The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149778   Message #3492788
Posted By: Joe Offer
20-Mar-13 - 06:36 PM
Thread Name: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
Bill, I'm not sure I would agree with your statement about "translation errors." It seems to imply that there is a "correct" way to translate the Bible - which, indeed, might be the contention of literalists. For centuries, many groups believed that the King James (Authorised) Version was the only "correct" translation, and some said that the translation itself was divinely inspired. Certainly, there are errors in any translation, but I don't see that as the crux of the issue.

I think I'd prefer to say that there are a number of ways to translate any document. Some translations are better than others, but "better" is a relative term. Different translations follow different philosophies of translation. Some are more literal (literal equivalence), and some more closely tied to the meaning of the original text (dynamic equivalence). That's a basic difference between translations, whether they should be word-for-word or thought-for-thought translations. A translation meant for oral proclamation might strive for a more literary form of English, than a text meant for reading or study might need. As one who teaches bible study, I can't get by with fewer than about twenty translations, although I mostly use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) for teaching, the Good News Version for casual reading, and the New American Bible for Catholic stuff since it's the standard bible for American Catholics. My favorite is the NRSV. We used the RSV as a teacher-approved aid in Greek class, and it was very close to the Greek text of the New Testament.
Conservative Christians have gradually abandoned the King James Version. The most popular bible among conservative/evangelical Christians in the U.S. is the New International Version (NIV), and it's a very good translation.