They can say whatever they want; I just know that I cannot say the same about translation. DNA serves as an excellent example; it was always present in the body, but until the 1980’s the technology did not exist to identify bodies using DNA. Another requisite for Bible translation is to be willing to keep on working beyond the point of mental exhaustion. Preparation. View ChristianPublishingHouse’s profile on Facebook, View edward-d-andrews-87250224?trk=hp-identity-name’s profile on LinkedIn, View ChristianPublish’s profile on YouTube, View christianpublishing’s profile on Vimeo, View ChristianpublishersOrg01’s profile on Google+, Recommended Reading by Christian Publishing House, The Doctrine of Inerrancy of Scripture and Biblical Infallibility, Understanding Islam and the Rise of Radical Islam, Literal Translation vs Interpretive Translation, SERIOUSLY FLAWED BIBLICAL CRITICISM ASSAULT ON THE BIBLE, NT Vol. Eleventh cenrury The translators’ skills are another limiting factor. Incidentally, many of the changes in our understanding of the OL’s are likely to be seen only in literal translations. On the other hand, it also cites “to commit murder” for one classical source. As an example of this situation, consider the words “exercise authority over” in 1 Timothy 2:12. 13. Now that we have the essential tools–and we are, of course, assuming that the translator has the necessary expertise to use them–certain decisions must be made. I am not suggesting that God never, ever guides a translator to a wording that God himself prefers. This is especially important for Greek because Greek writers had a good deal more flexibility in word order than we find in English and many other languages, thanks to the complex grammatical indicators in ancient Greek. Fam. So potentially, at least, I can now find a match to a difficult word in a source outside the Bible that will help me nail down its meaning in the Bible. Here is John 1 in the New King James Version. There are other lexicons worth consulting, but any serious translation work requires these. 1044 C.E. However, the NASB translators, after much consideration and prayer, came to the conclusion that it was important to avoid even the slightest implication that the fulfillment of prophecies in these contexts was uncertain. This is just as true for a solo translation. Some or even most may be out of the translator’s hands because of marketplace or time constraints. Lexicographers, i.e. If a translator has difficulty admitting a mistake and correcting it, he (or she) needs to get into a different line of work. There are three primary reasons for revisions: changes in the original languages (OL’s), changes in the receptor language (RL), and changes in textual criticism. Leverage expertise and specialized education in translation, project management, and training. But if we rule out murder as an option for authenteo in 1 Timothy 2:12, the only fruitful course of research left is to examine the use of the word in extra-biblical contexts. MS. 157. The result is that I find it highly applicable to NT Greek. Charles Thomson’s Bible (1808) [1933–1984] Merk Greek New Testament – 10th edition In most Bible translation projects, the translators are speakers of the language in which translation is being done. In that case, they do not choose any alternate readings. It really is a shame that we cannot resurrect native speakers from first century Palestine and from various OT times and places to explain to us exactly what they understood from the Scriptures. Before translation begins, good preparation is essential. Bible Translations: Methods of Translation. * The translators were divided into six companies, and each group was assigned a portion of Scripture to translate. Taverner’s Bible (1539) So it seems clear that God wants us to do more accurate translation of his word from the OL’s increasingly; it is undeniable that he has given us exciting new tools to use. Bible translation is a complex process, requiring great attention to detail. The Septuagint is a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek language which was made in the 2nd or 3rd century B.C. The Revised English Bible (1989) The Jerusalem Bible (1966) I think it is fair to say that if the translation is to be a DE/FE, then it is interpretive in philosophy, and a formal decision to that effect may not be necessary. Matthew’s Bible (1537) Readers can gain fresh insight into the richness of Scripture, and into the process of translation from the original languages. Bible translation is typically measured in three ways: availability of full Bibles, New Testaments, or portions (normally the gospels, but can be any published book of the Bible). To be effective in doing the job, you have to be able to play nice with others, unless of course you are working solo entirely and paying all the bills yourself. Therefore, it is necessary to start with a chapter on the Bible translation process. It would be a little like refusing to reexamine a cold case after the discovery of DNA evidence. Time is money, and the time permitted will dictate how much effort can be expended on the translation process. For full treatment, see biblical literature: Texts and versions. The New International Version (1978) Weymouth’s New Testament in Modern Speech (1903) Extensive, intensive testing is done with multiple mother tongue speakers/users who are asked to listen to, read, or watch the translated text. Difficult words must be thoroughly searched by computer. It also includes deep knowledge of … So we decided that “mute” was a better choice. This brings us to changes in textual criticism (TC). Once every comment from a reviewer has been addressed, and every mistake corrected, the translator is still not done. Committee and solo approaches aside, it is an unfortunate truth that the excellence of the product will depend in part on the degree of effort expended, and that the latter will depend mainly on the time allowed for the work. This theory is called closest natural equivalence. The New Testament was originally in Greek. It is just raw data to use or tear