Earlier this month, here on the blog, I wrote about how difficult it is to translate the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible into English.
I want to return to this subject this weekend to share with you this blog posting from a Bible translator, Daniel B. Wallace, who teaches at Dallas Theological Seminary, which has a reputation for being quite theologically conservative. That being said, it's hard to find much in his blog posting that educated Christians from right to left could reject.
He writes about 15 myths about biblical translations -- and he uses the term myth here to mean falsehood, not "larger truth, even if not historical," which is what myth also can mean.
I like his list, especially his insistent pokes at people who think that the King James Version of the Bible is the one God penned with God's own hand and, thus, should be used by everyone always and everywhere. I still don't get what makes such people tick, and Wallace doesn't either.
Although Christians believe that the Bible is God's word to humanity (and there are different interpretations of what that means), it's helpful to be aware of how the Bible was written over a long period of time by many authors and how difficult it sometimes can be to render its original Hebrew and Greek (with a smattering of Aramaic) into English.
Translators of good will often will differ with one another about various words and phrases. And, of course, as I've pointed out before, translators today have some 5,000 manuscripts from which to work, compared with only about 15 manuscripts available to the King James translators in the early 1600s.
In any event, whatever translation you use, the key questions to ask about any passage are these: What is this saying about God? What is this saying about humantiy? What is this saying about our relationship to God? And not necessarily: Did this really happen?
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JACKIE ROBINSON'S FAITH
Kansas Citians who keep up on the news know that there was an advance showing of the movie "42" here the other night -- the new film about Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier. What role did Robinson's religious faith play in all this? Here's an interesting piece that addresses that.