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Old 03-30-2001, 11:06 AM   #11
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These disputes over which translation to use suggest another flaw in the concept of revelation: ambiguous language. It is illogical to issue a revelation in ambiguous language when unambiguous language could do; whether complete lack of ambiguity is possible can certainly be argued over, but one can always arrive at a good approximation, as many scientific and technical writings do.

And since the supposed creator of the Universe had created one that has important parts that can be clearly described in scientific/technical fashion, issuing revelations in such a fashion should certainly be possible. Especially for an omnipotent being.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 02:24 PM   #12
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I've heard complaints that the RSV translates parallel passages in the Gospels into the same english words despite differences in the Greek. Obviously if you wanted to properly compare the differences between two Gospel passages this would not be helpful.
Apparently the RV and the AV are better in this regard. I've also heard that the AV translates the metaphors and word-pictures well.
I'm only going by hearsay though.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 06:50 PM   #13
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I'm sure I'll get a lot of flames for this, but I am *not* a King James groupie. If I want a translation, I want a translation in language that is as easy to understand as possible. And that means a translation into straightforward 20th-century English with King Jamesisms avoided as much as possible.

And preferably an unbowdlerized one, one that has "eunuchs" in Matthew 19:12 instead of something like "those who cannot marry". I've seen the canonical Greek version, and it has _eunoukhoi_ and _eunoukh_-<verb endings> in that verse.
 
Old 03-31-2001, 03:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hezekiahjones:
Good lord yes! After all, it was edited by lesbians.</font>
ROTFLMAO.

Every time I think I've seen the limits of fundy weirdness, along comes something like this.

Michael
 
Old 03-31-2001, 03:49 PM   #15
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I don't know a lot of Bible translations, though I've heard the New English Bible (NEB) is one of the most accurate and scholarly versions (which should mean the fundies reject it, I suppose).

I usually read the Bible in Hebrew, without translation, and the NT in Greek, with a Nestle-Aland English translation. I've also got a Hebrew NT.

As for the fundies' claim that the KJV is the only version fit to be the translation of the Word of God, it has no factual basis at all. They say Jimmy's translators were experts on Hebrew, but I doubt the Hebrew expertise of someone who translates "lo tirtsah" as "thou shalt not kill" when the correct translation is "thou shalt not murder". Word-order too isn't translated properly, though it's not as important. See Joshua 10:13, "Sun, stand thou still in Gibeon" should be "Sun, in Gibeon stand (thou) still" (orig "shemesh b'giv'on dom").

As for the Greek NT, I find it peculiar that I have read it but it conveys no special feelings. In fact the Hebrew translation of the NT sounds to me much more impressive than the Greek original. Either I'm biased by my native tongue, or the Greek NT must be a translation of an original Hebrew/Aramaic (which is plausible, considering the location and the concepts of the NT).

Regards,
Shlomi Tal aka devnet, Infidelis inter Judaeos.
 
Old 03-31-2001, 03:52 PM   #16
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I just like the poetry of the King James version. "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me," that sort of thing. There's a sinew, a meatiness, and a cadence to Elizabethan-era language that I think nicely suit the presumed grandeur of the Bible. But my goal in reading the Bible would not primarily be poetry appreciation, so maybe I should start with a more straightforward and accurate translation.
 
Old 03-31-2001, 06:35 PM   #17
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The one I have at home is the New International Version, which I bought before I knew any better. In the preface it declares that "the translators were united in their commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's Word in written form". So immediately it must be suspected of bias. After all, if a Bible's preface were to declare that it was translated by people who regarded it as an irrelevant collection of ancient myths, Christians would suspect the translators of bias, and in all probability they would be right. So why should we trust the NIV translation?

Certainly the NIV does its best to "iron out" some problem passages. For example, in the second creation myth in Genesis 2, the tenses are rearranged to make the order in which things were created less contradictory to that in Genesis 1 (eg "God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field..."). It retains the rather dubious translation of "almah" as "virgin" in Isaiah 7:14, without even a footnote admitting that this is a controversial point. And it airbrushes Jesus' apparent order to make yourself a eunuch (Matt 19:12) as "others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven". (If you want to interpret it figuratively, fair enough, but give us the option, don't just translate it figuratively). It does make me wonder what other awkward passages are being swept under the carpet in this version.

Plus, hidden away in the preface is "You will be pleased to know that a portion of the purchase price of your new NIV Bible has been provided to the International Bible Society to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world!" No, actually, I wasn't very pleased.

