[B-Greek] referential complexity: frames & scenarios and Galatians 6:18

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Sun Apr 25 05:11:22 EDT 2010

>The end
> product would not be a "Study Bible," but (to use an old term) a
> thought-for-thought translation whose accuracy depends entirely on
> the understanding of the translator.

Having spent twenty years in Bible translation, I would say that all good
translation is done this way and is always similarly limited. Yet it is
as good as it gets.
The alternative--to list glosses that mimic the structure of the source
language (Greek, in this case), is to guarantee less accuracy. The
reader/audience has no alternative but to interpret the 'glosses' according
to the target language, and will correspondingly be more distant from
a fullly accurate interpretation. Any 'Greek' [SIC] training will just
compound the issue, because they won't have the necessary breadth to
qualify the training that they get and will again woodenly apply 'rules'
to a language whose cadence they do not hear.

However, the above quote was not made for translation purposes but
for analysis purposes. That brings one back to the question--
should someone who reads Greek poorly at best be doing Greek
analysis from an English text? I just can't see it, and have heard far
too many 'radio-preachers' to believe that the good will outweigh the
bad. I think that the bad outweighs the good. Students will be better
off, more on-target and in-the-ball-park, working from multiple English
translations done by qualified, skilled translators. And with a little
training in order to appreciate the various translations vis-a-vis
'wooden glosses'.

Personally, I don't see any other route than to learn Greek well if
someone wants to be a skilled, lifelong, interpreter of ancient
Greek literature and the NT in particular.

If you love Cervantes, learn Spanish fluently. If you love Schiller,
learn German fluently. If you love the Bard, learn English fluently.
 If you love Jesus, learn Greek fluently (Hebrew fluently too).
And learn analytical tools in parallel to the language skills.


Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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