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Style in Bible Translation

January 27th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

From the Baylyblog obituary of author John Updike:

In 1967, when no evangelically-acceptable translation had yet arisen against the KJV, Dad wrote a column in Eternity Magazine suggested that a new translation be undertaken with a first draft written not by biblical scholars, but by fine English writers based on the King James and American Standard versions. Only after this initial English draft was complete would Greek and Hebrew scholars take up a second draft where revisions for accuracy would be made. As first draft authors, Dad suggested Frank Gaebelein, Betty Elliott, W.H. Auden and John Updike.

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  1. author@ptgbook.org
    January 28th, 2009 at 14:58 | #1

    I wish someone would produce and publish a translation or a translation with a commentary that would really dig into the language considerations, showing what is possible and what is not possible, when translating controversial verses. Something like a “translator’s commentary of the Bible” if that expresses the concept.

    When translating from one language to another, there are always points of choice where the translators must choose between alternatives translations for a verse because there is no exact correspondence between languages. I wish someone would publish a work that lays this on the table for the reader, discussing what the translators are thinking or debating among themselves, so we can see for ourselves what assumptions and choices are being made.

    With current translations, you never know how the personal religious beliefs of the translators are affecting their choices.

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