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

Elizabeth Kline kline_dekooning at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 25 11:26:03 EDT 2010

On Apr 24, 2010, at 6:19 PM, Dr. Don Wilkins wrote:

>  Hoyle's perspective is mainly that of a translator trying to communicate the source meaning to a modern target audience in the hope that mistakes in meaning will be minimized. 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. In reading Steve's Grammar in particular, I get the impression that a very mechanical or wooden "word-for-word" translation is essential for study by a person without Greek knowledge who wants to make use of linguistic analysis. It is not so much that the translation of any given word is the best possible, but rather that it provides a connection to the original Greek, which can possibly be clarified further by artificial means like Strong's numbers etc. I'm asking this partly because I've just started teaching a class on hermeneutics. Another reason is that when I worked on the '95 update of the NASB, one of the changes we made was to eliminate some initial KAI's at the beginning of sentences for smoother English, a practice that was commonplace for some other translations but a significant change for the NAS. 


E.A. Nida's school of thought is fifty years old in a discipline (modern linguistics) which is about 100 years old if you date it from the French version of the class notes from Saussure's students. Never the less we just got a heavy dose of E.A.Nida-ism from one of his disciples in response to your question. This is a "western" perspective. I know an Orthodox Translation Consultant who considers the LXX a "good translation", not just a tool for textual criticism. On this issue "east is east and west is west" a direct quote.

 Since he is also working hand and hand with western BT professionals, when it comes to tribal languages he doesn't advocate an LXX style. The notion that one should be able to read an interpret the bible in private, i.e., not in the context of the Church is also a western protestant idea. The idea that a translation should stand alone (without notes or secondary resources and with church teaching) is in my opinion a bad idea. I have read most of Nida's stuff from the sixties. I didn't buy it when I first read it and I still don't. 

Translation into the languages of primitive pagan cultures is a nightmare. When the process was first described to me forty some years ago by some SIL people it didn't sound like a very attractive thing to spend your life doing. Translating into english for a north american audience is becoming more and more like translating for a pagan audience.  

This is all off topic. I don't find the bible wars very interesting anymore. 

Elizabeth Kline

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