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4 Stars Out Of 5
June 14, 2010
This book is actually a collection of five essays produced by five authors who oversaw the translation of the ESV. The first thing to note, is that, as a defense for "essentially literal" translations, this book is strongly biased towards them, and especially towards the ESV. However, looking past the bias, the arguments set forth are excellent, often looking in depth at many passages of scripture, from various translations to back them up. One thing to note before buying however, is that despite it's short length, and relatively large type (what would normally make for an easy read) some parts of the articles get very technical. So even though it's not long, be prepared for a lot of depth.
I liked this book a lot. I have used KJV,NKJV,NLT and several others over the years. Most recently I've been using the NLT but was thinking about going back to a literal translation. I selected the ESV and so this book was very helpful in recognizing the difference between a dynamic translation NLT vs a literal. The book brought out many things I hadn't thought of before. Also the authors have great credentials and were involved with the ESV translation. This gives me a better feel for it as well.
This book makes the best case I have read to-date for essentially literal (formal equivalence) Bible translation. These scholars lean in favor of the ESV, which is understandable since they were a part of the ESV translation team. If you've used the NIV for many years (as I have), and would like another perspective as to why it might not be the best choice for accuracy and readability, then get this book. You won't be disappointed with the food for thought provided.
With a discussion format, Translating Truth helps greatly with one of todays problems: wading through all the Bible versions which continue to be produced, and deciding which ones are best. The publisher introduces the theme by saying, The words of the Bible are the very words of God, and so the work of translating these words is of utmost importance, with eternal consequences. (page 7) The translations are divided into three categories: (1) word-for-word or essentially literal; (2) thought-for-thought or dynamic equivalent; (3) exposition-for-text or expanded paraphrase. Firmly on the side of essentially literal, several authors consider why this is best discussing such themes as: are only some words of Scripture breathed by God; what readers want and what translators can give; considering different types of translators; truth and fullness of meaning; revelation versus rhetoric. The essayists include theology professors, Christian authors, and Christian historians. More than 20 translations are referred to within. Several chapters end with helpful bibliographies. Closing materials include a general index and a Scripture index. Translating Truth is an interesting book which whets the appetite for more information on this subject. It engenders thought, debate, and a desire to read and learn from the Bible. Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com