Truth in Translation is a carefully crafted and scholarly work. BeDuhn brings a wealth of research and knowledge to the table. The subtitle is "accuracy and bias in English translations of the New Testament. He argues that too often, even in mainstream translations, the translators make the subtle journey from translation to interpretation. In it, he lays out the spectrum of translation philosophies from a Interlinear to b Formal Equivalence to c Dynamic Equivalence to d Paraphrase.
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Truth in Translation is a carefully crafted and scholarly work. BeDuhn brings a wealth of research and knowledge to the table. He argues that too often, even in mainstream translations, the translators make the subtle journey from translation to interpretation. In it, he lays out the spectrum of translation philosophies from a Interlinear to b Formal Equivalence to c Dynamic Equivalence to d Paraphrase.
Here are some of my concerns with the book: 1. BeDuhn seems to operate under the impression that he has avoided all bias in his analysis. At no point in the book does he reveal his own personal theological biases not even to the point where you could confidently nail him as an evangelical. Yet I would argue that it is impossible for him not to have theological biases. He could have engendered a much higher level of trust with his readership had he admitted his position and biases early on in the book.
If I had to peg him based on what little he gives away about himself, I would suspect he is a theological Liberal. BeDuhn seems to work from a basis of absolute neutrality on basic fundamentals of the faith such as the deity of Jesus Christ. While he seems to view this as a virtue, particularly in the context of translation work, one has to question what kind of epistemology allows this type of writing.
Can we really accurately translate the Scripture under the belief that we must not presuppose any theological conclusions?
BeDuhn readily recognised the necessity of understanding the a linguistic context, b literary context, and c historical and cultural environment in translation. Would we attempt a translation in any other setting which ignored interpretive context?
BeDuhn fails to recognise that all translation necessarily involves an element of interpretation. It is simply impossible to translate the entire NT with no interpretive bias. There are often many English words which can be used.
Each time we choose one of those words, we have a whole range of linguistic, literary, cultural, historical, and interpretative or contextual arguments for why we feel that is the best English word to communicate the meaning and nuance of the Greek word.
It has been driven mostly by an idea of where one is most likely to find bias, namely, those passages which are frequently cited as having great theological importance. Is this the only doctrine which might be subject to bias in Scripture?
Further, several of the passages he cites are passages which are consistent with the deity of Christ, but would not be used to prove the deity of Christ. BeDuhn fails to make a distinction between a passage which proves a particular point, and a passage which is merely consistent with a particular point.
I feel that to treat these two on the same level obscures the complexities involved in translation. BeDuhn develops a serious credibility leak in his dealing with several established Greek grammar rules. Instead of merely critiquing them and offering adjustments or developments to them, in both cases he simply says they are wrong and should be ignored.
In one case, he actually argues that exceptions to the rule prove that it is not a rule at all. The folly of such a statement is obvious. Overall, I think the book has helped me to look at translation work more critically. I would recommend the book to those who have already read fairly widely on the subject of texts and translations and who are very discerning. Otherwise, I would recommend reading at a more basic level first so that you can read this material more critically and knowledgeably.
That said, this book is written at a level which would be accessible to a fairly broad range of believers.
This work all needed to be complete before the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures could be published. I read the book of Tobit not included in the Protestant Bibles not long ago and at least now have an understanding of where the Pharasees got that woman with seven husbands ressurrection question from to ask Jesus. To complicate translation further, the word pneuma has a number of meanings. Having concluded that the NWT is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available, I would be remiss if I did not mention one peculiarity of this translation that by most conventions of translation would be considered an inaccuracy, however little this inaccuracy changes the meaning of most of the verses where it appears. So in John 1: At the very least, a translator could bias the translation toward one possibility while acknowledging the second in a footnote.
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Available at www. He holds a B. Quoted from Truth in Translation: Introduction Thousands of biblical researchers in America have [the three necessary credentials to do Bible translation. That is, they have the ability to accurately evaluate: 1 linguistic content, 2 literary context, and 3 historical and cultural environment as the basis for valid assessment of Bible translation. That is why I feel somewhat justified in writing this book. But just as importantly, I have an attitude that puts me at a distinct advantage to write a book such as this. I am a committed historian dedicated to discovering what Christians said and did two thousand years ago.
A Brief Review of BeDuhn’s “Truth in Translation”
Published University Press of America. Hardback or Paper Back. He analyses, in chapters 4 through to 12, scriptures such as John , , Colossians ff, etcetera, as well as words such as proskuneo "worship" and pneuma "spirit". His conclusion as to which translation has been more accurate overall, based upon what words and scripture passages he does analyse, might surprise the many! His own preferred translations, at times, "a god" at Luke for instance are thought provoking.