Know Your Bible Translations

Its overall importance stands somewhere with the occasional “Know Your Cuts of Meat” quiz on David Letterman’s late night show, but the Tennessean offers a chance to “Test your knowledge of versions of the Bible.”

Unless you have an encyclopedic recall of every verse of every version, you may well have some trouble with some of the questions, though the King James Version is pretty easy to spot.

The value, as I see it, is to encourage readers to pay attention to the fact that all our English language versions are translations, and not only is there disagreement about how to translate the original Greek and Hebrew, there are differences of opinion about how English itself has evolved as a language over time. How can we best render the Hebrew and Greek of two or three millennia ago to the English of four hundred years ago or of today?

(In case you’re wondering, I managed 6 correct answers out of 10.)

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3 responses to “Know Your Bible Translations

  1. Good post, Andy. The issues overall, very simply, in a good translation are: is it meaning based and contextualized to be understood accurately by the target audience. And, as you accurately point out, these issues are debated…a good thing in my opinion. I have seen this happen in translation committees all over the world. The more vigorous the debate, often the better the translation.

    • Bob-
      With your work with Wycliff you have an unusual advantage in seeing how translation issues relate to other languages, as well. Sadly, a lot of people haven’t even got their heads wrapped around the idea that the Bible wasn’t written in English.

  2. Pingback: New Common English Bible and 21st Century Technology | At the Workbench

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