This looks great! The New Testament: A 21st Century Translation - please get it, and please vote

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Posts 18867
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Dec 13 2019 2:13 PM

The New Testament: A 21st Century Translation, translated by Michael Straus

"My goal in this translation has been to bring some fresh turns of phrase to the Gospels, histories, letters, and revelatory texts already familiar to English readers and listeners.... I have generally aimed for fluid, contemporary language--avoiding the overly literal, freely adopting the colloquial, and taking grammatical license where the writer employed imagery not subject to standard linguistic limitations. My goal is a user-friendly translation at once enjoyable, novelistic, and at times poetic."

Here are a couple of samples:

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UserVoice link to vote on:

https://suggestbooks.uservoice.com/forums/308269-book-suggestions/suggestions/39254938-the-new-testament-a-21st-century-translation

Posts 2230
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 13 2019 3:01 PM

"In terror the tomb guards trembled, toppling over as dead."

At first glance this has the air of an over-alliterated high school creative writing class.  

On the other hand, I am a fan of the NLT which I don't trust, but still like.  This would be a great read for 2020 and worth a vote.

Posts 10884
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 13 2019 3:25 PM

Well, he seems to reach back to Agnes Smith's translation of the Old Syriac. Not one to be too shy.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1080
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 13 2019 4:12 PM

"I'm a member of Paul's denomination"?  That's a bit loose for my taste.  Perhaps more significantly, the way it goes from "member of Paul's denomination" to "with Apollos" to "siding with Cephas" to "belong to Jesus" obscures the parallelism of the Greek (and replaces "Christ" with "Jesus" for no obvious reason).

Ἐγὼ μέν εἰμι Παύλου, Ἐγὼ δὲ Ἀπολλῶ, Ἐγὼ δὲ Κηφᾶ, Ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ.

Posts 5315
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 13 2019 4:55 PM

EastTN:

"I'm a member of Paul's denomination"?  That's a bit loose for my taste.  Perhaps more significantly, the way it goes from "member of Paul's denomination" to "with Apollos" to "siding with Cephas" to "belong to Jesus" obscures the parallelism of the Greek (and replaces "Christ" with "Jesus" for no obvious reason).

Ἐγὼ μέν εἰμι Παύλου, Ἐγὼ δὲ Ἀπολλῶ, Ἐγὼ δὲ Κηφᾶ, Ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ.

That is the danger of single person translations. There is no one to question when the translation becomes a poetically loose.  A translation like this I would not recommend using study purposes as your main translation but it can have value in devotional reading provided it is remembered what the translation is and is not and you refer back to the a major translation or preferably the original languages for where the translation is questionable.  You can then actually benefit from this exercise.  And sometimes a translation like this can just actually stir your heart in a way that a translation vetted by a committee does not because it is like a conversation between two people about God and his Word. 

It all comes down to how you use a translation like this as to whether it is a danger or a thing of beauty.

Posts 18867
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 13 2019 5:01 PM

DIsciple II:
That is the danger of single person translations. There is no one to question when the translation becomes a poetically loose.  A translation like this I would not recommend using study purposes as your main translation...

I would never use a translation like this for my main translation or for study purposes. Ditto for The Message, but I still find it useful. And the same could be said for Robert Alter's translations, though so far I don't have any of those, as they're not available in Logos.

Posts 10884
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 13 2019 5:24 PM

EastTN:
That's a bit loose for my taste. 

Well, you DO have to admit having to check the greek text every few words .... quite educational. So, people were baptized in Jesus' name, not the Trinity? (Just smiling).

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1080
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 14 2019 3:27 PM

Denise:

EastTN:
That's a bit loose for my taste. 

Well, you DO have to admit having to check the greek text every few words .... quite educational.

Yes, checking the Greek is very valuable.  I don't, however, think that forcing readers to double check your translation by going back to the original language every verse or two is a good justification for a "looser" translation approach.  It undermines the purpose of having a translation in the first place.  And no, I'm not a "word for word translation at all cost" person.  I do find it troubling, though, that the translator retrojected the term (and concept) "denomination" into the text, presumably to make it more "relevant" to our current church situation.  I also find it troubling that the translator chose to replace Paul's chosen term of "Christ" with his own preferred choice of "Jesus."

Denise:

So, people were baptized in Jesus' name, not the Trinity? (Just smiling).

Not sure what your point is here.  Surely your understanding of early church baptismal practice is built off of more than just this one verse?

In any event, I have no problem with anyone using this translation for devotional purposes, or simply to enjoy its literary value.  But as others have suggested, I would not recommend anyone using it is their primary study Bible.

Posts 10884
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 14 2019 5:02 PM

EastTN:
Not sure what your point is here.  Surely your understanding of early church baptismal practice is built off of more than just this one verse?

