It started on T.C.’s blog with a post questioning Dr. Blomberg‘s stance that the blogging world is fueling the translation wars. Seems to me that he has added fuel to the fire, so to speak. I hate to tell Dr. Blomberg this, but the translation wars have been going no long before the blogging world was created in 2.0 days. T.C. quotes the good doctor,
I’m sorry the blog fueled the “Bible wars.” It’s a sad state of affairs when we gloat over one translation vs. another. Everyone of them has its strengths and weaknesses and we are so spoiled in English to have so many to pick from. The real point of the post was to reflect on one particular passage and the intricacies of its translation and, as I concluded, to encourage people regularly to consult multiple versions rather than championing one as always (or even usually) the best. (bold added)
The doctor shows up on T.C.’s blog and leaves this comment,
I recommend the NLT for those who want something that majors on clarity and facility of reading, especially for young readers, poor readers or those for whom English is a second language, even though it at times loses precision and accuracy of translation.
My initial response, which I kept sorta private, was to wonder if clarity and facility of reading shouldn’t be the mission of all translations, but again, I didn’t say a way.
Then Mark Stevens posts this morning in which he asks,
On an unrelated note do wonder how thrilled Joel Watts will be with his assessment of the NLT!
To good doctor responds,
Now that the NLT is a bona fide translation, and there is an excellent commentary series (Cornerstone) on it, I have no problem with even very smart adults who want to use it regularly. I would just prefer something that aims for that sweet spot of combining accuracy and readability for the pulpit. (emphasis added)
I am that Joel Watts, and I use the NLT, read the NLT, recommend the NLT and I found the comments about the NLT nothing more than an egotistical jab.
Perhaps we should stop separating translations based on our perceived notions of what they are far and realize that the people who read them and enjoy them and find God in the pages rarely do so with the authority of the Academy.
I love the fact that Dr. Blomberg first notes that the NLT is especially for young readers, poor readers or those for whom English is a second language. Awesome. But you know, at least he doesn’t have a problem with even very smart adults who want to use it regularly. Which is just that much more awesome. Blomberg seems to be relegating the NLT to be used by those who aren’t ‘smart.’
I am a pretty smart individual, actually. The NLT is for me what saved my bible reading and has allowed me to have a solid foundation for reading to my children and engaging with those whose first language isn’t 16th century Reformation dialogue. I dearly love the NLT because it has mean so very much to me in this last few years. Yes, there are problems – every translation has problems – but it is not just for children or slow learners but for those who love the Scriptures as well. Thank God that I do not have to be brilliant to read the bible neither dumb.
Yeah, I think he just fueled the fires a wee bit in my this lovely morning.