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.
Bert
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Post by Bert » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:58 am

klewlis wrote:I wasn't assigning any evaluation to the term. You had said that the message "introduces" interpretation... my point was simply that all translations do. ;)
I agree. Doing some interpreting is unavoidable if you are translating. The little quote from The Message makes me think that it is more a poor interpretation than a translation.

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AVRAHAM
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Post by AVRAHAM » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:25 pm

Bert wrote:
klewlis wrote:I wasn't assigning any evaluation to the term. You had said that the message "introduces" interpretation... my point was simply that all translations do. ;)
I agree. Doing some interpreting is unavoidable if you are translating. The little quote from The Message makes me think that it is more a poor interpretation than a translation.
I believe that interpretation is primarily a way to put theological beliefs into scripture, that are either not normally there, or are not definite. When translating Holy writing, one should(IMHO), translate it as literal as possible, where grammar allows. Allowing even passages of abiguity or obscurity. Interpretation should be left to the individual. It's like how many translations put weights and measurements into modern equivalents. I admit, knowing that the darkness during the crucifixion was from the sixth hour to the ninth, is really noon to 3 PM can slow you down in your reading. However, numbers are very important in the Bible, and ofthen have symbolic meanings. Especially in prophecy.

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Post by vir litterarum » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:32 pm

I believe that interpretation is primarily a way to put theological beliefs into scripture
This is precisely what Eugene Peterson, whether conscientiously or not, does in the Message. Of course there inevitably is going to be some degree of interpretation in any translation, but, in the NASB for example, words not in the original text are italicized and any translation into English idiom is only done where a passage is deemed not literally translatable by the translators. This type of interpretation is not individual because it is done by a council of translators and its intent is different from that of the Message's; therefore, when I stated that Peterson introduces"individual interpretation" into Scripture, this type of interpretation is indeed unlike that employed in any other translation, both in extent and nature.

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ndansmith
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Post by ndansmith » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:26 pm

I guess this all comes down to how we define and codify various types of "interpretation." Indeed, the very act of reading involves interpretation (decoding of written symbols into linguistic ideas, etc.).

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Post by Bert » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:37 am



Bert
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Post by Bert » Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:40 am

vir litterarum wrote:
I believe that interpretation is primarily a way to put theological beliefs into scripture
This is precisely what Eugene Peterson, whether conscientiously or not, does in the Message. Of course there inevitably is going to be some degree of interpretation in any translation, but, in the NASB for example, words not in the original text are italicized.....
This cause more confusion than clarity. Italics generally are viewed as a symbol to mark emphasis. Even if you don't view it that way, knowing that a word is not in the original text is of no help at all. Instead it makes people wonder why someone "added" that word.

vir litterarum
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Post by vir litterarum » Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:09 am

My point is that interpretation of Scripture when composing a translation ought not be done on an individual level as it is done in the Message. Look at the fourfold aim of the NASB:

These publications shall be true to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
They shall be grammatically correct.
They shall be understandable.
They shall give the Lord Jesus Christ His proper place, the place which the Word gives Him; therefore, no work will ever be personalized.

"no work will ever be personalized." All the Message is is a personalized translation.


And sometimes words must be added if the translators feel that, without such words, the translation may not have the same meaning as the original passage had in Greek. Should we not add "son of..." when it is not explicitly stated in the Greek text even though it is clearly implied?
Last edited by vir litterarum on Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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IreneY
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Post by IreneY » Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:38 pm

The point is that one should keep interpretation to the minimum and have footnotes and whatnot for cases where the meaning of the original is ambivalent and the translator has to choose one or the other.


The difference is that if someone translated "What a day!" he/she wouldn't feel the need to add "what a miserable day it is" since it can be translated without any qualative interpretation. In the case of the Message we have such interpreting that goes far beyond the needs of translating the work.

See the Sunday prayer :

You're in charge!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes.Yes.Yes

Where does this come from?

Keep us alive with three square meals.

Nice number; is that necessary for translation?

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Post by Kopio » Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:32 am

You know, it's funny. I just got back from my Friday Night Ministry. I work with drug addicts and alcoholics that are working a Christian 12 step recovery program. There were several of my regular attendees there that were talking about the Message tonight. They were singing it's praises. Saying how, when they read something or hear something they don't understand, they'll look at it in the Message to see if they can figure out what it means.

This is one of the best ways to use the Message. With semi-literate, un-schooled, un-churched people. I have several friends that are barely literate, I would NEVER hand them a NASB. All it would do is frustrate them and make them feel stupid.

All that being said, I am starting a bi-weekly bible study after our meeting, and I will be using and teaching from the NIV. They will have the advantage of having someone there to help them understand what the passage is saying (in theory anyhow ;) ) and how to understand it. I'm guessing I'll be using lots of inductive methods to help them understand what the heck the bible is saying.

The Message is a horrible translation to use as a study bible, however, in the NT times you wouldn't have had to even be literate to understand what was being taught...because it was such common colloquial language. That's all Peterson is trying to do with the Message, he's just taking more liberty with his colloquialisms than most of us would.

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Post by vir litterarum » Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:01 pm

But people who use the Message do not understand just how eclectic of a work almost every other translation is and necessarily must be in order to be "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction. for instruction in righteousness." There are such a plethora of common language translations available such as the Living and New Living translations, which have been translated by a large gathering of experts in New Testament translation, that there is no reason to resort to the Message. The NIV, for example, was composed by 112 different translators! How presumptuous must Eugene Peterson be to assume that he could possibly produce a reliable translation by himself?! I understand that translations such as the King James and NASB do not reflect the colloquial nature of the original text as well some dynamic equivalence translations, but interpretation always arises when someone asserts that 'this idiom=this idiom'; therefore, in order for such a translation or whatever you would call a thing such as the Message, to be at all reliable, it needs to have the backing of scores of experts who have spent their lives studying Scripture asserting 'this idiom=this idiom.'

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