What I’ve been reading…How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

You know the book that you’re glad you read, even though there are many things you don’t agree with? Insert this book.

I’ve been studying the Bible for a while now, but on this sabbatical I wanted to get different perspectives on the how to. I purchased this book b/c it was highly recommended to me by a website as a must read for anyone desiring to get a better grasp on the how to’s of Biblical study. Though the book deals with much more than just Bible versions, it’s in this section that there were two glaring things that caught my eye (and honestly caused me to fly through the book after reading intently for the first three chapters):

—It was interesting to hear the challenges of those who create these Bible translations from the original languages. I’d say one of the greatest challenges is whether to error on the side of the original language (even though it may not make complete sense to our current english language), or to error on the side of the receptor language (even though it gives much room for the translator’s personal interpretation). The authors of this book sum up their thoughts on this accordingly:

“Our view is that the best theory of translation is the one that remains as faithful as possible to both the original and receptor languages, but that when something has to ‘give,’ it should be in favor of the recptor language – without losing the meaning of the original language, of course – since the very reason for translation is to make these ancient texts accessible to the English-speaking person who does not know the original languages.”
(page 45)

I think I might take a more conservative approach on things than the authors, choosing to error on the side of the original language with a desire to keep things as pure as possible. But then again, I’m just a simple preacher.

—I found it most interesting how when all was said and done, the ESV (The English Standard Version) version, which is quickly becoming the version of choice for former NIV fans, wasn’t even mentioned by the authors as a good translation to use. I have thoughts as to why this ommission occured, but I’ll choose to keep them to myself. Can I just say that the current ‘business’ side of Christianity makes me want to vomit.

Not the most exciting book I’ve read over the past few weeks, but yet, it may have been the one that made me think the deepest.

Posted in Books, Simply Blabbing

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