apart as needed. Why now, at this time in world history? The New Jerusalem Bible (1985) If they understand something different from the original meaning, the translation team goes back to do more revisions. the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns. Armenian Version Even then, it is far from being finalized. If it is not covered in that area, we will also offer the reader a few examples of how we are to translate idioms, figurative language, as well as special terms such as justification, sanctification, and redemption, among other things. * The portion was first translated individually by each member of the company. The philosophy includes such matters as literal vs. dynamic/functional equivalence and priorities. The nearer other occurrences are contextually to the passage being translated, the better, but it is often the case that these words are rare. But when we worked on the Update of the NASB (1995) we felt strongly that “dumb” would immediately bring to mind mental deficiency and that the speech disability might not even occur to some readers. My approach here is to assume that you have no knowledge of Bible translation issues, or the process of translating from the Original Languages (OL) of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, into what we call the Receptor Language (RL), such as English. Which Bible Translation is the Most Accurate and Trustworthy? ... History of the English Bible. I can only wish that we had something as reliable as DNA profiling to identify ancient word meanings in OL’s.  Stephanus Text, [1774–1775] Griesbach Greek New Testament While I cannot address this subject at length, it needs to be addressed, to lay the foundation for you, the reader. The Great Bible (1539) P8 P9 P12 P15 P16 P17 P18 P19 P24 P28 P37 P50 P51 P53 P70 P78 P80 P86 P88 P89 P91 P92 P114 P119 P120 P129 P131 P132 P134, 250-300 C.E. Within the past 100 years, there has been tremendous growth in the amount of quality English Bible translations available. Ethipic Version. ... Transliteration is the process of rendering the sounds of a word in one language into the same sounds in another language. To simplify the discussion from this point on, I hope you will forgive me if I use the traditional (and possibly outdated) male gender pronouns, with the understanding between us that women and men are equally well-suited to the work. No outside group—no publisher or commercial entity—can decide how the NIV is translated. What Is Apologetic Evangelism and Why Is It Important? [1943–1977] Bover Greek New Testament – 5th edition I can do the same thing in studying the grammatical structure of a phrase or clause in the Bible. Though textual scholars of the Bible may have essentially the same goal, current changes in philosophy and methodology seem to guarantee that the readings in the standard OL texts of the Bible will continue to change for decades to come. One of the words that I have had to deal with as an NASB translator was “dumb.” “Dumb” originally referred to someone who was unable to speak, and insensitive people probably thought of others with this disability as stupid. Only the unabridged versions of these lexicons, please! Most scholars doing NT research today took a different educational route. The other example is that of determining the meaning of a difficult word. The British Revised Version (1881-85) Some textual critics maintain that the goal actually is to find the prototype that accounts for all ancient manuscripts of the Bible in existence, whether that prototype is the autograph or not. Jewish Translations 142 Translations Sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society (1917; 1985) At some point, every expert in the biblical OL’s had to look up the words in a passage for their meanings, identify all the grammatical aspects of every word, and properly organize the words according to the grammatical information. I wish I had good news about OL grammars, i.e. Sixtine and Clementine Revised Latin Texts. MS. 81. – Christian Publishing House Blog, Which English Bible Translation Is Preferred by Most Christian Bible Scholars? ; the rest of the biblical books were translated later. GOD’S WORD Translation Bible was produced using a theory of translation that combines accuracy with understandability. 2) In 1611, King James authorized a translation of the Bible into the English language. Noah Webster’s Bible (1833) Testing: What do people understand when they hear or see the new translation? Apologetic Defense of the faith, the Bible, and Christianity, Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All. I can cite the phrase “that the Scripture might be fulfilled” as an example. I referred briefly to the analysis of OL texts above, and I will say more about TC in chapter 6. I try to imagine that once my translation of a word or phrase is on my monitor screen; it is no longer mine. SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW. Now then, whether the translation is to be interpretive or non-interpretive, all translators should agree on the first step: to translate for themselves and read through a passage in the OL as many times as necessary for them to be entirely comfortable with it. Since the reviewers may have no knowledge of the OL’s, it may make sense to have someone independent of the committees screen the reviews to see what suggestions are viable and save valuable committee time. Provide textual exegesis using commentaries and other resources to evaluate drafts of a translation. While each language project is unique, this map helps to simplify an otherwise complex process for the purpose of … Bible translation is a complex process, requiring great attention to detail. 19: 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Letters of John & Jude, Introduction to New Testament Textual Studies. Gothic Version Bible translation is fundamentally a Kingdom activity. Literal translation can also be interpretive, and sometimes is even forced to be (more on this in chapter 7). 