Was referring to the translator's personal addition. Which apparently worked off of the Acts writer.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1080
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 14 2019 7:09 PM

Denise:

EastTN:
Not sure what your point is here.  Surely your understanding of early church baptismal practice is built off of more than just this one verse?

Was referring to the translator's personal addition. Which apparently worked off of the Acts writer.

Thanks for the explanation.

Posts 5315
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 14 2019 8:32 PM

EastTN:
  I don't, however, think that forcing readers to double check your translation by going back to the original language every verse or two is a good justification for a "looser" translation approach.

I don't believe that is ever the intent of the author of these translations to force you to go back to the original languages every verse or two. I believe they are encouraging you to think beyond the words with which we are familiar, the words that are engrained within our memories. For me I see this as a useful tool in overall process of studying a passage, it helps me to identify words and phrases that are not as black and white as I might take them to be, but actually have shades of colour that I might have otherwise miss because of my pre-conceived ideas and familiarity with tried and tested translations.  But even with tried and tested translation we should be going back to the original languages as part of our studies so I don't see this as a reason to completely reject these sort of translations if we keep them in proper perspective of what they are and are not.

Posts 10884
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 15 2019 6:06 AM

DIsciple II:
I don't believe that is ever the intent of the author of these translations to force you to go back to the original languages every verse or two.

I think Rosie's idea was good (an additional perspective) ... EastTN was commenting on retro-theology ('denominations').  My comment on OL was that quite frequently these type translations do highlight a better choice of words ... unless you see it's the translator's hobby-horse. This type (expansive translation) from the 1800s I really liked.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1080
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 15 2019 6:08 PM

DIsciple II:

EastTN:
  I don't, however, think that forcing readers to double check your translation by going back to the original language every verse or two is a good justification for a "looser" translation approach.

I don't believe that is ever the intent of the author of these translations to force you to go back to the original languages every verse or two.

I get that.  I was responding to Denise's comment.

Denise:

EastTN:
That's a bit loose for my taste. 

Well, you DO have to admit having to check the greek text every few words .... quite educational.

DIsciple II:

I believe they are encouraging you to think beyond the words with which we are familiar, the words that are engrained within our memories. For me I see this as a useful tool in overall process of studying a passage, it helps me to identify words and phrases that are not as black and white as I might take them to be, but actually have shades of colour that I might have otherwise miss because of my pre-conceived ideas and familiarity with tried and tested translations. 

I completely agree with you about the value of finding fresh ways to look at Scripture, especially since languages change over time.  Translations that were once current and fresh quickly become dated.  What struck me as "loose" was interjecting concepts that simply aren't in the Greek text (i.e., "denomination"), ignoring Paul's word choices (i.e., replacing "Christ" with "Jesus") and completely obscuring the striking parallelism of the Greek text.

I don't think any of that was necessary to modernize the language or to find words and phrases that more clearly convey to our generation the meaning of what Paul originally wrote.

DIsciple II:

...even with tried and tested translation we should be going back to the original languages as part of our studies ...

Amen to that!

DIsciple II:

... so I don't see this as a reason to completely reject these sort of translations if we keep them in proper perspective of what they are and are not.

I never meant to suggest that you, or anyone else, should completely reject it.  I was just trying to offer my perspective on it, based on the sample texts that were offered in this thread.  I apologize if it seemed that I was trying to discourage anyone from using this version.  I'm firmly convinced that the absolute best version for anyone is the version that they're most likely to actually pick up and read.

Posts 1080
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 15 2019 6:11 PM

Denise:

This type (expansive translation) from the 1800s I really liked.

Many people do. Personally, I'd rather read a less expansive translation with a commentary in hand - but that's just me.

Posts 5315
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 16 2019 2:53 AM

All good, I think we were both approaching a similar position from different starting points. Apologies for my mis-understandings of what you were saying.

EastTN:

DIsciple II:

EastTN:
  I don't, however, think that forcing readers to double check your translation by going back to the original language every verse or two is a good justification for a "looser" translation approach.

I don't believe that is ever the intent of the author of these translations to force you to go back to the original languages every verse or two.

I get that.  I was responding to Denise's comment.

Denise:

EastTN:
That's a bit loose for my taste. 

Well, you DO have to admit having to check the greek text every few words .... quite educational.

DIsciple II:

I believe they are encouraging you to think beyond the words with which we are familiar, the words that are engrained within our memories. For me I see this as a useful tool in overall process of studying a passage, it helps me to identify words and phrases that are not as black and white as I might take them to be, but actually have shades of colour that I might have otherwise miss because of my pre-conceived ideas and familiarity with tried and tested translations. 

I completely agree with you about the value of finding fresh ways to look at Scripture, especially since languages change over time.  Translations that were once current and fresh quickly become dated.  What struck me as "loose" was interjecting concepts that simply aren't in the Greek text (i.e., "denomination"), ignoring Paul's word choices (i.e., replacing "Christ" with "Jesus") and completely obscuring the striking parallelism of the Greek text.

