Manual Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation

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    Login to add to list. Those of us who advocate Formal Equivalence argue that the preference is justified for a number of reasons. A Formal Equivalence translation looks for English forms that make those connections clear. A Dynamic Equivalence often does not e. We can all agree that no FE translation is perfect in upholding this principle. But certainly the preference for this principle in translation is a good one. And here is where I would have a disagreement with Brunn. The discussion cannot be about how often these practices are used by any particular version.

    These practices are either acceptable or unacceptable. But this is a non sequitur. The question is whether the preference for literal renderings is justified. Even though I disagree with Brunn on this point, I heartily agree with his desire for less acrimony in this debate and for more unity among Christians. I believe there are godly people on both sides of this issue, and I do not want to make it a litmus test for Christian fellowship.

    Brothers ought to be able to disagree agreeably over translation theory. Brunn took the time to email a response to my brief remarks about his book. He has given me permission to share that email here. Read below.

    Book Review | Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation

    Reviews like yours help me identify points that I did not clarify very well in the book. I am certain you did not intentionally misrepresent me on this point. However, as I read your review, it is evident that the main issue you highlighted as an apparent disagreement between us is actually something we agree on.

    The ESV Bible Translation

    I did not intend to suggest that FE translators claim total or near total consistency. This perception is fueled by statements like the one below by Wayne Grudem:. That is where his statement totally unravels.

    A word on translation theory

    Careful examination shows that there are hundreds of similar instances where the ESV and NASB translators elected to use a dynamic interpretation even though a clearly understandable word-for-word rendering was available see: Brunn, One Bible Many Versions , ; ; ; ; ; ; This is a verifiable fact that many Christians find quite surprising when confronted with the real evidence. If any of the commenters on your blog have not read my book, I would encourage them to do so before passing judgment. My aim is to humbly and respectfully present objective evidence that has often been left out of the translation discussion.


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    • My hope is that this evidence will dispel some of the unnecessary arguing and disunity related to the issue of Bible translation. I think you have read Brunn fairly and found a legitimate problem with the book. But as you say, it is an excellent book in many ways. I appreciate your irenic tone and your appreciation for such a tone in this discussion.

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      It tends to be well-heated rather than well-lit. Hi Tim I was probably trying to be provocative. I think the arguments used to support FE translation often rest on misconceptions about language e.

      A word on translation theory | Denny Burk

      I believe the acrimony was started by the statements, magazine articles, radio programmes, conferences and books which all stated that the TNIV and NIV were not sufficiently reliable. I suggest that those who started the acrimony should seek some way to end it. In 1 Tim. Luther always used Mensch, a human being, as a translation of Adam and anthropos, and not Mann, a male human being.

      There is nothing wrong with calling the human race humankind. In addition, the CSG guidelines dmonstrate that those who drafted it were not, at first, aware of the gender inclusive meaning of adelphos, huios and pater. Also they seemed unaware that anthropos is not a masculine word but one of common gender. In addition, aner is used by Plato to refer to both male and female. Any Greek student should be aware of these facts.

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      There would be less acrimony if we could all be appreciative of the fact that the NIV has not been overly affected by guidelines produced without due regard for the Greek language. We need a Bible like this that maintains so many of the Reformation understandings of scripture, if sometimes in different language. I erred in writing huios theou instead of huioi theou. I miss the ability to place Greek font on this blog. Also adelphos, huios and pater should be understood as gender inclusive in the plural, and this is cited for all of these words in the lexicons from the 19th century on.