1. Over the last 500 years, there has been much progress in English Bible translation. I am one of those translators privileged to be able to read it because of my training, but I was a glutton for punishment when it came to learning Greek. If changes are made, the text goes back for more community testing. In this case, too, there are times when I sense that the Holy Spirit may be guiding me. Drafting: Once the translation team has a good understanding of the text, they work on a first draft. Thus at least some portions of the Bible have been translated into 3,386 languages. The problem is that since we almost always use “might” in the present tense to express a greater uncertainty than “may,” many readers could get the impression that “might be fulfilled” was potentially uncertain, making the prophecy in question somehow uncertain. P3 P6 P7 P10 P21 P54 P62 P81 P93 P94 P102 P112 P117 P122 P123 P127 P130 P139, Syriac Versions—Curetonian, Philoxenian, Harclean, The translation team must be good listeners, pay careful attention to input and exercise humility as they work through multiple changes and drafts. The idea is that they tried to take the original meaning of the text (not just the individual word) and translate that into the (then) common language. So in determining word meanings, funding and the translators’ skills may limit the work of translation to a careful reading of the lexicons. Another way to look at the situation: if there’s no crying in baseball, there certainly is no place for crying in translation. 1) In 1525, William Tyndale first started translating from the Greek and Hebrew the English Bible. Those who advocate placing women in the highest levels of church leadership would argue that Paul does not actually bar them from these positions, however. Extensive, intensive testing is done with multiple mother tongue speakers/users who are asked to listen to, read, or watch the translated text. that there are clear standards. When I was naïve and bought my first big Greek lexicon, I was disappointed because I expected to find a treasure chest full of different definitions and explanations that were missing from my smaller lexicons. These notes point out alternate readings in the ancient manuscripts. The NET contains extensive notes on the translation. But if that is not the case, then a translator has to be content with the reading chosen for the text by the NA editors (or the chosen reading from another Greek New Testament). The question is what kind of leadership over men is forbidden to women within the church–if any. It is not just a willingness, but a compulsion to walk that extra mile, and it often makes a difference in the final outcome. These are people who almost always have limited personal experience in reading Greek themselves, and consider anything that does not fit their own standards to be “bad.” My response to them is that none of us alive in modern times will ever be the equal of an ordinary person of even modest intellect who lived in the first century and was fluent in the Greek of that period. Translation of the Scriptures into a given language is a time consuming process. The other possibility, which is probably less likely, is that the translators have been assigned a particular modern edition of the ancient manuscripts to follow. New readings can occur in an actual biblical manuscript, or in a Bible quotation found in an ancient manuscript of a church father or liturgical manual of some kind. As I said earlier, we now have amazing new tools, and the limits in using them are the research time required and the skill of the translator in being able to translate extra-biblical sources where the words in question occur. Coptic Versions What Do We Know About the Early Christian Copyists? View all posts by Christian Publishing House. Background. For the NT, the standard lexicon is the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (short title) by Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich. But the Bible has come under attack in modern times, and I believe that God is providing us with the necessary means to defend it. Teams consult a range of special exegetical helps for translators and numerous translations in various languages. It is important to view translation deficiencies through these three lenses in order to … What makes the unabridged lexicons so big and heavy is that they list references to the passages where words are found. Once again, I commend the KJV translators for their comments about mistakes. Other translators of different persuasions (or their publishers) could decide, for example, that a particular edition of the NA Greek text is to be their standard and will remain so regardless of all other editions that are published after it. The translators will want input from other lexicons, and they should check them, but they are unlikely to find adequate help there. Early in the twentieth century, family of witnesses that includes manuscripts 1, 118, 131, and 209 Having said that, I’m happy to tell you that we have lexicons which have risen to the top as standards, like the standard texts. Below, in this chapter, you will find each step that is taken in the process of translating a section of text. All of these changes inevitably happen over time, leading to a revision every ten to twenty years, sometimes sooner. Old Latin Generally, the latest edition of the NA and the Biblia Hebraica are preferred, but textual criticism decisions made by translators (see below) can affect the preference. This obviously takes a lot of coordination and administration, so it can be a large and expensive undertaking. Its goal has remained pretty much the same: to find the original word of God, or autograph, contained in the existing manuscripts. That’s not bad; I would classify it as “acceptable,” but it could obviously be better. The Tree of Life Version (TLV) process started with 16 Key Principles that was put in place by the Board of Directors of the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society. The English Standard Version (2001) As Lamin Sanneh has shown, Bible translation not only gives people access to the Scriptures, it also gives value to communities and helps poor and marginalized peoples to become more developed. Bible translation is done in the community with great care. In this case, the “anomaly” proved to be standard Greek, but at a level too advanced for most critics. 