I don't think any of that was necessary to modernize the language or to find words and phrases that more clearly convey to our generation the meaning of what Paul originally wrote.

DIsciple II:

...even with tried and tested translation we should be going back to the original languages as part of our studies ...

Amen to that!

DIsciple II:

... so I don't see this as a reason to completely reject these sort of translations if we keep them in proper perspective of what they are and are not.

I never meant to suggest that you, or anyone else, should completely reject it.  I was just trying to offer my perspective on it, based on the sample texts that were offered in this thread.  I apologize if it seemed that I was trying to discourage anyone from using this version.  I'm firmly convinced that the absolute best version for anyone is the version that they're most likely to actually pick up and read.

Posts 5315
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 16 2019 2:53 AM

All good, I think we were both approaching a similar position from different starting points. Apologies for my mis-understandings of what you were saying.

EastTN:

DIsciple II:

EastTN:
  I don't, however, think that forcing readers to double check your translation by going back to the original language every verse or two is a good justification for a "looser" translation approach.

I don't believe that is ever the intent of the author of these translations to force you to go back to the original languages every verse or two.

I get that.  I was responding to Denise's comment.

Denise:

EastTN:
That's a bit loose for my taste. 

Well, you DO have to admit having to check the greek text every few words .... quite educational.

DIsciple II:

I believe they are encouraging you to think beyond the words with which we are familiar, the words that are engrained within our memories. For me I see this as a useful tool in overall process of studying a passage, it helps me to identify words and phrases that are not as black and white as I might take them to be, but actually have shades of colour that I might have otherwise miss because of my pre-conceived ideas and familiarity with tried and tested translations. 

I completely agree with you about the value of finding fresh ways to look at Scripture, especially since languages change over time.  Translations that were once current and fresh quickly become dated.  What struck me as "loose" was interjecting concepts that simply aren't in the Greek text (i.e., "denomination"), ignoring Paul's word choices (i.e., replacing "Christ" with "Jesus") and completely obscuring the striking parallelism of the Greek text.

I don't think any of that was necessary to modernize the language or to find words and phrases that more clearly convey to our generation the meaning of what Paul originally wrote.

DIsciple II:

...even with tried and tested translation we should be going back to the original languages as part of our studies ...

Amen to that!

DIsciple II:

... so I don't see this as a reason to completely reject these sort of translations if we keep them in proper perspective of what they are and are not.

I never meant to suggest that you, or anyone else, should completely reject it.  I was just trying to offer my perspective on it, based on the sample texts that were offered in this thread.  I apologize if it seemed that I was trying to discourage anyone from using this version.  I'm firmly convinced that the absolute best version for anyone is the version that they're most likely to actually pick up and read.

Posts 18867
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 16 2019 7:10 PM

EastTN:
I'm firmly convinced that the absolute best version for anyone is the version that they're most likely to actually pick up and read.

I will reiterate that I, as well as most of us, use multiple translations. I'm not intending to "pick up and read" this one any more than I have ever read all the way through Eugene Peterson's The Message. And I never would anticipate that this would be "the absolute best version for anyone." But it's just yet another in the collection of Bibles I would like to have in my Logos library, for occasionally going and looking at how another rendition of a given passage looks in some other wording. Whether that's to clarify the meaning during study (probably not in this case) or just to find a more poetically pleasing way of saying something for printing in a greeting card, or whatever. The more versions the better, in my opinion.

Posts 1080
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 18 2019 7:24 PM

Rosie Perera:

EastTN:
I'm firmly convinced that the absolute best version for anyone is the version that they're most likely to actually pick up and read.

I will reiterate that I, as well as most of us, use multiple translations. I'm not intending to "pick up and read" this one any more than I have ever read all the way through Eugene Peterson's The Message. And I never would anticipate that this would be "the absolute best version for anyone." But it's just yet another in the collection of Bibles I would like to have in my Logos library, for occasionally going and looking at how another rendition of a given passage looks in some other wording. Whether that's to clarify the meaning during study (probably not in this case) or just to find a more poetically pleasing way of saying something for printing in a greeting card, or whatever. The more versions the better, in my opinion.

And I have absolutely no problem with that.  All I meant by my comment "I'm firmly convinced that the absolute best version for anyone is the version that they're most likely to actually pick up and read" is that I'm never going to tell someone else not to use a particular version - I'd rather they read some version than fuss over whether they're using the "right" one.

For myself, I do think there's a limit to how many Bible versions I can use in any meaningful way.  Right now my "English Bibles" collection is showing 112 resources.  Granted, a number of those are translations of individual books of the Bible ... but still - I'd be kidding myself if I said that I really relied on more than maybe a dozen of them.  That's why I've started passing on any new versions that I don't think will help "clarify the meaning during study." 

But again, your mileage may vary, and if this version is useful to you, then I say "amen."

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