How Do We Know What the Bible Says?

I didn’t think there could be many interesting or controversial thoughts on Bible translations (except when people don’t use the King James Version, because we all know that’s how Jesus talked!), but that just shows what I know. Bible translator Leland Ryken has written a whole book making the case for more literal translations:

In Understanding English Bible Translation: The Case for an Essentially Literal Approach, he points out that the more literal a version is, the more of the interpretive possibilities of the original are preserved. If the translator chooses a phrase that conveys what he considers to be the meaning of the original, while not remaining close to its form, he is actually foreclosing the reader’s options in understanding the text.

A good point, but I will still only read his book if it’s translated into King James English.

One comment

  1. I actually like the idea of taking a more literal approach, but it won’t do a whit of good unless the language is considered in its original context as the authors intended. “Literal” doesn’t mean “verbatim.”

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