I guess a good translation should (1) come from translators with no particular agenda, (2) strive to be as accurate as possible to the original text, (3) include alternative translations where appropriate and (4) be written in accessible and modern English wherever possible. CAn anyone suggest a version which satisfies all these criteria?

P.S. http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/ is hilarious. Thanks hezekiahjones
 
Old 04-01-2001, 05:14 AM   #18
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The one I have at home is the New International Version, which I
bought before I knew any better. In the preface it declares that "the
translators were united in their commitment to the authority and
infallibility of the Bible as God's Word in written form". So
immediately it must be suspected of bias. After all, if a Bible's
preface were to declare that it was translated by people who regarded
it as an irrelevant collection of ancient myths, Christians would
suspect the translators of bias, and in all probability they would be
right. So why should we trust the NIV translation?

Excellent! Obviously the book is admittedly suspect and the editor's
have exonerated themselves by admitting a lie. My favorite author is
Flavius Josephus because he teaches us how to make myths sound true.

Myself, I have a collection of about six bibles and my favorite is
the 1611 King James Version because it is fun to read (as
is William Whiston's version of Works by Josephus. It is fun
to compare the interpretations and the easy readers are fundamentally
correct (meaning they so not have a clue).

Since I am surrounded by Catholics I decided to buy a Catholic bible
so I could show them I read a bible that is approved by their church.
In this book, The American Bible, The Catholic Bible, Personal
Study Edition
(it does not have an ISBN), the footnote on page
203 (Acts 12,25 They returned to Jerusalem: many manuscripts
read "from Jerusalem," since 11,30 implies that Paul and Barnabas
were already in Jerusalem. This present verse could refer to a
return visit or a subsequent relief mission.


I know, because Josephus tells me so, that there were two places
called Jerusalem with the other being also referred to as Galilee.
This other Jerusalem was where the crucifixion took place. There
were two chief priests present, Caiaphas and Jonathan Annas and
they were also referred to as "Lightning" and "Earthquake".
A ransom was paid to Pilate allowing Jesus freedom from the
Roman authorities while he recuperated. The story was, "Lets'
just say that the body was stolen."

The bible tells the truth in the same thin veil that Ken Starr
was seeking the truth in his persecution of Clinton, you know,
all the Whitewater investigation discovered was Monica. It does
not make much difference which bible you read ... if you do not
understand what you are reading, and, for the benefit of you
dogmatic fundies out there ... I include myself in the same
dilemma. All you have to do to convert me is to find in the
bible for me where it says that Jesus feet were pierced and
then I will believe.

thanks, offa


 
Old 04-01-2001, 08:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by gcameron:
One of these days I plan to get around to actually reading the whole thing cover to cover. What version might be recommended? I would prefer to read the King James version, because I love the cadence of its Elizabethan-era poetry, but I have also heard it is rife with inaccuracies. Someone recommended the Rotherham Emphasized Bible as being the most accurate.

My goal in reading the Bible would not just be to pick it apart for contradictions, but to try to get at the spirit of the thing, and get a sense for why it was written, what was the mindset of its author(s), and how well its ideas hold up to a modern mind. I think King James might be good for these purposes, since its Shakespearean language would help to capture my imagination, but on the other hand I don't want a large number of inaccuracies or mistranslations to give me a false view of the book's contents.
</font>
Meta =&gt;I've read the NT in Greek, and parts of the Septuagent. I find that most of the major translations are pretty good, no one of them really stands out as "the best." But I prefur the NIV for its readability in modern Enlgish, while preserving some of the articulation and poetic qualities of past translations, but in a simple readable modern English. NASV is good for word accuracy.

The NIV uses the Dead Sea Scrolls as cross references in OT, so that's valuable.
 
Old 04-02-2001, 10:36 AM   #20
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Hi gc

You ask an excellent question.

Personally I tend to prefer the NIV Bible because it is easily the most readable for modern English while staying pretty close to the original (Hebrew and Greek) text. The methodology used in its translation is known as "phrase-for-phrase". In other words, it avoids exact word for word translation largely because this produces either unreadable text, or illogical sayings.

The RSV is also quite good however, and does use the word for word translation method. It also uses earlier (and more reliable) MSS text than does the King James Version.

If I can recommend an article for you to read on this subject, please take a look at Why So Many Versions? by Dr. Daniel Wallace. It gives a very good overview of the challenges faced by tranlators in general, and Bible translators in particular, as well as a list of recommended English translations of the Bible.

I hope you find it useful.

Be well,

Nomad

The Prof's Soapbox
 
 

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