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Brian Whalen | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 29 2009 9:09 PM

Inspired by recent comments in the Eugene Peterson thread, I feel compelled to ask the following. 

I wonder spedifically how one can make the claim that the KJV is the inspired word, but other English versions, based on older manuscripts are not.  If one really wants to be precise, can any translation be an exact word for word reperesentation, knowing what we lose in the process of translation with regard to meaning and tense?  This KJVO argument baffles me, if you're going to say it is the PRECISE word of God, which many of them will say, how can one escape the key that it is a translation, and is based on manuscripts that are about a millennia newer that what we know of now?

Brian Whalen

http://www.mcnazarene.com

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2009 9:33 PM

BrianWhalen:

Inspired by recent comments in the Eugene Peterson thread, I feel compelled to ask the following. 

I wonder spedifically how one can make the claim that the KJV is the inspired word, but other English versions, based on older manuscripts are not.  If one really wants to be precise, can any translation be an exact word for word reperesentation, knowing what we lose in the process of translation with regard to meaning and tense?  This KJVO argument baffles me, if you're going to say it is the PRECISE word of God, which many of them will say, how can one escape the key that it is a translation, and is based on manuscripts that are about a millennia newer that what we know of now?

You are precisely correct.  There is an old maxim that goes, "The translator is a traitor" which simply indicates that no translation is a 1 : 1 conversion of any document.  In the process nuances are changed and, in some cases, even the meaning can become distorted.  That is why inspiration cannot lie in the words but must reside in the message.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 29 2009 11:37 PM

BrianWhalen:

Inspired by recent comments in the Eugene Peterson thread, I feel compelled to ask the following. 

I wonder spedifically how one can make the claim that the KJV is the inspired word, but other English versions, based on older manuscripts are not.  If one really wants to be precise, can any translation be an exact word for word reperesentation, knowing what we lose in the process of translation with regard to meaning and tense?  This KJVO argument baffles me, if you're going to say it is the PRECISE word of God, which many of them will say, how can one escape the key that it is a translation, and is based on manuscripts that are about a millennia newer that what we know of now?

Hope you're not mistakenly referring to my posts.
I said "KJV is my preference"  Geneva Bible second,
I also implied translating the KJV into another language will not result in a Bible that is superior to direct translations. But don't go tossing the Septuagint just yet. It was a prototype for the first Reverse Interlinear.Big Smile

It has been well noted by many that even with all the differences between the Alexandrian MS and the Byzantine MS there is no significant difference doctrinally that would cost a man his soul because he trusted the "wrong side." All important doctrines are present in both. We are not redeemed by the Bible version we read any more than the denomination we join.

ALL the manuscripts say Jesus was born of a virgin, died for our sins and rose from the dead.  ALL the manuscripts say there is only one name under heaven that saves. You can't dodge judgement because your translation didn't tell you. And I don't think using a paraphrase gets you off the hook either.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

It is all about  believing God enough to diligently seek Him. God has gone to extraordinary measures to reach out to mankind.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 12:06 AM

MatthewCJones:

BrianWhalen:

Inspired by recent comments in the Eugene Peterson thread, I feel compelled to ask the following. 

I wonder spedifically how one can make the claim that the KJV is the inspired word, but other English versions, based on older manuscripts are not.  If one really wants to be precise, can any translation be an exact word for word reperesentation, knowing what we lose in the process of translation with regard to meaning and tense?  This KJVO argument baffles me, if you're going to say it is the PRECISE word of God, which many of them will say, how can one escape the key that it is a translation, and is based on manuscripts that are about a millennia newer that what we know of now?

 

Hope you're not mistakenly referring to my posts.
I said "KJV is my preference"  Geneva Bible second,
I also implied translating the KJV into another language will not result in a Bible that is superior to direct translations. But don't go tossing the Septuagint just yet. It was a prototype for the first Reverse Interlinear.Big Smile

It has been well noted by many that even with all the differences between the Alexandrian MS and the Byzantine MS there is no significant difference doctrinally that would cost a man his soul because he trusted the "wrong side." All important doctrines are present in both. We are not redeemed by the Bible version we read any more than the denomination we join.

ALL the manuscripts say Jesus was born of a virgin, died for our sins and rose from the dead.  ALL the manuscripts say there is only one name under heaven that saves. You can't dodge judgement because your translation didn't tell you. And I don't think using a paraphrase gets you off the hook either.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

It is all about  believing God enough to diligently seek Him. God has gone to extraordinary measures to reach out to mankind.

Perhaps the fact that the LXX was used for the first reverse interlinear is a good reason of itself to toss it.  Guilt by association. Smile  (Apparently you are not aware of my opposition to interlinears).

