Lexham English Bible: What do you think?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 11 2010 1:02 PM

Pat Flanakin:
With all due respect, I find it disconcerting that those translating (and you are translating when going from one language to another) the Bible from the original within the Lexham group are not required to adhere to a particular theology.

I respectfully disagree. Translating into a theology is the task of the exegete rather than the translator. To imply that the issues must be worked out in the translation process implies that the Bible is not naturally coherent theologically but must be made theologically coherent.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 11 2010 1:04 PM

Pat Flanakin:
I find it disconcerting that those translating ... the Bible from the original within the Lexham group are not required to adhere to a particular theology. 

Hi Pat,

I'm not sure I'm as concerned with their theology as I am that their translation is not influenced by any particular theology... Why? All Judeo-Christian theology points back to the Bible as its source. Yet they differ. So I don't want any of them influencing the translation I'm using, because I want the chance to think through the original author's intent.

To do as you suggest seems to prejudge what the text of Bible SHOULD say, rather than let it speak for itself.

Blessings to you!

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 11 2010 1:48 PM

Pat Flanakin:
One area that is a major concern for translation is how 1 John is a cornerstone of the Lordship Salvation approach to verification of salvation.  The way this epistle is translated does lean one way or another.

Would you explain this point, please, and show in the LEB where it may be leaning one way or the other. I have no idea what the "Lordship Salvation" approach is, or how one's opinion on it would influence a translation. While you're at it, are there other translations that seem to sway the reader either toward or away from this theology?

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 12 2010 5:34 PM

Rick Brannan:
If you have further questions about the LEB, please respond to this thread as well.

I have a question concerning the translator notes that are missing. E.g 1 John 5:2

when I compare the translator notes for the NET I read

However, when I look at the LEB there is no note. It is missing "showing the work"

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 12 2010 5:53 PM

Blair Laird:
concerning the translator notes that are missing

One of us is missing something. Aren't the translator notes of the NET and the LEB independent?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 12 2010 6:03 PM

MJ. Smith:

Blair Laird:
concerning the translator notes that are missing

One of us is missing something. Aren't the translator notes of the NET and the LEB independent?

Yes they are independent. The Leb claims the status of "showing your work" (translator notes). This is one of the main reason that it is set apart from any other english bible. Yet the Net has translator notes that Leb does not have. Both bibles in this sense should have the same translating notes because they ran into the same translating problem. So my question is why the Leb did not show their work in this instance ? The Net showed their translation work....

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 12 2010 6:04 PM

Blair Laird:
So my question is why the Leb did not show their work in this instance ? The Net showed their translation work....

Understood. Thanks.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 12 2010 6:25 PM

Typically, Leb translator notes should be just about the same thing as along with the notes of supplied words etc..

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2010 7:48 PM

MJ. Smith:

Blair Laird:
So my question is why the Leb did not show their work in this instance ? The Net showed their translation work....

Understood. Thanks.

Hi folks.

The LEB "shows its work" in its relationship with the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. You can track the translation back to the Greek either through the interlinear (which has various levels of glossing) or directly in the LEB via the reverse interlinear. It is in this tight relationship with the original language text, both from the interlinear and reverse interlinear, that the notion of 'transparency' comes from.

Hope it helps.

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2010 8:06 PM

Hi Rick,

Not sure I follow how this relates to the question Blair & others are asking. As I understand it, here's the substance of their question...

When the Greek itself is ambiguous about whether a clause refers to what precedes or what follows (e.g., 1 John 5:2)? How then does the LEB show its rationale for WHICH relationship was ASSUMED to be correct?

Which assumption apparently makes a theological difference for 1 John 5:2. For LEB to silently assume one of the two choices without a rationale appears to call its transparency into question.

So... if the Greek itself is ambiguous, how does any linkage to the English count as transparency without a note to explain what assumptions were made about the Greek?

 

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2010 9:00 PM

Rick Brannan:

MJ. Smith:

Blair Laird:
So my question is why the Leb did not show their work in this instance ? The Net showed their translation work....

Understood. Thanks.

Hi folks.

The LEB "shows its work" in its relationship with the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. You can track the translation back to the Greek either through the interlinear (which has various levels of glossing) or directly in the LEB via the reverse interlinear. It is in this tight relationship with the original language text, both from the interlinear and reverse interlinear, that the notion of 'transparency' comes from.

Hope it helps.

Let me give you two examples of translators "showing their work ". Do you see what my point is ? The Leb's claim to fame is they show their work. But compared to the NET they dont show their work.

 

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2010 9:05 PM

BillS:

Hi Rick,

Not sure I follow how this relates to the question Blair & others are asking. As I understand it, here's the substance of their question...

When the Greek itself is ambiguous about whether a clause refers to what precedes or what follows (e.g., 1 John 5:2)? How then does the LEB show its rationale for WHICH relationship was ASSUMED to be correct?

Which assumption apparently makes a theological difference for 1 John 5:2. For LEB to silently assume one of the two choices without a rationale appears to call its transparency into question.

