserves’ (with a small ‘p’) by means of an accurate translation into the English language, every word of the Hebrew and Greek texts that underlie it” (p. 98). Waite maintained that “the King James translators adopted a method of verbal equivalence; and formal equivalence, that is, the words from the Greek or Hebrew were rendered as closely as possible into the English. The same is true for the forms of those words” (Defending the KJB, p. 90).
     
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There are formal translation though, that minimize the gender issue for example!
     
  4. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Just because the subject of the chapter by Dr. Strauss had to do with gender issues my quotes of his has nothing to do with the topic you like to kick around for the fun of it --spouting repeated falsehoods.
     
  5. thomas15

    thomas15 Active Member

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    This is my once yearly visit to the ole forum to see what is new and exciting.
     
  6. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Why not make that a monthly visit
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Literally?
     
  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The CSB translates Acts 15:7:

    After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: “Brothers and sisters, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe.​

    I have a serious problem with gender neutral translation such as this.

    Is not the word! “Brethren” used in the above verse gender specific?

    To me it is important because the early church did not have female leadership as apostles and elders.

    Am I making an issue from what is a non-issue?

    Should believers not be a bit concerned?

    KJV only folks at least won’t be lead into error by a translation that fudges on gender specific roles.

    For my own use, I prefer the NASB,
     
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  9. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Interesting. The NIV, NLT and NRSV all have brothers in that passage.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    It absolutely is. 'Andres adelphoi', is specifically male. 'Adelphoi on its own is not 'gender-specific' so I would have no objection to a translation reading 'brothers and sisters' where the italics show that the last two words are not actually in the text. However, English has a perfectly good word, 'Brethren,' which is not 'gender-specific. The Plymouth Brethren are not all male!

    However, Andres comes from the word Aner which means a 'male' and Andres adelphoi is correctly translated in the NKJV as 'men and brethren.'
     
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  11. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    IMO it is absolutely an issue. First of all, because it is a wrong translation; secondly, it is caving into a feminist lobby which in reality has no interest in the Bible save to undermine it; and thirdly, the context is Peter speaking to the 'Apostles and elders.' By making him address them as 'brothers and sisters,' the CSB is supporting female elders.

    Oh well! My free copy of the CSB will have to gather dust until I get around to throwing it in the bin.
     
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  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    So the Csb missed the mark on this passage?
     
  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    That is my main concedrn with some of the latest translations such as Csb and Niv, as they at times seem to go into adding feminine material into their renderings, such as making it seem like women can teach and even be apostles!
     
  14. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    Spoken like a man who has a lot in common with Bible burners --most weren't even believers.

    Tell you what every translation has passages we would take issue with -- but to come off the way you have is disgraceful.

    William Tyndale would have loved the CSB for the common people in their language. The trouble was --he was burned at the stake. You wouldn't burn the translators of the CSB (hopefully), but would be glad to have it literally trashed.

    If you can't recognize its merits you need a lot of growing to do spiritually. There just might be a young man or woman who would be delighted to have the CSB. You regard it as unworthy --they would consider it a treasure. The Lord's thoughts on the matter just may counter your own.
     
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  15. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Gideons International, of which I am a member, distribute 95 million Bibles and Testaments each year, so I do not need to rake lessons from you on giving Bibles away, thanks all the same. What I would not want anyone to whom I give a Bible to think is that Apostles and elders in NT times were women, because they weren't. I want to give away the truth, not error.
     
  16. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    I am not a member of Gideons International. I am a private individual who has given away dozens of Bibles to Koreans and Chinese. I don't need to be lectured from you on the subject.

    Your attitude seems to go against the principles of the very organization you are proud to be a part of.
    You make leaps like this all the time. Interview the translators of the CSB and see if they are guilty of what you are charging them with. You need to reevaluate your appreciation of the Scriptures. You seem to be condemning translations when GI would condemn your beliefs --and as I said, Wm. Tyndale himself would repudiate your stance. You would have been one of his foes with your mentality.
     
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  17. McCree79

    McCree79 Well-Known Member
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    This was recently posted by Mounce. While I dont agree 100% of the time with Mounce and probably not even 100% of what is said in this post--- he does however bring up good points to further the discussion in a positive manner. What should a translation accomplish? Mounce is very focused on reader reception.

    "The Myth of “Literal” Translations (Luke 8:55)

    Note: You can watch this blog on YouTube.

    If you have been following my YouTube channel, you will know that I am focusing on dispelling the myth that there is such a thing as a “literal” translation. Even interlinears can’t, technically, be “literal.”

    As is always the case, when you are thinking about something, you tend to see it more, and I am seeing verses every day that illustrate my point.

    One of the arguments that is made for “literal” translations is that they reflect the underlying Greek and Hebrew structure. As I have been saying, there are two issues with this.

    1. If you know enough Greek to benefit from seeing the underlying structure, then you should be reading Greek. If you don’t know the original languages well enough, then I suspect there is more danger than advantage in thinking you see the structure.

    2. I suspect there is not a single sentence in the Bible that actually does what the marketing claims. Take for example Luke 8:55. “And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat” (ESV). Other than being poor English (we don’t start sentences with a conjunction, although Greek does), is that literal? Does this reflect Greek structure. Not entirely. Where does it diverge from the Greek? If you don’t know Greek, you don’t know where. So you are in a difficult situation in which you think you are sticking close to Greek structure, but you aren’t, and you don’t know where.

    The NASB at least italicizes words that are added (which, by the way, is a perfectly legitimate and necessary thing to do when going from Greek to English). “And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.” Greek does not always supply an object, but English needs one here. (In Greek, “something” would be the implied subject of δοθῆναι, or perhaps more accurately, the accusative of reference for the infinitive.)

    My point is that if you are relying on an English translation to see the underlying Greek structure, you probably don’t know enough Greek to gain understanding from structural clues, and you probably don’t know where the translation moves away from the Greek structure in order to communicate in English.

    I was making this point at a debate a few months ago, and one of the teachers on the panel argued that he liked “literal” translations since he gave him the opportunity to teach students in the classroom what the text was saying. Do you see the fallacy in this? Is the primary purpose of translations to give Greek teachers a tool to use in the classroom, or is it the responsibility of the translation to communicate the gospel story so that people inside and outside of the church (not the classroom) can hear the gospel, follow Christ, and grow to be more like him?

    I’ll go with the later."



    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
     
  18. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    there does seem to be in some circles this desire to rewrite the scriptures in order to accommodate current/modern views on gender roles, and to get away from "masculine biased" Bible!
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I think Martin was just addressing certain times when they had made a poor choice in how to translate a passage, but not condemning entire work!
     
  20. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Active Member
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    Can you prove your statement to be true?

    Are there no places where the KJV uses a gender-neutral term or name where the original-language texts indicate a gender specific term or name?

    If I recall correctly, there are some places where the KJV uses the gender-neutral term "children" or "child" while the original-language texts have a word that indicates "sons" or "son."
     
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