Are you implying that our relationship with God is dependent upon our thinking the right thoughts?  I thought it was dependent on faith, i.e., trust in God and his Son.  I do not doubt that the Byz Maj text or Stephanus or NA27 or even the New World Translation is adequate to convey God's message to us.  That does not, however, make them correct.  Again, the inspiration is in the message, not in the words. I note that you highlighted Heb 11.6 above.  This is a prime example of what I mean.  Of course we must believe that God is; otherwise how would it be possible to have faith in something which is non-extant?  Note, however, the rest of it:  We must have trust that God rewards those who seek him.  It does not reference those who intellectually accept the Nicene Creed or who assent to the Five Points of Calvinism or some other standard.  It is a trust in the beneficence of God toward us.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 12:52 AM

George Somsel:
Again, the inspiration is in the message, not in the words. I note that you highlighted Heb 11.6 above.  This is a prime example of what I mean.  Of course we must believe that God is; otherwise how would it be possible to have faith in something which is non-extant?  Note, however, the rest of it:  We must have trust that God rewards those who seek him.  It does not reference those who intellectually accept the Nicene Creed or who assent to the Five Points of Calvinism or some other standard.  It is a trust in the beneficence of God toward us.

I agree, just am afraid that approach can lead to the too individualistic understanding of the message. There is an objective Truth. We need a measuring rod for our faith and understanding of the message of God. I know you did not say it, I just am afraid some people going this direction get off the ground revealed in the Bible. I know we would have to start discussion if the BIble is the Word of God or we have the Word of God in the Bible. I believe the first but I don't want to start that discussion. I know it touches also the subject of "killing letter" and "the Spirit gives life". Just few loose thoughts. God bless you.

Bohuslav

Posts 2745
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 1:06 AM

Just one more things. IMHO we can have a strong believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible and still understand we do not have authographs in our hands. I believe it is our task to get as close as possible to them however. That is why I like the approach of modern NA27 and so on, because it is best possible effort to reconstruct the original text. Understanding it is not perfect is not IMHO in conflict with believeing the originals were verbally and plenary inspired. It would start to be really interesting if those scholers who claim Matthew had been written in Hebrew originally and we would find the text. What would be our approach to this fact. It is just hypothetical thing however (at least so far.)

Bohuslav

Posts 1416
Wes Saad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 8:59 AM

George Somsel:
Are you implying that our relationship with God is dependent upon our thinking the right thoughts?  I thought it was dependent on faith, i.e., trust in God and his Son.

I'd say our relationship grows from informed faith. The more you know about God, the more you have right thinking and right thoughts, the closer your relationship will be. Faith has an object, and if we know very little about that object how deep will our faith really be?

George Somsel:
Again, the inspiration is in the message, not in the words.

But the words are often very important. This is why Greek and Hebrew study can be very helpful. I am often amazed at the help I find by intense study of the original languages, the things that come out that don't in English. And the farther a translation moves from the words of Scripture, the more meaning is lost. The message is tied to the words. This is my problem with a paraphrase Bible and, to some degree, some dynamic equivalent versions (though generally the NIV is good), they sacrifice the words of Scripture for what they see as the message of Scripture but often what comes through is the interpretation of the person doing the translation. This is a risk for every translation. But the less you feel tied to the words of the text, the greater the risk.

As for Hebrews 11:6, consider the context. The book of Hebrews is deeply theological. Full of thoughts and ideas and knowledge and teaching about God and his dealing with man. If the author of Hebrews did not want people to have an informed faith, most of the letter would not exist. Consider also the examples of faith that precede and procede. All of the examples require things we must know about God and his dealings with humanity and how humans have responded to him. There is a lot of theological necessity behind strong faith, as demonstrated by Hebrews 11.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 9:24 AM

Chris Roberts:
And the farther a translation moves from the words of Scripture, the more meaning is lost.

Of course !  Everyone should read the OT in Hebrew and Aramaic and the NT in Greek.  That is the only way to stay close to the words of scripture.  To cite the old maxim, "The translator is a traitor."  The moment you translate it you have changed it.  Sometimes I find that the "less literal" translations truly capture more of the meaning of the text than the formal equivalent translations.  Meaning is the important item. 

29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”

The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ac 8:29-31). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

BTW:  Peterson is not a paraphrase but a translation.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1416
Wes Saad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 9:33 AM

George Somsel:
BTW:  Peterson is not a paraphrase but a translation.

Peterson translated into a paraphrase. He worked with the Greek but his method of bringing the language into English was to paraphrase it. He did not try to form a literal or a dynamic equivalent translation, he tried to form a paraphrase translation. The fact that he worked from the Greek does not make the final result any less of a paraphrase.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 9:38 AM

It all makes one wonder how Martin Luther reformed Christianity in German and Latin...

