Accurately convey the original words that was inspired by God. (2 Tim. 3:16) give the Bible readers what God said by way of his human authors, not what a translator thinks God meant in its place. Continue Reading →
The languages of the Bible as we know are Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek of thousands of years in the past. Their culture is far removed from ours and is varied because the 66 books of the Bible were written throughout the 1,600-year period, as well as being written to different audiences, in different times, situations, and under different covenants.
Idioms are a fixed expression with nonliteral meaning: a fixed distinctive expression whose meaning cannot be deduced from the combined meanings of its actual words. A drop in the bucket is a very small part of something big or whole. Idioms can present unique problems to translators because there is the difficult decision of whether they should be rendered literally or be interpreted for the reader.
Which makes for the best and most accurate Bible translation: the literal word-for-word (form) or the dynamic equivalent interpretive (meaning)?
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 →