A Bible version is inspired word of God

A Translation of the Bible is the inspired Word of God.


1. Without Divine inspiration, the Bible would be the most unreliable book known.

2. Emperor Diocletian ordered wholesale destruction of the Bible (A.D. 302). But

Constantine then commanded large numbers of Scriptures be made available to the churches of his day (A.D. 330). God has preserved some 5500 small to large “fragments” of the New Testament until today.

3. The Bible is “the living oracles” entrusted to man (Acts 7:38).

Discussion: Continue reading

#bible-translation, #bible-versions, #majority-text

Good overview of Bible translation

Kevin Pendergrass has a good article, posted yesterday, on his blog. He provides some background history and a bit of information about how Bible translation is done.

And any and every English translation of the Scriptures is a translation and cannot, by the very nature of the translation process … communicate word-for-word every time what the original source text says. A strict word-for-word translation is a unicorn. It does not and cannot exist. Every translation by its very nature contains an “interpretation of meaning.” Meaning must absolutely be interpreted—and mediated to the reader—at every turn.

In an appendix he evaluates some Bible versions, most of them older English versions.

The article is well worth your time.

Continue reading

#bible, #bible-translation, #bible-versions

Bible translators find perfect word for love

This excerpt from a news item on online Bible versions, about translating the word “love” into the Cameroon language of Hdi.

Often there are divinely inspired moments of discovery when translating the Bible into a language, particularly for the first time. Such was the case with Hdi, revolving around the verb “dvu,” meaning in essence to love unconditionally. For centuries, this word was known to Hdi speakers, but rarely used. Instead “dva” was used far more often. For example, a man would dva his wife, but his love was conditional based on how useful and faithful she was.

When local Cameroon community leaders, who were part of the Hdi translation committee, realized that dvu best expressed God’s love for them and the kind of love he wanted people to mirror in their lives, it opened their eyes to an entirely new way of experiencing their faith.

“God had encoded the story of His unconditional love right into their language. Properly translated and understood, God’s Word has incredible power to change lives and communities. It can transform the way people relate to God and others, including women, providing an entirely new world view,” added Creson.

Continue reading


Re: Bible readers prefer ‘word-for-word’ translations

LifeWay ResearchRon, thanks for the heads-up. I’d be very skeptical of this research project until more information is available. The LifeWay report (link here) only says the research was demographically representative, but did not state of which population. One suspects it may represent the Baptists more than others, since LifeWay is an official Southern Baptist entity.

I found it ironic that though a majority wanted language simpler to understand, such a choice goes against the word-for-word preference. Nor does the research, it was noted, reflect people’s buying habits.

Two flaws in the language of the research: One, the language is slanted; there is no such thing as a word-for-word translation. Only one example is needed to show this to be true: See my note, “No version is literal: mouth to mouth.” This is a mirage, set up to disparage other types of versions.

Two, as most writers in this area recognize, it’s not an either-or option; translations lie on a continuum (example). The research apparently approached it as if it were a exclusive choice. If people really wanted word-for-word, the interlinears would be selling like hotcakes. (The research did point out that people didn’t know what translation philosophy was followed by the versions they owned.) Long have I encouraged people to use a variety of versions along the continuum to take advantage of what each one offers.

Evidence of tendentiousness in the research comes from no one less than the director of LifeWay Research in a quote on the HBCS blog (Holman-Broadman is the publishing arm of LifeWay):

“The Bible includes concepts that may be uncomfortable or may require more study to fully understand,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “This example shows more Bible readers prefer to see the literal translation rather than glossing over such concepts in a translation.” (italics mine)

See his prejudice showing through? If it’s not a literal translation, then it has to be glossing over concepts. To “gloss over” is a phrasal verb which means to “[t]ry to minimise the importance of something,” or as another dictionary defines it, “to give a false or deceptively good appearance to: to gloss over flaws in the woodwork.” He thinks if it’s not literal, then it’s giving you, minimally, something less than it should. Such a bias is shocking to read, coming especially as it does from their research director, and one suspects the research will now be used to tout their HBCS, which, by the way, is, as far as I have seen, quite a good version.

(Note: I recognize that the translators or publishers of the HBCS don’t position it as a word-for-word literal version; they invented their own phrase, “Optimal Equivalence,” to describe their approach, which neatly sidesteps the hot buttons in translation. They claim, ingeniously, to have the best of both worlds: “This process assures maximum transfer of both words and thoughts contained in the original.” If that’s true, then they have made the discovery of the ages in biblical translation.)

In other words, the research, by its very language, is slanted. Who wouldn’t prefer “total accuracy,” as if that were possible?

I’m no prophet, but I suspect LifeWay will use this to say, you prefer word-for-word but want simple to understand, so buy the HBCS which gives you both.

#bible-poll, #bible-translation, #bible-versions, #lifeway-research

Daily Nudge: Good translation — and news

While the others are still thinking about some Bible version’s bad renderings from the original languages, let’s look on the bright side and have you name an especially happy translation that you think expresses in good terms a phrase from the original Hebrew or Greek. Remember, we’re talking phrases here, and not whole versions of the Bible.

No version bashing, please, unless it’s the … never mind.

Since we tend to notice the bad more the the good, and since versions generally do a good job of translating the Word of God, this may be more of a challenge. Or may not.

New in our part of the world is that the national women’s retreat starts tomorrow at the Mt. of Olives Christian Camp on the other side of Sao Paulo. Many are going early to arrive this afternoon or early evening, including our ladies. A hired van will leave with some of our sisters from Taubate, make a stop here in SJCampos to pick up more, include two from our family, then make one more stop in Sao Paulo to scoop up at least one more, before heading out to camp. The two-day event goes through Saturday and brings women from all over the country in one of the largest gatherings of the distaff side of the Brazilian brotherhood.

So what’s your news?

#bible-translation, #bible-versions, #english-bible, #nudge

Daily Nudge: Worst phrase — and news

What is, in your opinion, the single worst phrase in a given version translated from the original languages? The one phrase you think was bungled worse than any other. We’re not asking for a failing grade for any version as a whole, but only a phrase.

Most versions do a good job of translation, so this is no sly attempt to say that you can’t really know the will of God without reading the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, as someone affirmed recently in an email group.

This question comes to mind after I found one last night. I’m researching it now and hope to post an article later today on my blog. It’s not the worst I’ve found, but it’s not pretty.

Got news about a happening in the kingdom?

If you’re a Fellow, answer in a separate post. If you’re a guest, click on the Reply button at upper right next to the title of this post. Would love to hear from all.

#bible-translation, #english-bible, #nudge

Expanded Bible NT online

Thomas Nelson’s Expanded Bible – New Testament was put online last year, but I must have missed it. You can download it in PDF format by clicking HERE (see update below).

It’s similar to the old Amplified Bible, which I like. But it uses, according to the preface, a modified text of the New Century Version. You may find some helpful resources in this one.

Somebody correct me here, but as I recall, the NCV was originally done by our brethren, and branched off after sold to a denominational publisher. Can’t remember if it’s a ERV or SEB branch.

Anyway, the strength of this will be the inline options. Rather than putting it in footnotes, most of it appears in brackets. Maybe a new format for a lazier generation? Dunno.

UPDATE (2010/July/30): The page for the version has changed, and the PDF has been removed and replaced with a nifty, but less navegable popup. If you’d like the PDF file, comment below with your email, and I’ll send it to you.

#bible-translation, #bible-versions, #expanded-bible