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 67
Brian Whalen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 9:39 AM

MatthewCJones,

I was not referring to you specifically, but your post reminded me of others out there that have this KJVO belief.  You are indeed so correct that a specific translation or denomination isn't the ticket for Heaven.  Differences occur in the nonessentials, Bart Ehrman ignores that point.

 

 

Brian Whalen

http://www.mcnazarene.com

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 9:47 AM

Chris Roberts:

George Somsel:
BTW:  Peterson is not a paraphrase but a translation.

Peterson translated into a paraphrase. He worked with the Greek but his method of bringing the language into English was to paraphrase it. He did not try to form a literal or a dynamic equivalent translation, he tried to form a paraphrase translation. The fact that he worked from the Greek does not make the final result any less of a paraphrase.

Au contraire, Pierre.  Whether one works from the original or from a previously translated text is precisely the distinction between a translation and a paraphrase.  "Paraphrase" has become a pejorative term among Fundamentalists which they apply to any translation which doesn't suit them.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 10:00 AM

Paul Golder:

 

It all makes one wonder how Martin Luther reformed Christianity in German and Latin...

 

That was possible because the inspiration is in the message and not in the words -- not even in German !  Big Smile  [I'll take Czech under advisement, however.]

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1416
Wes Saad | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 10:04 AM

George Somsel:
Whether one works from the original or from a previously translated text is precisely the distinction between a translation and a paraphrase.

The writers of my Hermeneutics book apparently agree with you, putting all translations under either formal or dynamic equivalent and calling a paraphrase those that have no basis in the original language. But I will still disagree. When a translation moves as far from the original text as Peterson's and others do, what you have is neither formal equivalence nor dynamic equivalence. It is a paraphrase. It might be a better paraphrase than The Living Bible since it at least came from the original languages, but the idea remains the same: taking the words of Scripture and putting them into the translator's own words and expression. When the translator feels free to add his own words, expressions, and idioms while changing or removing the words, expressions, and idioms of the original, you have a paraphrase. 

Posts 2745
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 10:54 AM

George Somsel:
That was possible because the inspiration is in the message and not in the words -- not even in German !  Big Smile  [I'll take Czech under advisement, however.]

Thanks George Smile

By the way, I think Unitas Fratrum Czech Brethren did an excellent job with, not only translating the Bible of Kralitz (Bible Kralicka) in 1579, but in publishing so called Six-Volume-Bible, Bible with many translation notes to help understand the text and the message. It was very unique work for its time. Similar thing is published right now under the name of Czech Study Translation, which is, on one hand as literal as possible, but on the other hand having tens of thousands of translation notes explaining to people who do not understand the original languages all the issues translators had to deal with. Similar to NET Bible. I like that approach since it gives to people, who do not speak the original language, the assurance that if there are some idiomatic expressions or variations of the text, they will learn about that in the footnotes. I think that is a good help to get as close as possible to the message, not just to the words of the Bible.

When I read the Message, I read it as a paraphrase, without taking it as a real Bible text. If it gives me any good idea, I go and study the real Bible text further. Very often I leave the "Message idea" disappointed, few times I foud it interesting and fresh to get better feeling of the [collapse]original message, that I got from the original text, literal translations and commentaries. I don't know if that is a typical attitude of pastors, but that is how I approach the paraphrase Bibles, as an unique, interesting commentary, full of good, but also many not so good ideas. That is just my understanding.

 

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Bohuslav

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 11:22 AM

Chris,

I agree with your conclusion but wonder if even some of the dynamic equivalence based translations stray into paraphrase on occasion. When we study antiquities to determine what the colloquialisms were at a certain point in time & culture, we are making an assumption we have all the evidence at hand to make that judgement.  Some languages evolve very rapidly. The first Japanese Bible translation is not 150 years old yet and is much less understood by the modern Japanese reader than the KJV is by English readers. (Many Buddhist scripts in Japanese are so obsolete even the monks who memorize them have no clue what they mean.)

So being so sure of ourselves we may be headed for a derailment. I say this not to destroy anyone's desire to dig deeper and chase after a better understanding of God's Word but to reiterate Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

Especially the part about diligently seeking.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 11:49 AM

Chris Roberts:

George Somsel:
Whether one works from the original or from a previously translated text is precisely the distinction between a translation and a paraphrase.

