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 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:03 pm

Is this Eugene Peterson a minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of America?

pocketscholar
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Post by pocketscholar » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:47 pm

Here's my favorite

Isaiah 28:9
"Is that so? And who do you think you are to teach us? Who are you to lord it over us? We're not babies in diapers to be talked down to by such as you— 'Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's a good little girl, that's a good little boy.'"

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.
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Kopio
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Post by Kopio » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:21 pm

pocketscholar wrote:Here's my favorite

Isaiah 28:9
"Is that so? And who do you think you are to teach us? Who are you to lord it over us? We're not babies in diapers to be talked down to by such as you— 'Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's a good little girl, that's a good little boy.'"
Actually from a Hebrew perspective, other than the "that's a good little girl, that's a good little boy" this is a pretty good translation of the text. He's simply trying to mimic what the Hebrew text says. It's repetitive in Hebrew (something Isaiah likes to do) and da, da, da, blah, blah, blah does that rather nicely.

The only bad part is now I have that stupid VW commercial song in my head....da, da, da......

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Post by Kopio » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:56 pm

vir litterarum wrote: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."
I think I disagree with you here. It isn't necessary to understand how eclectic a translation is or how it necessarily must be. Are you saying that someone reading the Message would not be able to understand God's message of salvation for mankind? Are you suggesting that in reading it they wouldn't be able to find out those things that are profitable for doctrine et al.? I think God's message throughout the Bible is easy to understand and get a hold of. how much of what is mentioned in the last quote does a 8 year old understand? And yet, as Christians, we would think that an 8 year old's conversion is something genuine.
vir litterarum wrote: 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?!
What's funny to me about the above quote, is that even with 112 translators, they still managed to screw up quite a bit of the New Testament! Don't even get me started on "sinful nature" instead of "flesh", or a number of other foibles that they consistently do. All that being said, the NIV is my preffered translation (It's what I carry and study out of for an English Bible). Don't get me wrong here Vir....I'm not trying to attack you by any means. What I am trying to attack is the fact that, if the translation is not to our liking, it isn't worth anything. Oh, and yes, the NLT is a wonderful translation, but I personally like it even less than the Message. My wife loves it though, and I have handed it out to numerous new Christians in hopes that it is a translation that they will be able to understand.
vir litterarum wrote: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.'
I disagree wholeheartedly. One of my personal favorite translations is the J.B. Philips translation. I think he did a wonderful job in translating the NT. I would stack his translation up against any modern translation...and I mean ANY. I also think that I myself do a pretty good job in translating the NT. Not that I would do my own translation (who has the time for that!). Translation committees can be, on large part, a joke. You have the Greek guys, and the English guys, they can never fully agree, and more often then not they compromise somewhere in the middle, and everyone looses. I have one prof who was part of the NIV translation committe, and one who was part of the NASB translation committee. They were continually frustrated by the English guys saying, "No, we really can't translate it that way." All that being said, the aforementioned translations are both very good, but to say that without a committee a proper translation is impossible is, in my opinion, absurd.

vir litterarum
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Post by vir litterarum » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:24 pm

So you are saying that you do not believe a translation by one man is any more "personalized" than a translation by fifty?

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Post by Bert » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:36 pm

Kopio wrote:... but to say that without a committee a proper translation is impossible is, in my opinion, absurd.
I agree. Tyndale, Luther and Erasmus come to mind.
vir litterarum wrote:
So you are saying that you do not believe a translation by one man is any more "personalized" than a translation by fifty?
I don't know what you mean by "personalized."
A translation can sure benefit from extra minds. One can catch mistakes of the other etc.
Maybe you mean by 'a personalized translation' the translation of someone who is not out to do his honest best at arriving at a good translation but who wants others to read what he thinks it should say.

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Post by Kopio » Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:27 am

Yeah...I think I'm with Bert on this.

There are certainly benefits from a large translation group...but there can also still be problems with a large translation group. Take the NWT for instance....I think it's a poor translation, mainly because it is a translation with a theological axe to grind.

