DIGGING DEEP – 4 (Bible Translations) by Abidan Paul Shah
Recap from last week:
- Know the difference between Form and Meaning (From Dave Brunn’s book One Bible, Many Versions). “Form” includes letters, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc and “meaning” includes concepts or thoughts from the forms
- “For genuine translation to take place, 2 things must happen: The meaning must remain the same, and the form must change (at least to some degree). If either of these two things does not happen, we have not translated.” (Brunn)
- “Full meaning of most words does not transfer directly between two languages.” (Brunn)
- Usually, there is only a partial overlap of meanings between corresponding words between two languages.
- A Greek word has a range of meanings and the most appropriate has to be picked in translation.
- Many times translations are not as accurate or consistent as they should’ve been.
Criteria for Adjustment in Bible Translation (From Dave Brunn’s book One Bible, Many Versions):
- Required by the grammar of the target language
- In Hebrew the standard word order is Verb-Subject-Object-Modifier.
וַתָּ֣קָם חַנָּ֔ה אַחֲרֵ֛י אָכְלָ֥ה בְשִׁלֹ֖ה וְאַחֲרֵ֣י שָׁתֹ֑ה
(Arose – Hannah – after – eating – in Shiloh – and after – drinking – I Samuel 1:9)
- In English the standard word order is Subject-Verb-Object-Modifier.
“So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh.”
- Matthew 1:6 Ἰεσσαὶ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Δαυὶδ τὸν βασιλέα. Δαυὶδ δὲ ⸆ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σολομῶνα ἐκ τῆς τοῦ Οὐρίου,
Actual Translation – “and Jesse begot the David the king. David the king begot the Solomon by the of the Uriah.”
“Wife” has to be added and “the” has to be omitted twice.
- Required to ensure correct meaning
- Romans 6 1 Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν; ⸀ἐπιμένωμεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσῃ; 2 μὴ γένοιτο….
- Actual translation – Romans 6 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 May it not become… (Let it not become)
- Check KJV, NKJV, NIV
- Required to ensure clarity
- The translators added, “who had been” in Matthew 1:6 to make sure that Bathsheba was not married to Uriah at the time Solomon was born.
- Check NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV
- Ephesians 1:13
- Required to ensure naturalness
- “Bathsheba” added by NASB
- “And” omitted by NASB
- “Begat” should be replaced with much better contemporary word… (“Fathered” implies that David didn’t really have a relationship with Solomon)