So... if the Greek itself is ambiguous, how does any linkage to the English count as transparency without a note to explain what assumptions were made about the Greek?

 

 

Yes that is what I am trying to get at.

 

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2010 9:06 PM

Hi Bill

BillS:

When the Greek itself is ambiguous about whether a clause refers to what precedes or what follows (e.g., 1 John 5:2)? How then does the LEB show its rationale for WHICH relationship was ASSUMED to be correct?

Which assumption apparently makes a theological difference for 1 John 5:2. For LEB to silently assume one of the two choices without a rationale appears to call its transparency into question.

So... if the Greek itself is ambiguous, how does any linkage to the English count as transparency without a note to explain what assumptions were made about the Greek?

One of the primary goals for the LEB is to have a tight relationship with the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts. We can't possibly anticipate all of the questions every user will ever have as they examine a text and then insert a footnote with an answer. Instead, we want to make it easy for folks who have questions about a passage to dig and find answers.

In the case you mention (1Jn 5.2), whether τουτω is anaphoric (pointing back) or cataphoric (pointing ahead), it will likely be translated "this". Instead of answering the anaphoric/cataphoric question in the text, the LEB allows one to get straight into the lexical resources, to run word study guides, then to hop to grammars, commentaries or other resources (like, particularly for this example involving anaphoric and cataphoric reference, the Lexham Syntactic Greek NT: Expansions and Annotations or perhaps the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament).

We want to make this sort of information for words and groups of words relatively easy to obtain. Using the LEB with the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear NT and sympathetic highlighting lets one follow the trail back to the Greek and see the 'mileposts' of lexical value glosses and a more context-sensitive translation gloss. Working directly with the LEB and its reverse interlinear provides a similar function, though it is direct and without intermediate stops. Bringing the other "Lexham" NT resources into the mix (Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, Lexham Clausal Outlines of the GNT) also provide good supplementary data. I can't guarantee that all Lexham resources will answer each question the same, but they (and their associated glossaries and other supplementary resources) will give you information that will help in the journey.

The other primary ways in which 'transparency' can be seen in the LEB itself are in specifying which words are supplied, and which phrases are either idiomatic or just plain difficult to translate. Most translational notes provide some brief information for the reason behind supplying these words, or a very literal translation of the smoothed-over idioms.

When you're working through the whole text, you can only do a few things systematically. Our choices for those few things with the LEB involve documenting the reasons for many of the supplied words, providing very literal translation of all idioms/difficult phrases, and also in ensuring every English word can account for where it came from and why it is in the text.

Hope this helps

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2010 9:17 PM

Rick Brannan:

Hi Bill

BillS:

When the Greek itself is ambiguous about whether a clause refers to what precedes or what follows (e.g., 1 John 5:2)? How then does the LEB show its rationale for WHICH relationship was ASSUMED to be correct?

Which assumption apparently makes a theological difference for 1 John 5:2. For LEB to silently assume one of the two choices without a rationale appears to call its transparency into question.

So... if the Greek itself is ambiguous, how does any linkage to the English count as transparency without a note to explain what assumptions were made about the Greek?

One of the primary goals for the LEB is to have a tight relationship with the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts. We can't possibly anticipate all of the questions every user will ever have as they examine a text and then insert a footnote with an answer. Instead, we want to make it easy for folks who have questions about a passage to dig and find answers.

In the case you mention (1Jn 5.2), whether τουτω is anaphoric (pointing back) or cataphoric (pointing ahead), it will likely be translated "this". Instead of answering the anaphoric/cataphoric question in the text, the LEB allows one to get straight into the lexical resources, to run word study guides, then to hop to grammars, commentaries or other resources (like, particularly for this example involving anaphoric and cataphoric reference, the Lexham Syntactic Greek NT: Expansions and Annotations or perhaps the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament).

We want to make this sort of information for words and groups of words relatively easy to obtain. Using the LEB with the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear NT and sympathetic highlighting lets one follow the trail back to the Greek and see the 'mileposts' of lexical value glosses and a more context-sensitive translation gloss. Working directly with the LEB and its reverse interlinear provides a similar function, though it is direct and without intermediate stops. Bringing the other "Lexham" NT resources into the mix (Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, Lexham Clausal Outlines of the GNT) also provide good supplementary data. I can't guarantee that all Lexham resources will answer each question the same, but they (and their associated glossaries and other supplementary resources) will give you information that will help in the journey.

The other primary ways in which 'transparency' can be seen in the LEB itself are in specifying which words are supplied, and which phrases are either idiomatic or just plain difficult to translate. Most translational notes provide some brief information for the reason behind supplying these words, or a very literal translation of the smoothed-over idioms.

When you're working through the whole text, you can only do a few things systematically. Our choices for those few things with the LEB involve documenting the reasons for many of the supplied words, providing very literal translation of all idioms/difficult phrases, and also in ensuring every English word can account for where it came from and why it is in the text.

