About my Bible reading

So the only copy of the Bible that I own is called The Message and is a translation in very contemporary English. After reading the first few chapters of Genesis, I got the feeling that the translator was editorializing. Also, a reader of this fine blog turned me onto what is now one of my favorite blogs, God Didn’t Say That. Anyway, I just read a post on that blog that implied that my gut feeling was true and that the translator misses the point entirely.

I wish my Greek and Hebrew were good enough to be able to translate the original text of the Bible. All I really know is Latin, and I decided that if I translate it from Latin I might as well be translating it from French or German. So I’ll attempt to find a well-respected and less flowery translation of the Bible and use God Didn’t Say That to help me navigate that translation.

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1 Comment

  1. naikuu said,

    January 28, 2010 at 15:00

    Most people who know anything about translation deeply shun the idea of calling “The Message” a translation and lean more towards ‘editorialized paraphrase.’

    I’ve found that getting a more literal translation such as ESV or NASB is best, or one like the Amplified bible that tries real hard to put in the full meaning of words by including alternate uses in brackets. And then using that along with a concordance or a good understanding of the internet to look up a few different commentaries from a few people of different camps is best. It helps to see what scholars who DO know Greek and Hebrew have said, but also to read their logic behind why they’ve derived the meaning and thus the doctrine that they stand by, because they are still people with biases. And also, throwing in a KJV or NKJV is a good idea because those are actually translated from a different manuscript than others. Still say essentially the same thing, though.

    One thing I have noticed, is some people get all in a huff over some things, like there’s some people out there that think the KJV is the only real english bible, but when you look at Scripture even when Jesus quotes things from scripture, what He quotes is not word-for-word what is written in the passage He is quoting. Even culturally, with the oral traditions (as far as I understand) when you look at things liek other historical texts (the odyssey comes to mind) they were preserved by oral tradition to an illiterate culture, where people got the main meaning and the idea behind it down instead of the exact letter, and that was more important – not that someone memorized a set of words, but that they understood teh meaning.

    note – Example of Amplified –
    And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.


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