Here are a few passages I found interesting in Jason BeDuhn’s Truth in Translation. Overall I recommend it highly, especially for Christians but. by. Jason David BeDuhn. · Rating details · 75 ratings · 13 reviews. Written with the student and interested public in mind, Truth in Translation aims to explain. Jason BeDuhn knows that adding “other” to the text does not show that [ BeDuhn, “Truth in Translation” p] So what exactly are objectors to.
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Truth in Translation evaluates the subject of bias in English New Testament translations. After jaso New Testament translation bias, the author uses selected passages from nine well-known English versions as examples of translation bias. The source of translation bias: No two languages are identical in structure grammar or vocabulary. This is equally true between New Testament Greek and modern English. Therefore, every translation must make some accommodation to the differences between two languages.
In the case of the New Testament, the translation is biased if those accommodations are used to promote a particular doctrinal viewpoint.
For example, the Greek trqnslation in the original New Testament manuscripts did not use lower case letters, whereas English uses both upper and lower case letters. The original manuscripts autographs therefore did not make jawon distinction between “God” and “god,” or between “Spirit” and “spirit. Bias can also be introduced when difficult Greek sentences are interpreted for the English reader or when English words are added which are not found in the Greek text.
Truth in Translation is an excellent book. It is well worth reading. BeDuhn has done an outstanding job of explaining and illustrating translation bias in the New Testament. However, this book will certainly polarize ones of Jehovah’s Witnesses and evangelical Christians. BeDuhn makes a number of favorable comments regarding the New World Translation ‘s handling of specific verses in contrast to the same verses tganslation Bibles favored by evangelical Protestants.
A comprehensive review of Truth in Translation by Jason BeDuhn.
As a result, evangelical Protestants will often, without merit be suspicious of Truth in Translation. On the other hand, considering what Truth in Translation also says about the New World Translation in areas of its weakness, the Trsnslation Tower Society will need to proceed cautiously when quoting Truth in Translation. In that appendix he essentially denies the most prominent feature of the New Tfuth Translation ‘s Greek Scriptures when he disputes the appropriateness of using Jehovah in the New Testament.
We will consider that subject in the Appendix comments. He also stumbles on his own bias in several places.
I will comment on that where it is appropriate. I think it is fair to say this. On a first level, the translation principles BeDuhn describes are objective and are of extreme value. His academic qualifications demand that he be taken seriously. All of us from any theological persuasion need to carefully consider what he has to say regarding these translation principles.
On a second level, BeDuhn chooses a number of passages to use as illustrations. We need to pay careful attention to what the author says on this second level because he can teach us a great deal.
This is where the theoretical meets the everyday application in the English New Testament translation we use. Nonetheless, because this second beeuhn involves considerably more subjective material, all of us traslation readers have the responsibility of cautiously weighing his comments before reaching our final conclusion. Another set of samples might yield some different configurations of results. But the selection of passages has not been arbitrary. 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, the verses that are claimed as key foundations for the commitments of the belief held by the very people making the translations.
Choosing precisely those passages where theology has most at stake might seem deliberately provocative and controversial. But that is exactly where bias is most likely to interfere with translation.
Biblical passages that make statements about the nature and character of Jesus or the Holy Spirit are much more likely translatiln have beliefs read into them than are passages that mention what Jesus and his disciples had for lunch. Finally, there is a third level in which BeDuhn is merely reflecting his own belief. As a reader, trutb are free to accept, modify or reject his point of view, but there is still much he can teach each of us in transoation final area also.
May I suggest that Truth in Translation is a superb book. If both opponents and proponents of the New World Translation would apply the author’s principles to their own translation selection, we would all reap the benefit of reading Bibles which better reflect the intended message of the New Testament authors.
As such, our site is not a forum for discussing theology or even Bible translations. Based on this claim, the New World Translation is their vehicle for introducing Jehovah into the Greek Scriptures times. For that reason, we have been drawn into this debate on New Testament translation bias because many of BeDuhn’s examples are taken from the New World Translation. From Truth in Translation ‘s introduction: People are quick to charge inaccuracy and bias in someone else’s Bible. On what basis do they make such charges?
Charges of inaccuracy and bias are based upon the fact that a translation has deviated from some norm of what the translation should be. So what is the norm? It seems that for many the norm is the King James Version of the Bible. If a translation differs from the standardclearly it must be wrong.