Please don't get me wrong....I'm really not that big of a fan of the Message. I've read it, and like you there have been spots where my stomach has turned (especially in James). But it does have it's uses. His translation of Ephesians 6 I found particularly insightful, simply because he knocks out all of the figures of speech (the whole armor of God thing) and puts it into plain English. Surely some of what he is doing is exegesis not just translation, but like I said...it does have it's place. There is no way I am going to hand a semi-literate, one week clean and sober addict a NASB...it's going to go way over his head. What I would do is have him read that and then move onto something more literal, but only if he has a good commentary (meaning one that doesn't have a lot of Greek and technical jargon) or someone to study it with.

Would I ever carry the Message around as my main bible...not on your life. But it serves a purpose...that's all I'm trying to say.

FWIW, I am getting ready to do a Bible study with the aforementioned addicts and alcoholics, and I will be using the NIV, as will they (I am providing the bibles and all that stuff). One of the biggest problems with theology, Christianity, and the bible, is that so many people can't understand our "Christianese". If you don't believe me, next Sunday ask your standard pew sitter what "Sanctification" means. Or to be "Sanctified". About 80-90% have no idea what it means, and yet they read it all the time. The list goes on...justification, glorification, even Glory....it's a tenuous concept to them, even though they sing about it every Sunday and read it in their bible. It is my hope to help these newer Christians our in learning these thing, but I'm gonna sneak up on them and teach them a whole lot of theology...perhaps after I'm through with it all, I'll talk about what major theological doctrines we have covered and give them the fancy names for them. Vicarious atonement means nothing to most Christians, but "Christ died in your place, and in doing so, you died with him" makes much more sense.

Ok....I've rambled long enough....I'm off to read my NIV :wink:

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Post by vir litterarum » Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:22 am

I have no problem with dynamic equivalence translations for young Christians or those who are semi-literate; I just have a problem with translations composed by only one person. If the Message were composed by several people, I would not object to its usage. I am not saying that the format typically used in councils for translating the New Testament is good or bad; my only point is that, like Bert said, when you have a group of scholars gathered together, they will catch each other's mistakes. It is indeed absurd to think that someone, unless he is claiming divine inspiration, can literally translate the New Testament in any fashion without putting in his two cents, whether conscientiously or not. This is inevitable, so the compromise you vituperate is a necessity in any reliable translation because it minimizes "personalization" within any translation.

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Post by Kopio » Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:29 am

I guess we'll just have to disagree then. I do concede that you do have a valid point, that a committee does have it's benefits. My only point is that even with a committee translation there is still plenty of personalizations that are put into the text. The NASB is clearly translated with a dispensationalist, pre-trib standpoint. There are plenty of theological decisions made in any translation that come down to biblical theological principles.

For instance.....the famous "Christ in you" found in Colossians 1:27...grammatically it can be "Christ among you" there is no difference in the construct. How do you resolve this problem?? At some point you have to decide. Whether it is a large committee, or a single person, the process is the same, you have to make a decision. I have one Greek prof who says it is "Christ among you", and another who says it is "Christ in you"...but here's the funny thing, the problem can't be resolved with Greek, you have to look at the larger style, theology, and context of the verse to make a determination. And still...either one could be right or wrong!

Is a committee translation more reliable? Probably. Is it a better translation? Maybe. But as I said before, check out the J.B. Phillips translation, he was a first class scholar, and he grappled with the syntax and grammar, as well as with the colloquial language of the NT. For the record, it is my favorite translation, and one I hand out to many people for it's ease of reading and it's faithfulness to the text.

Ok, Vir.....I think I'm beating a dead horse here! But one more point and then I'll shut up. It should be noted that some of the greatest translations of ancient documents are done by a single author. Look at Homer, Plato, the Church Fathers, and many more. Most of the best translations are done by a single scholar, who is incredibly qualified, and specialized in his study.

Paz,
--Matt

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Post by Arvid » Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:05 am

If, instead of a committee, you had...oh, I don't know...72 scholars all prepare independent translations, and found they all agreed word for word? How would that be?
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