PDA

View Full Version : Updating the Bible



Aprender
03-03-2011, 02:03 PM
I still don't completely understand the need for the New American Bible Revised Edition. =/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...de?sc=fb&cc=fp
Reply

Login/Register to hide ads. Scroll down for more posts
SalamChristian
03-03-2011, 03:31 PM
Looks like this is being produced for young kids who don't have a high reading level and are prone to immaturity?
Reply

PouringRain
03-03-2011, 04:15 PM
They are always trying to update the Bible into more understandable and relevant language. One goal of translating the Bible has always been to make it available to the common man.

IMO one of the absolute worst modern day Bibles is "The Message."
Reply

Aprender
03-04-2011, 12:42 AM
Originally Posted by PouringRain
They are always trying to update the Bible into more understandable and relevant language. One goal of translating the Bible has always been to make it available to the common man.

IMO one of the absolute worst modern day Bibles is "The Message."
What's so bad about "The Message"? I don't think I've heard of that one before. And don't they already have Childrens Bibles? I'm certain some of the kids in my family have one. I think they even have illustrations.
Reply

Welcome, Guest!
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up
PouringRain
03-04-2011, 01:25 AM
Originally Posted by Aprender
What's so bad about "The Message"? I don't think I've heard of that one before.
This speaks about The Message: http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Message-MSG-Bible/

To give you an example of the difference in style of how The Message is written, look at The Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.
I used this example, because The Lord's Prayer is one that most people are familiar with. I dunno.... some people may like it, but personally I'd be fine with The Message having never been published. :D
Reply

Aprender
03-04-2011, 01:38 AM
I have to agree with you on that one. I do not like "The Message". I don't usually do this but I don't like it based on the four paragraphs that I read from the link you sent ...and that version of the Lords Prayer is O_O to me. I felt like I was at a high school pep rally while reading the quote you put there...to each his own I guess...
Reply

PouringRain
03-04-2011, 02:47 AM
Originally Posted by Aprender
I felt like I was at a high school pep rally while reading the quote you put there...to each his own I guess...
I know what you mean. That "Yes. Yes. Yes." at the end feels as though it needs exclamation marks. "Yes! Yes! Yes!" :giggling:
Reply

Sol Invictus
03-04-2011, 03:21 AM
the message isn't really a translation but more of a paraphrase i believe.
Reply

Grace Seeker
03-08-2011, 04:08 PM
There are multiple reasons that one might see a new English translation of the Bible being produced:
(I'm assuming that the reasons for new translations in languages in which the Bible is not already available is self-explanatory.)

1) Language continues to evolve. If one could ever produce a perfect English translation, it would quickly become imperfect with the passage of time.

2) There really is no such thing as a perfect translation, not just of the Bible, but of even the most simple sentence used in everyday communication between 2 people who speak different languages. Some people desire a literal equivalents in translations, but few terms actually have literal equivalents in other languages.

For instance, most English speakers are familiar with the Spanish phrase "Mi casa es su casa." But should it be translated as "My house is your house." or "My home is your home."? There is no right or wrong answer to that question without knowing the mind of the original speaker. And let us say that one was an English speaker wanting to welcome a native Spanish speaker to one's home by saying, "My house is your home." You could use "casa" for both nouns, but what is the appropriate personal pronoun "tu" or "su"? Both spanish pronouns mean "your" in English, but "Mi casa es su casa." and "Mi casa es tu casa." are going to convey different degrees of welcoming to your guest.

3) Many suggest that one should give up on the goal of a literal word-for-word translation and that the goal should be that of dynamic equivalence (i.e., translating thoughts and phrases, not individual words). But the presence of figurative language makes this goal just as elusive. For instance how would you translate "Go fly a kite!" into a language that doesn't have a similar type of phrase? Plays on words and puns are actually quite common in the Bible, but they don't translate well into English.

4) Once one determines where one is going to come down on literal versus dynamic equivalence, one still has to select the exact text one is going to translate from. The Bible was never written as a single whole document. Multiple copies of the many various books that together comprise the Bible were made over many years. Given that we don't have the original of any Biblical book against which to compare the existing copies, any difference between the two (or three or more) texts becomes a case of "He said, She said" between the various texts. Just as parents and judges are called on to make such determinations, so the field of textual criticism helps us in this endeavor. And that field is always advancing its science so that we believe we are better able to make those calls today than in the past, leading some people to desire to create a new translation.

5) Textual criticism is just one of the sciences employed in Biblical studies. Literary criticism and better knowledge of ancient languages has also made their marks in helping scholars to better interpret the text we have today. And again, this knowledge leads some people to desire to create a new translation.

6) But by far I think the biggest reasons that one sees an increasing number of new translations today is the recognition that there is no single monolithic English-speaking culture for which one is translating the Bible.