1122 C.E. Typically different people on each committee are assigned different passages (or sometimes the same passage) to translate, and then the translations are reviewed by the committee as a whole, and eventually, a version is agreed upon after changes are recommended and either accepted or rejected. On a higher level, however, the translator ideally should not trust any lexicon, not even the unabridged ones. Typically, trial portions are used for a while before Scripture is further revised and published in a more final, official form. Once any problematic words or constructions in the OL are thoroughly researched, the translator(s) should be completely familiar and comfortable using only the NT or OT OL text at this stage in the translation process. I’ll have a good deal to say about advanced grammars in a future work, but for now, I’ll just say that I have had reasonable success with two old advanced-level grammars. More than once, the Book of Mormon text indicated that “many plain and precious parts” of the Bible had been lost. I will say more about it in chapters 3 and 6. The reviewers are instructed to make changes to the text as they see fit. Of course, the solo translator has only to agree with himself about the best translation that he can do, but if he has any wisdom at all, he will seek constructive criticism along the way. Palestinian, Sinaitic, Peshitta Bible translation is a very involved process - we will take you through it step-by-step. The Revised Standard Version (1952) Exactly what happens to the reviews when they are returned is up to the publisher or whoever is paying the bills. So one can argue that accuracy to the OL’s is best seen in a literal translation. I have to admit that the idea of freezing the OL texts appeals to a part of my brain, the part that does not specialize in patience and intellectual honesty. Evidently, according to that researcher–women can assume authority over men as long as they don’t commit homicide in the process. The New English Translation or NET Bible is an internet-based version, although it is also available in book form. Coverdale and the First Complete Printed Bible in English (1535) The definitions found in BDAG all seem capable of taking a negative nuance, something like “usurping” authority. The Bible translation process can be loosely compared to a roadmap of checkpoints. The New Revised Standard Version (1990) A competent translator must be comfortable with the word order in the OL, and attempt to express the corresponding nuances in the RL. So far the greater accuracy has not resulted in any doctrinal changes, nor can I see that ever happening. I can cite two examples of areas that could be impacted by these factors. On average, a translation takes 12- 15 years. Ninth century To beginning Greek students, a complex passage can seem almost like a jigsaw puzzle in which the words have to be rearranged to make sense, and once they have done that they feel as if they have “solved” the puzzle. Bible translation is not a science, nor is it a simple process. The translator needs to be competently bi- to quadrilingual in the OL’s of the Bible (depending on his assignment) and the target or receptor language (RL) of the people for whom he is translating. Yes, I did. He has authored ninety-five books. I feel a strong mental nudge to investigate one or two more sources when I’m convinced that I am finally done with my research on something. What Are the Basics of the Bible Translation Process? The Bible has been translated into many languages from the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. They are just too subtle to result in revisions to DE/FE’s. Shortly after its initial publication, the Bible Translation Committee began a process of further committee review and translation refinement. For Hebrew, Davidson’s Hebrew Syntax, and for Greek, Smyth’s Greek Grammar. New methodology has the potential to affect both parties, and it will certainly have an impact on translations based on the more ancient manuscripts. Wycliffe Associates has answered God’s call to biblical translation strategies and developed new methods of Church Owned Bible Translation that have accelerated the translation process and created opportunities to get God’s Word to more people than ever before—even people who never dreamed they would have God’s Word in their heart language in their lifetime. However, this does not mean that we will pass over all the elements of this subject because some of them are essential to the issues of literal translation. The KJV translators clearly understood this, as one can see from their preface. The latter stages are unnecessary for the solo translator and thus make the overall committee process less efficient by comparison, but the final product is that of multiple experts and may, therefore, be better than that of the solo translator. This was largely a revision of William Tyndales work. see proceed.] Below, in this chapter, you will find each step that is taken in the process of translating a section of text. However, some solo translations have done as well or better than some committee translations in the marketplace. Therefore, the decision was made to avoid “might” in the 1995 Update when it previously occurred in these constructions. At first, just the Torah was translated, in the third century B.C.E. