Bible Summit Picks

Friday, May 28, 2010

BT - Paraphrase II

I found this interesting video of John Piper considering his opinion on paraphrase:

I appreciate his view concerning liking paraphrases when we call them paraphrases . . .

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BT - Paraphrase

The last part of the spectrum to discuss concerns 'Paraphrases' which are authorial interpretations/applications of a translation into a modern day or contemporary vernacular.  Note: Paraphrases are not translations.  Paraphrases move into today's idiomatic phrasing and terminology.  While interesting and insightful as a commentary usage or insightful reading, please remember that they are the specific author's viewpoint and interpretation of the text.  Paraphrase are usually not recommended for penetrating Bible study and I would agree.  My first paraphrase that I inherited from my mom was the Living Bible:
Living Bible red-letter with green hardcover (Living Bible, The)

Some paraphrases can be amusing at times - such as the Cotton Patch Gospel (imagine Jesus coming to the South in Georgia . . . ).  These are clips from the musical made from the books:



The most popular paraphrase by far is the Message Paraphrase by Eugene Peterson.  Here is the latest edition:
The Message Remix
Paraphrases certainly have an interesting place amongst the translation continuum (far side) and provide good devotional and commentary insight.  That would be the plus side.  I would like to reiterate that they should not be used for specific Bible Study, word studies, exegetical insights, etc.  But they can be fun . . .

What do you think?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BT - Gender Neutral Controversy and the TNIV

When the TNIV (Today's New International Version )surface back around 2004 (? - I received a special preview free pdf of the TNIV New Testament dated 2004, with translation committee notes dated 2001), I never realized the flurry of thoughts that would come soon after.
The TNIV Bible: Timeless Truth in Today's Language™ (Today's New International Version)

The TNIV translation updated the beloved NIV with up-to-date language and readability.  What I did not realize  pertained to an issue called "Gender Neutral Controversy" or "Inclusive Language Debate".  To put simply (as I possibly can and still do justice to the issue), the translators took words such as 'men' and replaced with 'men and women', or even echoed in the change of 'brothers' into 'brothers and sisters'.  HERE is an article from Dr. Craig Blomberg that addresses inclusive language (short article).

If you are from the southern United States, the Biblical term 'men' or 'brothers' could be translated "y'all".

I am truly not doing the debate justice, but understand that the controversy centers around adding "and women" as well as "and sisters" in which the literal word-for-word translation does not state.  Yet, the idiomatic term could possibly include men and women, brothers and sisters.

Another issue in the beginning was that terminology for God was made gender neutral.  This was quickly squelched as not true of the TNIV.

If you want more to read as well as a lot more detail (more than you ever want), the following two books present the two sides of the controversial debate:
Against Gender Neutral             For Gender Neutral
The TNIV and the Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy                        The Inclusive-Language Debate: A Plea for Realism

Is Gender-Neutral language a concern for you?

BT - Dynamic Equivalence

Okay, now for a little more on 'Dynamic Equivalence'
The New Living Translation (NLT), a dynamic equivalence, defines a dynamic equivalence as a translation that "focuses on translating the message of the original-language text.  It ensures that the meaning of the text is readily apparent to the contemporary reader.  This allows the message to come through with immediacy, without requiring the reader to struggle with foreign idioms and awkward syntax.  It also facilitates serious study of the text's message and clarity in both devotional and public readying." (Introduction, p1)

Sometimes, word-for-word (Formal Equivalence) translations read a little wooden or choppy.  Thought-for-thought (Dynamic Equivalence) translations read more flowing and smooth.

Personally, I will read the NLT for larger passages or when I read a complete book in one sitting to get the big idea (more on my Bible Study method in June).  Because of the flow and style, I find reading a thought for thought translation very beneficial in ascertaining the big picture of a Biblical book.

Next time, I will discuss one of the biggest arguments concerning Dynamic Equivalences called "Gender Neutral Language".  Stay tuned . . . .

Friday, May 21, 2010

BT - Combination of Formal and Dynamic

Sometimes, folks really only want to purchase and utilize 1 Bible for their devotional, study, and spiritual walk.  Some pastors and teachers have encouraged such a desire especially in regards to Scripture memorization.  Familiarity with one translation can be very beneficial in this area.  Therefore, which Bible serves as a middle of the road between translation theories?  Which translations balance word-for-word (formal) and thought-for-thought (dynamic)?

Two translations come to mind:  the ever so popular for the past 20 some odd years - New International Version (NIV) and the newer within the last decade - Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

My first study Bible that I purchased was the NIV Study Bible.  What a great tool to start off!!  When my mother passed away in 1996, I was privileged to inherit my mother's NIV Thompson Chain Reference Bible, which became a wonderful new tool!  Click the links to learn more about the Bibles.

What Bible do you use and why?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Sunday's Coming" Video by Northpoint

During our staff (Pleasant Valley Baptist Church) retreat today, our Lead Pastor, Merle Mees, shared the following video.  I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share it.  I appreciate Northpoint's willingness to laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously.

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

What are your thoughts about the video?

BT - Formal Equivalence

For a good, albeit brief, introduction to Formal and Dynamic Equivalence, click HERE for a good Wiki article.

As a recap, Formal Equivalence translation (as defined by the NET bible):
1With formal equivalence each word of the original language is represented by a word in the receptor (target) language, and the word and clause order is kept as nearly identical to that of the original language as possible. Thus this approach translates word for word.

 Formal Equivalence translation as defined by NLT (a thought for thought) is
"A formal-equivalence translation preserves aspects of the original text - including ancient idiom, term consistency, and original language syntax - that are valuable for scholars and professional study.  It allows a reader to trace formal elements of the original language text through the English Translation"

Follow the Wiki article for a list of Bibles that follow the Formal Equivalence route.  Suffice to say, here is a short list:
Young's Literal Version
King James Version
New King James Version
Revised Standard Version
English Standard Version (which is what I use currently for my word-for-word translation)

Another version (that is next on my purchase list), is the NET Bible 
This version is produced by translation scholars and looks very interesting!

Monday, May 17, 2010

BT - Interlinears

Let's travel through the spectrum of Bible Translations(BT) beginning on the left hand side of the translation spectrum with Interlinears.

Click here for the definition from  Suffice to say, Biblical Interlinears place the English text alongside (usually the line directly above or below) the Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament).  And yes, the Bible does have some Aramaic passages/quotes as well.

IMO, interlinears serve as the furthest left-hand side of the translation spectrum providing the best possible word-for-word translation, i.e. formal equivalence.  I will define and discuss formal equivalence in the next blog.

Here is a Greek and English New Testament that I use currently:

Click HERE to see an example page from John 1:1-5.

Although somewhat technical, interlinears serve as a great tool in viewing scripture in a word-for-word format.

Anybody know of a good Hebrew interlinear?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bible Translation (BT) Spectrum

Here is a chart I made of the spectrum as mentioned previously.
Click on the chart for a larger view.

EDIT: 5/22/10 I switched some of the Word-for-Word tabs to reflect a cleaner view on Formal Equivalence (i.e. NASB77 and KJV).  I like this new version better.  Thanks Ben for the catch!

Bible Translations (BT)

Which Bible translation should you get?
Part 1

Part 2

Please post your comments or questions and I can address those this week.
Edit:  I state first "Formal Equivalence" (which is correct for word for word) then start sharing "Functional Equivalence"  what I originally meant to continue to say was Formal Equivalence.  Sorry for the confusion.  The term Functional Equivalence is sometimes used for Dynamic Equivalence.  Oops.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bible Summit Blog Revamp

The Blog is changing! Like the new look?