in Bible syntax

On Biblical translations

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Via Mirko Tobias Schaefer (Flickr)

I thought the following was interesting when it comes to modern day Biblical translations:

We believe that any serious effort in studying the Bible should begin not with interpretation of the text (“What did the author mean?”), but rather with observation (“What did the author write?”) and that the paraphrastic, thought-for-thought approach takes this step away from the student of scripture and puts it almost entirely into the hands of the translator. –The Village Church

There’s still a struggle for me that you’re technically reading an interpretation in parts. What Geoff Ashley refers to as “relying on interpretation only when the text demands clarification.”

Well that seems like it could be a decent chunk of the Scripture! So when Piper points out the wild differences between the ESV and NIV, they both can’t be inerrant, can they?

Here’s the other thing I read on translations:

So we ought to put right on the front of The Message, “A Paraphrase of the Bible,” and then it would be valuable! Everybody could read it and say, “This is Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of the Bible,” and we would get gobs of insight from it!

But if you start substituting that kind of effort for your regular, daily Bible reading translation, then you’re basically reading a commentary and depending on it and calling it the word of God. –Piper

I hadn’t thought of it in that way before but I think it’s a smart way to reason with less literal, or more functionally equivalent translations.

I guess I’ll continue grappling with the inerrancy of different translations.

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