Hope this helps

I guess I just misunderstood the preface that you provided. I thought that what was going to be shown was all the problems translating over to English because of text variances or language barriers. Using power lookup the majority of what I see is supplied words. Most modern translations show supplied word. I guess what you are saying is the only difference between the Leb and any other English bible is the close relationship to the interlinear. Thanks for all the information and help you have provided.

 

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2010 6:50 PM

Rick Brannan:
Hope this helps

Hi RIck,

Thanks for the response... Smile

 

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 7:49 AM

Hi folks.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has responded to this thread. It is helpful for us to see how folks are using the LEB.

It's also helpful to learn how to talk about the LEB, so big thanks to Pat Flanakin, Blair Laird and BillS for their comments as well.

If you have any further thoughts about the LEB, please do feel free to list them on this thread.

Thanks!

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

Posts 255
Pat Flanakin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 8:05 AM

BillS:

Hi Rick,

Not sure I follow how this relates to the question Blair & others are asking. As I understand it, here's the substance of their question...

When the Greek itself is ambiguous about whether a clause refers to what precedes or what follows (e.g., 1 John 5:2)? How then does the LEB show its rationale for WHICH relationship was ASSUMED to be correct?

Which assumption apparently makes a theological difference for 1 John 5:2. For LEB to silently assume one of the two choices without a rationale appears to call its transparency into question.

So... if the Greek itself is ambiguous, how does any linkage to the English count as transparency without a note to explain what assumptions were made about the Greek?

 

 

This is exactly my point from my previous comments and questions.

When ambiguity appears to exist in the way a translation will go (and we can all agree that words have meaning and we strive to have it be a singular meaning; therefore the word chosen in translation is very important), then a translator's theology matters since exegesis involves first translation, then the application of hermeneutical principles.

We are all aware that many translators of some Bible versions were not believers, but excellent language scholars.  When this is the case, then when ambiguity arrives for that translator which has come to a proverbial fork in the road, instead of leaning on the understanding of the context of a passage, which may only be understood as a believer with a human spirit and the indwelling Holy Spirit, then there is a chance that translator may not get it right.

If the Lexham translators are not utilizing their theological background to translate the Bible from the original languages, and this is supposed to yield the most unbiased, proper translation ever; then logically a successful appeal should be made to pastors and believers to utilize this one, final, English translation and pastors then can eliminate the need to spend so much time in the Hebrew and Greek original languages in preparation for their sermons, but instead just utilize this English version and start from there.  I doubt this is the intention or the case.

I do not believe that Mr. Brannon is claiming this to be the end all of English translations; however, when you simply state that no theological understanding is utilized in translation, then you either are stating theology has nothing to do with communicating Truth of God's Word from one language to another, or that translation by unbelievers and believers alike can yield equivalent translations.

Posts 129
RGP | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 11:02 AM

Amen ! and I think the LEB puts it well " Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who [is] from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God, [things] which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in [words] taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual [things] to spiritual [people]. But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand [them], because they are spiritually discerned " 

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 11:05 AM

Hi Pat.

Thanks again for this response. I really do value the interaction.

However, I don't think I said that the LEB is the "end all of English translations" (I think I said that it would be a good one to consult after your primary reading translation). And I don't think I called the LEB "the most unbiased, proper translation ever". I said I thought it was "transparent", specifically in providing a direct link between the English text and the underlying Greek text.

I think the strong point of the LEB is its relationship with the original language. It is documented through both an interlinear and a reverse interlinear. We *want* people to go back to the original language and work through the text. We don't want folks to ignore the original languages, and I don't think I ever said or intimated separation from the original languages to be a goal of the LEB. We *want* the reader/user to be able to flow back and forth between original and translation so they can see where the words come from, and study the original languages for themselves to see if they agree or disagree.

The translator and editor of the NT is not hidden from the crowd. His name is W. Hall Harris III. He's worked on other Bible translation projects, taught Greek and exegesis to hundreds if not thousands of students over his career, written other books and done other academic work. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (http://etsjets.org) and the Society of Biblical Literature (http://www.sbl-site.org); among other academic/professional associations/societies.

He and his team (which is being finalized) have recently commenced work on the OT. The OT translation of the LEB will have a similarly tight relationship with the existing Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible, which was created by Dr. Christo van der Merwe and a team of editors that he assembled (see http://www.logos.com/lexham for that editorial team and further info on the Hebrew interlinear).

Thanks again.

Rick Brannan
Data Wrangler, Faithlife
My books in print

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William Dirr | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 19 2010 11:09 AM

Rick, I love all of the Lexham stuff and keep it coming. I am a seminary student and I can never fully describe how Logos in general and the Lexham material specifically, (HDNT, Discourse NT etc..) have impacted my studies. My only concern, or gripe, is that I want the GNT expansions and annotations finished  already Big Smile

As a case in point, some friends and I were discussing the Great Commision in Matt. I mentioned that the imperative is to make disciples. There was some confusion about the participle "go."  The LEB has a note that go "carries imperatival force from "make disciples." The moral of the story is that this stuff is extremely helpful!!!!!!

Thanks, and Godspeed

William Dirr 

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