A Good Laugh

Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
vir litterarum
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A Good Laugh

Post by vir litterarum » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:19 am

There has been nothing so hilarious for me in studying theology than to translate the Gospels alongside The Message translation of the Bible. If anyone ever feels down just try it and I guarantee it will brighten your day. I think God took one look at it in an endeavor to see how many words were added or taken away and said, "I give up."

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klewlis
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Post by klewlis » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:17 am

I call the Message "the fortune cookie bible" because it reads like a fortune cookie. I will never understand... and can you believe that it is actually technically considered a translation rather than a paraphrase? crazy...

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Post by vir litterarum » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:26 am

The church I attend with my parents has recently switched to using the Message when referencing Scripture during the service. Who needs stand up comedy when, while being cognizant of what the Bible actually says, I can listen to the Bible for Dummies. The first time I read it, I actually thought it was a commentary. Just another case of Protestantism shooting itself in the foot.

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Post by Kopio » Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:58 am

Yeah....it's pretty bad. That being said there are parts of it that are wonderful. But close to the Greek text? Not by a long shot. That's what happens when you go to the extreme end of dynamic translation.

Also....I didn't think it could be considered a translation, since it was done by only one person.

For my favorite translation (or paraphrase) check out J.B. Phillips translation of the NT. It is wonderful. He originally translated just a book for his youth group in England, but C.S. Lewis encouraged him to finish his work, and he did. There are a few very peculiar British figures of speech, but other than that, it's a great read.

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Post by vir litterarum » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:32 am

The "translator" must have thought the English-speaking populace was so stupid that it could only understand a Scripture filled with the most simplistic metaphors and platitudes. What I love about the New Testament in its original language is that, while the language would have been readily understandable even to a child in Ancient Greece, it could concurrently maintains it potence and philosophical depth. The Message, however, in endeavoring to make it accessible to everyone who can read a picture book, robbed it of its dignity and puissance.

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Post by mingshey » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:16 pm

I'm behind the times with Bible-lores these days. But this thread about "Message" thing reminds me of the "ebonics" version of "Lord's Prayer":

Code: Select all

ENGLISH
The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Thine is the Kingdom,
  the power and the glory, forever and ever

    Amen.

Code: Select all

 EBONICS
Big Daddy's Rap

Yo, Big Daddy Upstairs,
You be chillin'
So be yo hood
You be sayin' it; I be doin' it
In dis hood and in Yo's
Gimme some eats

And cut me some slack
So's I be doin' it to dem dat diss me
Don't be pushin' me into no jive
And keep dem Crips away
Cuz you always be da Man

AAAAAAmen.
Is it very close to the "Message" thing?

And looking for a serious ebonics translation of all the scripture, I found "The Cotton Patch Version" and Black Bible Chronicles along with "Jesus Raps...".[/url]

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Post by vir litterarum » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:45 pm

It's not far off from that:

The Message Lord's Prayer:

Our Father in Heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best--
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes.Yes.Yes

I particularly found the "Yes. Yes. Yes." ending moving.

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Post by Arvid » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:23 pm

I'm not qualified to have an opinion about the accuracy of the translation in the King James Version; the consensus seems to be that for 1611 it was pretty good. As a devout atheist, I still consider it one of the greatest, most majestic pieces of writing in the English language. It's funny that while Shakespeare tried to keep his language modern and up to the minute, we need half a page of footnotes on every page to understand him, whereas the KJV is purposely archaic in its language, and we have no trouble understanding it. I wasn't aware of the NIV (New International Version?) before this, but this is just pathetic!
phpbb

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Post by Bert » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:53 am

vir litterarum wrote:It's not far off from that:

The Message Lord's Prayer:

Our Father in Heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best--
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes.Yes.Yes

I particularly found the "Yes. Yes. Yes." ending moving.
I have heard of "The Message" but never read it. I have read about enough now I think.

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Post by klewlis » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:24 am

Arvid wrote:I'm not qualified to have an opinion about the accuracy of the translation in the King James Version; the consensus seems to be that for 1611 it was pretty good. As a devout atheist, I still consider it one of the greatest, most majestic pieces of writing in the English language. It's funny that while Shakespeare tried to keep his language modern and up to the minute, we need half a page of footnotes on every page to understand him, whereas the KJV is purposely archaic in its language, and we have no trouble understanding it. I wasn't aware of the NIV (New International Version?) before this, but this is just pathetic!
the NIV is actually a very good translation--the examples given on this page are not from the NIV, but from the Message.

King James was ok for its time, but is extremely outdated now--a major part of the problem is that it was translated from faulty texts. The texts available to us now are more accurate and complete.

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