But the fact that the general public does not have access to a valid norm does not mean that bwduhn does not exist. In fact there is such a norm that is available to anyone who is willing to take the trouble to learn how to use it: By claiming to be a translationan English Bible is being put forward as an accurate communication of the meaning of the original text. The important thing in judgments of accuracy is that the translators have found English words and phrases that correspond to the known meaning of the Greek, and jadon them together into English sentences that dutifully follow what the Greek syntax communicates.
Accuracy in Bible translation has nothing to do with majority votes; it has to do with letting the heduhn authors speak, regardless of where their words might lead. Accurate, unbiased translations are based trutth 1 kason content, 2 literary context, and 3 historical and cultural environment. The Origins of Modern English Bibles. This chapter gives a brief history of the New Testament as a written document and the composition of translation committees.
The Work of Translation. According to this chapter, the processes of translation includes “Formal Equivalence,” “Dynamic Equivalence” and “Paraphrase. However, to maintain uniformity with other pages on our website, we have altered this to NWT without further notation. This chapter states the necessity of an accurate definition of Greek words as the foundation for trustworthy English translation.
The Greek word proskuneo is used as the example.
In Jesus’ time, proskuneo meant to prostrate one’s self before another of higher rank or one who might grant a request. In that context, the translation is to do obedience.
Therefore, in the Gospels when individuals are prostrating themselves before Jesus, the use of the Greek word proskuneo is merely stating that they were on their knees in supplication. The verb proskuneo is used fifty-eight times in the New Testament. When the King James translation was made, the word picked to best convey the meaning of the Greek word was “worship.
It could be used for the attitude of reverence given to God, but also for the act of prostration. The word was also used as a form of address to people of high status, in the form “your worship. But modern English is not King James English, and the range of the meaning for the word “worship” has narrowed considerably.
Truth in Translation : Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament
Today, we use it only for religious veneration of God, trutb it no longer covers all of the uses for the Greek verb proskuneoor of the English word in the day of King James. For this reason, it is necessary that modern translations find appropriate terms to accurately convey precisely tranlation is implied by the use of proskuneo in the various passages where it appears. If they fail to do this, and cling to the old English word “worship” without acknowledging its shift of meaning since the days of King James, they mislead their readers trajslation thinking that every greeting, kiss, or prostration in the Bible is an act of worship directed to a mason.
BeDuhn then gives examples where proskuneo is used in the Gospels while pleading before man Matthew These verses are translated in most versions as “prostrated himself before,” “fell on his knees,” and “fell down before. But in other passages, translations revert to the KJV’s “worship” inappropriately. They do so primarily because the gesture of prostration is directed to Jesus, and in that circumstance they translate differently under the pressure of theological bias.
BeDuhn does not take us to verses in which “worship” is directed toward “God” because they are not part of tryth discussion. However, from his previous comments, we could assume that he would not find fault with that use of the word “worship” because it was bevuhn to a god or God.
We will come back to this later. Rendering a single Greek word into more than one English alternative is not necessarily inaccurate in and of beeduhn. Since Greek words such as proskuneo have a range of possible meanings, it is not practical to insist that a Greek word always be translated the same way.
But in our exploration of this issue, we can see how theological bias has been the determining context for the choices made by all of the translations except the NAB and NWT.
There are passages where many translators have interpreted the gesture referred to by the Greek rruth proskuneo as implying “worship. I am not going to enter into a debate over interpretation.
It is always possible that the interpretation of the significance of the gesture may be correct. But the simple translation “prostrate,” or “do homage,” or “do obeisance” is certainly correct. So the question is raised, why depart from a certain, accurate translation to a questionable, possibly inaccurate one? The answer is that, when this occurs, the translators seem to feel the need to add to the New Testament support for the idea that Jesus was recognized to be God.
But the presence of such an idea cannot be supported by selectively translating a word one way when it refers to Jesus and another way when it refers to someone else.
They might argue that the context of belief surrounding Jesus implies that the gesture is more than “obeisance” or “homage. We cannot uniformly translate proskuneo with the English word worship.
Few would disapprove when used of God. No one would approved when used of man. And, the opinion would be divided when used of Jesus. Behind the debate regarding the present-day English word worship is the notion that the being before whom the homage is performed is deity.
Thus, there is an element of motive in the present day English word worship. The one worshiping is doing obeisance while at the same time expressing recognition of the divine.
But we cannot see motivation unless there is some other observable act such as giving praise which verifies it.