UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, all major English Bible translations were based on the premise that the goal of Bible translation is to take the reader as close as possible to the words that the biblical authors actually wrote.
“Functional” equivalence as a philosophy assumes that it is possible to create a translation with the exact same meaning as the OL text, without matching the grammatical forms found in the original or using words that match the meanings of the OL words, as established or recommended by lexical research. Of course, it also assumes that a translation done as a formal equivalent differs from a functional equivalent to such an extent as to be contrasted with it. In other words, two such translations will belong to these two separate categories, and there is a dichotomy between them.
I am not going to assume but I am going to make some educated inferences about the Lockman Foundation and the NASB. First, let me preface it with I respect the NASB and every translator that has worked on it from the beginning.
(monogenes): Although the English words are found only 6 times in the New Testament, the Greek word appears 9 times, and often in the Septuagint.
It is not necessary for everyone to know translation theory to the point of a scholarly level, nor is it even necessary for pastors and teachers to know everything about translation theory. However, it is necessary for pastors, teachers, and churchgoers around the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century to know something about translation theory, for two reasons.
William D. Mounce is a scholar of New Testament Greek. He is the son of noted scholar Robert H. Mounce. He is the President of BiblicalTraining, a non-profit organization offering educational resources for discipleship in the local church. Bill is the founder and President of BiblicalTraining.org, serves on the Committee for Bible Translation (which is responsible for the NIV translation of the Bible), he was the chief translator for the English Standard Version (ESV) and has written the best-selling biblical Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek, and many other Greek resources.
Exactly why are we making other translations beyond the King James Version of 1611? The King James Version has been the primary translation of the Christian community for 400+ years (1611-2021). There is no doubt that this Bible alone has affected the lives of hundreds of millions and has influenced the principles of Bible translation for the past four centuries. Should the KJV still be considered a trustworthy translation? What makes up a trustworthy translation? What translations are the most trustworthy?
Word-for-Word Translation Philosophy (literal) translation seeks to render the original language words and style into a corresponding English word and style. Again, they seek to retain the original syntax and sentence structure, and the style of each writer as far as possible. Thought-for-Thought Translation Philosophy (dynamic equivalent) seeks to render the biblical meaning of the original language text as accurately as possible into an English informal (conversational) equivalent.
The debate as to where one should be in the spectrum of literal versus dynamic equivalent, i.e., their translation philosophy has been going on since the first translation of the Hebrew (Aramaic) into Greek, i.e., the Septuagint (280-150 B.C.E.).
This is a short introduction to the basics of Bible translation, with later chapters readdressing some areas herein, in greater detail. John Wycliffe (1330?-84), was a Catholic priest and renowned Oxford theologian. He is credited with producing the first complete English Bible. Of course, this was a handwritten edition and produced from the Latin Vulgate and... Continue Reading →