The writers of my Hermeneutics book apparently agree with you, putting all translations under either formal or dynamic equivalent and calling a paraphrase those that have no basis in the original language. But I will still disagree. When a translation moves as far from the original text as Peterson's and others do, what you have is neither formal equivalence nor dynamic equivalence. It is a paraphrase. It might be a better paraphrase than The Living Bible since it at least came from the original languages, but the idea remains the same: taking the words of Scripture and putting them into the translator's own words and expression. When the translator feels free to add his own words, expressions, and idioms while changing or removing the words, expressions, and idioms of the original, you have a paraphrase. 

That's all right.  You have a right to be wrong.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 11:51 AM

For example: When Erasmus worked so hard delivering his Greek text I truly believe he was diligently seeking to do right. We know now he did not achieve perfection. I would say the same about Luther. Another example of one who was diligently seeking. Both men served Christianity well and both men were flawed in some respects. The real problem I have is when any apparently self-promoting man plasters his name all over "his" ministry, "his" Bible College and his "translation"! This type of fellow has been derailed from the teaching of Christ, in Matthew 5:16

KJV   "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

The Message reads much more horn-tootie.  vv14-16 say

 "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. "

Kinda sounds like a Rainbow Bible in pride week. I believe I will learn a lot more sitting at the feet of Erasmus & Luther than reading this. 

Jesus says our works should bring glory to God. The Message says WE are the center of attention. Quite a diversion from Jesus' message would't you say?

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 12:15 PM

Bohuslav Wojnar:
When I read the Message, I read it as a paraphrase, without taking it as a real Bible text. If it gives me any good idea, I go and study the real Bible text further. Very often I leave the "Message idea" disappointed, few times I foud it interesting and fresh to get better feeling of the [collapse]original message, that I got from the original text, literal translations and commentaries. I don't know if that is a typical attitude of pastors, but that is how I approach the paraphrase Bibles, as an unique, interesting commentary, full of good, but also many not so good ideas. That is just my understanding.

I can't emphasize enough that The Message is not a paraphrase.  It's time people stop using that term to pan any translation they don't happen to like.  If they don't like it, that's fine -- don't use it.  Personally, I don't like any translation.  I think we should all be like the Muslims and learn the original languages.  I take my Biblia Sacra Utriusque Testamenti with me to church to follow along in the readings rather than use the pew bible.  Even such a translation as the New Revised Standard Version which is actually a pretty good translation has things about it that drive me up the wall.  While they are correct that ἀδελφός doesn't simply refer to males, it really irritates me to have "brothers and sisters" continually shoved in my face.  It's political correctness run amok.  Then there is Re 13.10 and 14.12 where they render "Here is a call for the endurance ..." when there is not a call for anything.  What it says is ῟Ωδέ ἐστιν ἡ ὑπομονὴ ... "Here is the ὑπομονὴ ..."  The problem is that they don't realize that ὑπομονὴ can mean anything other than "endurance."  In these passages it refers to what has preceded, viz., in Re 13.10 the certainty that God has a decree regarding one's destiny which will be brought to pass and in 14.12 referring back to the previous verse that the doom of those forces which oppose God.  It is virtually equivalent to "confession" or even "creed." No translation is without fault -- not even if I were to make one.

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george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 30 2009 12:20 PM

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

It is all about  believing God enough to diligently seek Him. God has gone to extraordinary measures to reach out to mankind.

 George Somsel wrote the following post at Today 2:06 AM:
Perhaps the fact that the LXX was used for the first reverse interlinear is a good reason of itself to toss it.  Guilt by association. Smile  (Apparently you are not aware of my opposition to interlinears).
Are you implying that our relationship with God is dependent upon our thinking the right thoughts?  I thought it was dependent on faith, i.e., trust in God and his Son.  I do not doubt that the Byz Maj text or Stephanus or NA27 or even the New World Translation is adequate to convey God's message to us.  That does not, however, make them correct.  Again, the inspiration is in the message, not in the words. I note that you highlighted Heb 11.6 above.  This is a prime example of what I mean.  Of course we must believe that God is; otherwise how would it be possible to have faith in something which is non-extant?  Note, however, the rest of it:  We must have trust that God rewards those who seek him.  It does not reference those who intellectually accept the Nicene Creed or who assent to the Five Points of Calvinism or some other standard.  It is a trust in the beneficence of God toward us.

I am quite aware of your disdain for reverse Interlinears. That is precisely why I keep bringing them up with a smile.Big Smile

Am I implying that our relationship with God is dependent upon our thinking the right thoughts? Yep. Believing God is correct about us being sinners, hopelessly lost without His grace and trusting Him to be true to His promise. That is "right" thinking. It takes faith and humility to bridge that.

As for the rest of your statement, I thought that was what I said. Sorry if it sounded opposite.

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