Views on Literal Translation and then Good Translations

Fellow Blogger Nick has posted a quote from Hillary of Poiters on translation:

Now it seems to me right and appropriate, before I begin my argument about suspicions and dissensions as to words, to give as complete an account as possible of the decisions of the Eastern bishops adverse to the heresy compiled at Sirmium. Others have published all these transactions very plainly, but much obscurity is caused by a translation from Greek into Latin, and to be absolutely literal is to be sometimes partly unintelligible. (De Synodis 9)

And then Brian, another good blogger, has added a quote from Douglas Staurt,

A good translation not only renders the words of the original into their best English equivalents, it also reflects the style, the spirit, and even the impact of the original whenever possible.  You are the best judge of what constitutes a faithful translation.  Your familiarity with the passage in the original, and with the audience for whom you write or preach, allows you to choose your words to maximize the accuracy of the translation.  Remember that accuracy does not require wooden literalism.  The words of different languages do not correspond to one another on a one-on-one basis.  It is the concepts that must correspondYour translation should leave the same impression with you when you read it as does the original.  A translation that meets this criterion can be considered faithful to the original. (Old Testament Exegesis (WJK, 2001) – (p. 103):)

I will not say that one method of Translation is above another. Why? Because I agree with Stuart (Brian’s Quote) that a translation used is to be targeted to the audience. There are times I use the New Living Translation for teaching, preaching, reading and talking. But, if the audience requires something more formal, and I have to, I would use the NASB (or, if my arm if twisted, the ESV :)).

Frankly, these translation wars are rather silly.

For a take on them, visit Nick’s blog above and read the comments.

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