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Am I missing something?

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Am I missing something?

Postby Bardo de Saldo » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:06 pm

I have only read the Gospels in translation. Am I missing something?
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Postby Geoff » Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:35 pm

If you read anything only in translation you've always missed something. I'm not saying you cannot understand them and get everything you need from a translated Bible, but the original's always better.

Someone asked if I saw the Passion, and I told them "no I read the book" ;) - (I have seen it now)
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Postby ThomasGR » Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:12 pm

A good translation would be fine (that renders the spirit and not the words!), except if you are after subtlenesses and highly intelectual investigation of the kind "what is meant in the Bible with Logos ?" Is it God, or Word, or what else ? But than even in that case, a good translator will use footnotes and mention all the possibilities and what other scholars anbd translators thought of it.
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Postby Timotheus » Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:47 am

Hey GEOFF
I like your reply

Someone asked if I saw the Passion, and I told them "no I read the book"


:lol: :D :lol:
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What are you missing?

Postby Hieronymus 2k5 » Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:53 pm

I have only read the Gospels in translation. Am I missing something?


It depends on what translation. Honestly when you read the Gospels in Greek you may still miss something depending on what Greek text you read. There are two types of Greek texts: Traditional Received Text (Textus Receptus) and Critical (Scholarly Reconstruction) Text. If you read the Traditional Text in Greek or you know a decent amount of Elizabethan English (specifically that thee and thou are you-singular and ye and you are you-plural) and read the King James Version, the only good translation based on the Traditional text, then you aren't missing anything. However, if you read any other translation based on the Traditional text, such as the NKJV, you are missing the distinction between a plural and singular you, and that's pretty much it. If you read a translation of a Critical Text, such as NIV or NASB, then you are missing the disctinction between a plural and singular you and missing a lot of words because scholars have removed many phrases and entire verses--and these translation are usually very paraphrase like, so you are missing a WHOLE lot. If you read a Critical Text in Greek, you are missing many phrases.

A Critical Text in Greek can be purchased at virtually any Christian book store. For the Traditional Greek Text you'll most likely have to order it from the Trinitarian Bible Society. You can also download both on the Internet in either text or pdf format. If you want to know where, just ask me.
Last edited by Hieronymus 2k5 on Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What are you missing?

Postby Hieronymus 2k5 » Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:03 pm

...
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Postby Geoff » Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:09 pm

Hieronymus is right. In many ways you can get more out of a GOOD english translation than reading Greek (until you are quite proficient at reading Greek - which I am not).

Even still you can get some "nuggets" from reading the Greek that would be missed in almost any English translation.

I also agree that the best translations have a high regard for the text at a word level rather than paraphrasing expressions and that a good text is important. I have the highest respect forthe work of Maurice Robinson on his Byzantine Majority. Ecclectic texts have value with their apparatus.
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Postby edonnelly » Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:17 pm

Geoff wrote:Even still you can get some "nuggets" from reading the Greek that would be missed in almost any English translation.


I agree. Some things are almost always lost in translation. For example, John 1:1 reads: In the beginning there was the "word" ([face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face]) and the "word" was near to God and the "word" was God. Well, of course [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face] translates as "word," but it was also the name of deity worshiped by some gnostic groups at the time. Some of them believed that the [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face] was a higher deity than the God who created the world, and, in fact, that God was created by this [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face]. So, in that context, it may have been that John was really addressing these groups, saying, "no, this God is the [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face], there is only this God..." I guess you can get this stuff from the footnotes, but I don't think it's the same.

Anyway, I just think a lot of doors open up once you free yourself from the filters of the translator(s).
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Postby ThomasGR » Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:37 am

edonnelly wrote:Well, of course [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face] translates as "word," but it was also the name of deity worshiped by some gnostic groups at the time. Some of them believed that the [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face] was a higher deity than the God who created the world, and, in fact, that God was created by this [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face]. So, in that context, it may have been that John was really addressing these groups, saying, "no, this God is the [face=SPIonic]lo/goj[/face], there is only this God..." I guess you can get this stuff from the footnotes, but I don't think it's the same.


That information you will not get get by just reading the NT, either in the original texts or in any translation. It is a knowledge that you have already and want to check in the original texts, or the translator will provide or mention in the footnotes, which than you may than investigate further (that's the great contribution of a good translation). By just reading the original texts one gets not wiser. I would say, on the contrary.
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Postby edonnelly » Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:51 pm

ThomasGR wrote:By just reading the original texts one gets not wiser. I would say, on the contrary.

Well, as I scientist I'll never accept that going back to an original source is inferior to reading one that has been in some way modified by an intermediary.
If the translator misses a subtlety or doesn't include it in the footnotes, then that subtlety is gone forever for the future readers of the translation. To have all of these subtleties available to you would require a "perfect," not just a good translation, which, of course, is impossible.
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Postby ThomasGR » Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:53 pm

edonnelly wrote:If the translator misses a subtlety or doesn't include it in the footnotes, then that subtlety is gone forever for the future readers of the translation. To have all of these subtleties available to you would require a "perfect," not just a good translation, which, of course, is impossible.

I do not speak of an scientist, but for common people and students; I suppose they will make up to 99,99 %. If a translator misses something, whom I expect to be a scholar himself, so will I certainly do as well, if not more.
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Postby Kopio » Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:06 pm

Hello Bardo,

Good question. Since you speak more than one language, I'll propose the answer to you this way.

Think of your most beloved piece of literature in your native tongue (Portugese right?), one that fills you with wonder and awe whenever you read it. It doen't necessarily have to be a poem, just a work that is very Portugese in it's mannerisms and figures of speech. Now read that same book after it is translated into English. Does it loose some of the magic? Does it seem like the same book? Are there parts that speak strongly to you in the Portugese edition, that are overly wooden, or just wrong?

These are the problems with translation in general. My 4th year Greek Prof said, "remember, all translations are a betrayal of the text" There are good translations. What I suggest to people who don't read Greek is go out and get a 4-8 translation New Testament. That way you can see what the different translators did with the text. Sometimes the differences can be very great.

For myself, there is nothing better than reading the NT in Greek. I find that I see little things that I never noticed before reading the English Text. SOme of them are things that a very careful reading of the english text would discover, but more often than not, they are much more apparent in Greek. English is such a horribly limited language, it no longer has person, number, case, for it's verbs, it is even limited in how it portays tense. Greek is crystal clear when it comes to these things....that's why (one of the reasons anyhow) it's worth learning.
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