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

Dr. Don Wilkins drdwilkins at verizon.net
Mon Apr 26 14:06:20 EDT 2010

I had not asked Randall to weigh in on this, but I'm glad that he  
did. I also appreciate Carl's humor and his tolerance in our (my)  
straying off-topic.

Elizabeth has once again refused further comment, but I appreciate  
her input and Yancy's. It appears that you all think that a  
translation that is "wooden" for analysis purposes is a bad idea. I'm  
not sure Steve Runge would agree, because he seems to see value in  
linguistic analysis of an English translation. On that point,  
Randall, if you have the time, I would appreciate clarification of  
your question, "...should someone who reads Greek poorly at best be  
doing Greek analysis from an English text?" I was not asking about  
Greek analysis, only linguistic analysis of an English text that is  
"wooden" to accurately reflect the Greek text. Perhaps you don't  
believe it's possible to accurately represent the original. If you  
are saying that one has to master ancient Greek to properly analyze  
ancient Greek, and similarly to do linguistic analysis of the Greek  
text, I agree. And if you're saying that the best of bad alternatives  
is that the non-Greek reader is at the mercy of the translator, I'm  
not sure this is best, but I think that it is reality for the average  
Bible student. Yancy's argument for using multiple translations in  
Bible study works better for someone who reads Greek than for those  
who don't, because someone like us can view the different  
translations as commentaries, while those who don't read Greek have  
no criteria for deciding the most accurate translation (i.e. the one  
best representing the Greek). They need the guidance of a proficient  
reader of the Greek (or the Hebrew for the OT). But this is way off- 
topic (Carl, I apologize in advance).

Don Wilkins

On Apr 25, 2010, at 2:11 AM, Randall Buth wrote:

>> 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
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
> B-Greek mailing list
> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
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