One understands that because of the language skill level of children, that perhaps chldren's Bibles need to be more than just adult Bibles with pictures, they actually need the syntax of the sentences written with a child in mind. But children are not the only unique group in the English speaking world. Clarence Jordan realized that the workers on the cotton and peanut farms of southern Georgia really spoke a different sort of English than that in which the Bible they had access to was written, and decided to create something called the Cotton Patch Bible that re-cast the Bible (or at least the New Testament) into their langugae and culture. That might be at the extreme end of the spectrum, but many new translations are indeed targeting micro-cultures and subsets within the English-speaking world. Perhaps the most successful of those was Kenneth Taylor's "Living Bible", a paraphrase he originally produced for his 5th grade son. Seems that many adults with high school education and better really do read at the 5th-6th grade level, for I've never held a Bible study in which someone didn't bring that with them as their Bible of choice. The "Good News" Bible and "The Message" are more modern attempts at basically the same thing -- and they have the same inherent strengths (easy to read) and weaknesses (the translator makes determination of meaning of complex passages for the reader).

7) Not all new productions are actually new translations. Many "new" Bibles that are being produced today aren't new at all. They are just existing standard translations in a new package. That new packaging might include fancy maps, imbedded concordances, a Bible dictionary, and most popluar nowadays, a running commentary from some particular theological persuasion or a famous writer/preacher. I'm a little cynical of these, wondering how many of them are being published out of audience demand and how many out of observation that there is money to be made? But I admit to having my NT with explanatory notes by John Wesley. And my Lutheran pastor friend has something similar with notes from Martin Luther; so I suppose I shouldn't be so critical of today's preachers and their audiences.


I suppose that there are other reasons that I haven't thought of, but these seem to me to be the most commonly cited reasons.

As for which is best?
Well, readers, just as do translators, have to make decisions with regard to literal versus dynamic equivalence. And then the rest is more about find that which one is most comfortable with. And I think in many ways that becomes a matter of taste. For some, that means the New American Bible Revised edition is going to be just the Bible they have always waited for. While I've grown so accustomed to the NIV, that even though I think the NRSV is probably a better translation, I just try to be aware of the NIV's weaknesses and continue to use it for 90% of my Bible reading.
Reply

Grace Seeker
03-08-2011, 04:12 PM
My apologies for the above posting as one massive paragraph like it did. I forgot that this particular computer has problems with internet explorer and produces posts like the above. I'll try to get on another computer later and fix it.
Reply

truthseeker63
03-08-2011, 04:45 PM
The Bib;e always seems to get updated.
Reply

Grace Seeker
03-08-2011, 11:58 PM
Originally Posted by truthseeker63
The Bib;e always seems to get updated.

Yes. And I've explained some of the reasons for that happening above. Any ancient literature and any text having to be translated from another language or culture is going to go through the same process. The only real surprise is how some are so ill-informed that take the presence of a new translation to mean more than just that someone thought they could do better than the work of previously existing translations. It means this, and nothing more than this should be read into it.
Reply

Aprender
03-09-2011, 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by
For instance, most English speakers are familiar with the Spanish phrase "Mi casa es su casa." But should it be translated as "My house is your house." or "My home is your home."? There is no right or wrong answer to that question without knowing the mind of the original speaker. And let us say that one was an English speaker wanting to welcome a native Spanish speaker to one's home by saying, "My house is your home." You could use "casa" for both nouns, but what is the appropriate personal pronoun "tu" or "su"? Both spanish pronouns mean "your" in English, but "Mi casa es su casa." and "Mi casa es tu casa." are going to convey different degrees of welcoming to your guest.

Spanish is also my native language, although I don't speak it much anymore living in America, so this analogy hit right at home for me (no pun intended). Although, it depends on who the person is in the case that I'd use tu or su. If I know them well, then I can use the informal tu. If not then I'm going to be formal and su it is!

And hogar is the word I'm more familiar with to use to mean home. Casa is more for house but that's only if Spanish grammar was drilled into ya at school and you're right that both can be used interchangeably. Using hogar for my house is your home usually gets you called a nerd not to mention it'll sound weird. ;D
Reply

Grace Seeker
03-09-2011, 01:46 AM
Originally Posted by Aprender
And hogar is the word I'm more familiar with to use to mean home. Casa is more for house but that's only if Spanish grammar was drilled into ya at school and you're right that both can be used interchangeably. Using hogar for my house is your home usually gets you called a nerd not to mention it'll sound weird. ;D
Claro.

Aprender, "Eres tú el fuego de mi hogar." :D
Reply

Woodrow
03-09-2011, 04:33 AM
Translations of any written work need to be constantly updated. the only way I know to keep the proper context of anything is to keep it in it's original language and for the reader to learn the language.

Languages change almost daily. english is a very fast changing language. Looking back in books I read as a child in the 1940s I often see changes in the meanings of words. Not very dramatic changes as that is still less than 100 years ago, but enough changes where you can see changes. Some words, did have very drastic changes when read in today's books and what they meant then for example when I was a kid "gay" meant happy, it has a very different connotation in today's world. I can think of several other words but todays meanings are somewhat vulgar, although not very long back they were "good" words.

But, English is a very fast changing language and things that were written about 200 years ago really can not be fully understood and need to be translated into today's English. Things written in English 400 years ago are almost in a different language and very difficult for some people to read. Shakespeares plays are a good example. In their time the were considered to be quite risque and very near "naughty" which they were if you understand the slang of that era.
Reply

Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up

IslamicBoard

Experience a richer experience on our mobile app!