Understanding English Bible Translation: The Case for an Essentially Literal Approach
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Number of Pages: 192
Publication Date: 2009
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Provides a clear path through the maze of English Bible translations, defining the issues, contrasting the main traditions of modern Bible translation, and making a strong case for an essentially literal translation approach.
Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for over 43 years. He has authored or edited over three dozen books, including The Word of God in English and The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.
Steve Egidio3 Stars Out Of 5May 14, 2010Steve EgidioDr. Ryken's treatments of the various positions or philosophies in modern Bible translation should not be taken lightly. He is an able scholar with keen insight into the issues he includes in his text.However, I do not believe Dr. Ryken handles the issues as a dispassionate observer. He has a very definite bias toward the essential literal translation perspective, which comes through almost from the very first explanation and his definitions of the various translation philosophies, his term. It is especially noticiable when he describes or attempts to define dynamic equivalence. His contempt for the term itself makes itself known and thus it is hard for him be objective.I personally know and have been taught by a number of the Bible theologians and scholars who were part the translation teams of five modern English translations of the Bible; the NASB, the New King James, both NIVs, The ESV. Every one of these men and women are faithful Christian believers. Their hearts and minds are always focussed on telling God's story, God's way through the translation of God's word into the language of the people who will be reading it.Dr. Ryken railed against the idea of "marketing" a translation to a target audience. I put it you that the translators of the 1611 King James Bible did something similar. They did not do market studies, but they were definitely bent on reaching the Protestant audience.The idea that certain English translations from the 17th or 18th century are somehow superior in translation and are more faithful to the ancient language of the Scriptures is almost ludicrous at best. They have their place in translation history and should be read by the Chritians who wish to read them. They are not superior.Neither are the 20th century translations superior.Serious students of the Bible should read Dr. Rykens book. I would recommend it, with the above caveat.