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV). Local believers and churches will often undertake revisions in future years as the Word transforms them and brings increased understanding. Edmund Becke’s Bibles (1549; 1551) David H. Stern’s Complete Jewish Bible (1998) The earliest translation of the Hebrew Bible is the Old Greek (OG), the translation made in Alexandria, Egypt, for the use of the Greek-speaking Jewish community there. At some point, they will reach a consensus on what they consider the best translation possible thus far. As far as I am concerned, this is not a useful distinction for our purposes. This is particularly clear for the NT. There certainly are a good number of grammars available, and some observers may sing the praises of a few of them. At the core of this effort was a full-time translation team composed of biblical scholars who served as translators, English experts who constantly reviewed English style, and … In short, closest natural equivalence concentrates on accurately translating the meaning of the original languages into natural English. And to be clear, I am not talking about the feud between the defenders of the KJV/NKJV ancient manuscripts and the advocates of the more ancient manuscripts upon which most modern translations are based. To a lesser extent we are also learning more about Hebrew and Aramaic word meanings, mainly as we compare related Semitic languages. What do people understand when they hear or see the new translation? We use it this way all the time. The King James Bible (1611) – Revision of Early English Translations, Edward Harwood’s New Testament (1768) If this is what Paul meant, then it is conceivable that women can act in authority over men provided that they are duly chosen or elected to do so, and do not abuse the privilege. It turns out that “might” does double duty: it indicates a greater level of uncertainty than “may,” and it also serves as the past tense of “may.”. It is also saturated in prayer every step of the way. It is as though the same forces that somehow cause wire, string, or rope to form knots inexplicably where there was none when it was carelessly laid down somewhere also cause mistakes to appear in the text that was inexplicably missed previously. Smith and Goodspeed’s American Translation (1923; 1927) And as all languages go through change, those changes must be factored in as well. The best that we can do is choose one or more lexicons for each OL that give us word meanings or point us in the right directions, and grammars that explain to us how the words are put together to form concepts, such as clauses of one kind or another. Thanks to very elaborate research projects that have been going on for decades, we now have access by computer to virtually all the ancient Greek literature in existence. It was also in the KJV, which at the time was still very well read. This chapter will then end with some examples of overstepping the translation process, what that looks like, and a few examples of when it is appropriate to go beyond what we are going to call the final step of the process of Bible translation. If they understand something different from the original meaning, the translation team goes back to do more revisions. At the same time, a competent translator needs to be equal to a native speaker of the RL in fluency. [1966–2015] United Bible Societies Greek New Testament – 5th edition, The Wycliffite Bible (1382; 1388) I check the references I find in the standard NT lexicon, but I also use the tools that cover Greek literature outside the NT. The translator will be consulted for some of these problems, and then, finally, he is finished. The first edition, printed in 1978, was the labor of more than 100 evangelical biblical scholars. Those lands may still exist, but, unfortunately, all the native speakers are long gone. What could very well be the object of criticism in one committee (as in, “I can’t tell exactly what this is supposed to mean”) would be praised in a committee aiming for a non-interpretive translation. It’s a mental and physical uneasiness that I feel, something that would not respond to an aspirin or an antacid. It was actually a thought-for-thought translation, rather than word-for-word translation. The fascinating story of how we got the Bible in its present form actually starts thousands of years ago, as briefly outlined in our Timeline of Bible Translation History.As a background study, we recommend that you first review our discussion of the Pre-Reformation History of the Bible from 1,400 B.C. There are, of course, varying degrees of interpretive translation; some would classify the NIV as moderately interpretive, and place The Message on the far end of the scale. You might not realize it, but “might” is the past tense of “may.” Wait, didn’t I just use “might” in the present tense when I wrote, “You might not”? Question: "How does the translation process impact the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Bible?" The previous standard was the Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (short title) by Brown, Driver, and Briggs. This is not implied in the OL. Fortunately, these errors are about as rare as you would expect, like getting a compliment from the IRS. 1995, 2020) For the New Testament (NT), the standard text is the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum (NA), although the new Greek New Testament published by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBLGNT) may prove to be a serious competitor (more about this in chapter 6). There are times when I sense that the Holy Spirit may be restraining me from emotional commitment to my work. The NASB at least 14 times, by comparison, should involve a number of references Greek!, consider the words “ exercise authority over ” for one classical source somehow manage to the. Passages where words are found over the last 500 years, there are several chapters in Daniel and a of... So much offers “ having full power or authority over ” is a time consuming process theoretically might fulfilled. Copies and the decision will make a big difference in the past, but I make no for! 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Gurder says ; “ translation is a good translation Scripture. Or time constraints and Nephites will say more about Hebrew and Aramaic word meanings overseers were also,... Actually an ongoing process our database of ancient Greek continues to expand, making ongoing research fruitful and leading a. By diverse people of various occupations are essential, generally the more reviewers the.
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