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New Bible Translation


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This month, Thomas Nelson publishers are releasing The Voice, a new translation of the bible that focuses more on dialogue, formatted like a screenplay or novel. The phrase Jesus Christ does not appear in it—instead, "Jesus the Anointed One" or the "liberating king." Angel is rendered as "messenger" and apostle as "emissary." David Capes, lead scholar for The Voice, says "I hope we get people to see the Bible not as an ancient text that's worn out, but as a story that they participate in and find their lives in." The new edition omits the "he said" and "they said" --for instance, in the scene where Jesus walks on the water:

Disciple: "It's a ghost!"

Another Disciple: "A ghost? What will we do?"

Jesus: "Be still. It is I; you have nothing to fear."

 

The title comes from the Greek word logos, usually translated as "word"-- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," In The Voice, that passage reads: "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God."

 

An interesting shift of emphasis there.

Edited by rivanna
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I like to use different translations as they allow me to look at texts in different ways I'm curious about this and might have to download.

I can see some traditional & fundy churches having a field day with it!

Edited by Yvonne
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Regarding the translation method used in The Voice, the publisher says, “The Voice is a dynamic equivalent translation.” Since I have studied translation theory to some extent, I thought a few comments on translation methodology would be appropriate.

 

‘Dynamic equivalence’ is a translation method that contrasts with “formal equivalence.” The latter is a more literal word-for-word translation where ‘dynamic equivalence, “preserves the effect the ST (source text) had on its readers and which tries to elicit a similar response from the target reader” (Translation: An Advanced Resource book, Hatim and Munday).

 

Dynamic equivalence is most appropriate in texts such as literature where ‘formal equivalence’ would be more appropriate for legal documents like contracts and treaties. Dynamic equivalence gives the translator much more license and subjectivity.

 

Traditional Bible translations like the KJV (without regard to the antiquated English and theological bias) and the RSV and NRSV (used in academia) are examples of ‘formal equivalence.’ The translator is trying to pick the most similar target language word (or phrase) to that of the source text. An example of ‘dynamic equivalence’ in Bible translation prior to The Voice is The Good News Bible.

 

So which is best? This answer depends on what one is looking for (assuming similar levels of knowledge and experience of both translators and lack of theological bias). If one is more interested in the historical aspects, ‘formal equivalence’ would be the preferred cup of tea. If one is looking for authoritative texts, 'formal equivalence' would be preferred. If one is looking for insights and wisdom, or literature, then ‘dynamic equivalence’ would be preferred.

 

'Dynamic equivalence,' I think, requires a little more trust in the translator given the the greater degree of interpretation embedded in the text.

 

George

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's good advice, George.

 

And, as I'm sure you know well, Bible translations seldom fall neatly into one group or the other. The new HCSB (pretty much a Baptist translation) claims "optimal equivalence" that is as literal as possible when it makes sense but employs dynamic translation when it thinks necessary for clarity.

 

For me, I like formal equivalence for Bible study and dynamic equivalence for personal or public reading.

 

Here's a handy chart that shows where many translations fall on the spectrum:

 

bible-transchrt-js.jpg

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I also prefer 'formal equivalence" as I tend to be 'left-brain" oriented. I am interested in what the author intended for his audience (at the time). If I can derive some lesson from it, that is a bonus.

 

Yes, there is a continuum. I don't think anyone has yet done one in which donkeys become Honda's, robes are three-piece suits, etc.

 

George

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I don't think anyone has yet done one in which donkeys become Honda's, robes are three-piece suits, etc.

 

George

 

Give it 400 years, George.

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I don't think anyone has yet done one in which donkeys become Honda's, robes are three-piece suits, etc.

 

:) Check Jenkins' and LaHaye's take on the book of Revelation. :)

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Do they still mistranslate Isaiah 7:14 and 1 Corinthians 6:9?

 

Good question.

 

"Suit yourself. The Lord will give you a proof-sign anyway: See, a young maiden will conceive. She will give birth to a son and name Him Immanuel, that is, “God with us.” (Is 7:14, The Voice) (underlining mine)

 

George

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How do they translate the unknown Greek word that usually gets rendered as homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9?

 

"A lot of people stand to inherit nothing of God’s coming kingdom, including those whose lives are defined by sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual deviancy, theft, greed, drunkenness, slander, and swindling." (underlining mine)

 

According to The Early Christian Reader (a really good source), "The Greek word arsenokoites is a compound from arsen ('male') and koite ('bed'): Thus 'one (a male) who beds a male." They translate the word as 'sodomite,' The RSV uses "sexual perverts."

 

George

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