JASON BEDUHN TRUTH IN TRANSLATION PDF DOWNLOAD

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TRUTH IN. TRANSLATION. Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. Jason David BeDuhn. University Press of America,® Inc. Lanham. "Truth in Translation" by Jason DeBuhn FREE Download with the website " revelation online" it is a site that put books online for free, usually in PDF format. I find linguists not to have that bias, as beDuhn and Kedar show. 6 Jason David BeDuhn, “Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Hebrews , here: biosamnewbcropdic.cf


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Truth in Translation, Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, by Jason David BeDuhn, University Press of America, Lanham, Maryland. Written with the student and interested public in mind, Truth in Translation and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament by Jason David BeDuhn Paperback $ Get your site here, or download a FREE site Reading App. This Ebook Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament by BeDuhn, Jason David published by University Press of.

People have already been throwing around the words "accuracy" and "bias" quite freely, and I am merely taking up this rhetoric and focusing it on solid reasons and criteria for judging the applicability of the words to particular cases.

People are quick to charge inaccuracy and bias in someone else's Bible. On what basis do they make such charges? Charges of inaccuracy and bias are based upon the fact that a translation has deviated from some norm of what the translation should be. So what is the norm? It seems that for many the norm is the King James Version of the Bible.

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You hear it all the time: someone has "changed" the Bible by ofering a new translation. The "change" is from the standard of the King Jame s Version, which was, afer all, presented as the "standard" tr anslation. If a translation differs from the "standard," clearly it must be wr Unfortunately, this view of things is based on ignorance of the m basic facts about the Bible.

Age adds a certain sanctity to things. Whe n a new translation is made, it is, of course, different from the long established KJV, and people fault it for that.

But what else can people do? The only thing they have to compare a new translation to is the old translation. They have no means to assess real accuracy and bias because they do not have a valid norm by which to compare translations. But the fact that the general public does not have access to a valid norm does not mean that one does not exist. In fact there is such a nOrm that is available to anyone who is willing to take the trouble to learn how to use it: the original Greek New Testament.

Truth in advertising in the realm of Bible translation centers on the word "translation. Notice that I said "sticks to the meaning of the original Greek text. Such a "translation" is what we call an "interlinear translation," and it is not really a "translation" at all, as you can see if you ever try to read an interlinear.

An interlinear is a stage on the way to a translation, correctly identifying the basic meaning and function of each Greek word, but not yet assembling that information into coherent English sentences. The important thing in judgments of accuracy is that the translators have found English words and phrases that correspond to the known meaning of the Greek, and put them together into English sentences that dutifully follow what the Greek syntax communicates. If a translator chooses rare or otherwise unattested meanings for Greek words, and constructs English sentences which do not straightforwardly communicate the most likely sense of the original, then he or she is producing an inaccurate translation.

Comparison to the original Greek is absolutely necessary to make judgments of accuracy or inaccuracy. Without the Greek as a factor in the comparison, no valid judgment can be passed. Bias comes into the picture when we try to identify why a translation shows inaccuracy in its handling of the original Greek text.

Afer all, everyone makes mistakes. Furthermore, in any translation there are several ways to convey the meaning of the original. There is a very good and untroubling reason why Bible translations differ among themselves. Put simply, Greek is not English. Greek words do not have a one-to-one correspondence with English words in terms of their meaning. Greek sentence structure and patterns of style differ radically from the English structure and stylistics that would be used to get the same idea across.

So there is room for legitimate variation in translation. Bias does not necessarily enter into it. Bias is involved when differences in translation cannot be explained by reasons based in the likely meaning of the original Greek.

When a translation seems to come out of nowhere, we are likely to find that it involves certain ideas that the translator would like to see in the Bible. Most people interested enough to undertake the arduous work of making a Bible translation have an investment in a particular understanding of Christianity, and this investment can affect their objectivity.

Since there are many different forms of Christianity, bias in New Testament translation can be in various directions. Sometimes, translators make their biases explicit, by identifying themselves with certain denominations or interpretive agendas. The New American Bible was prepared by Catholics, for example.

The New International Version translators confessed explicitly their commitment to "evangelical" Christian doctrines and biblical harmony. And so forth. But even translations made by broad inter-denominational committees can be subject to the collective, "mainstream Christian" bias of the translators. The hardest bias to catch is one that is widely shared, and it is quite understandable that the common views shared by modern Christians of many denominations would infuence how the Bible is translated.

Understandable, but not acceptable. The success of numbers or of time does not guarantee truth. Accuracy in Bible translation has nothing to do with majority v it has to do with letting the biblical authors speak, regardless of where their words might lead.

It has to do with strictly excluding bias tow ards later developments of Christian thought. Avoiding bias involves o ng probable meaning rather than wished-for meaning. Any other choice needs to be justifed by strong evidence from the literary context or historical and cultural environment. Such evidence can sometimes make a less obvious meaning possible, even probable; but it cannot rule out the other possible meanings allowed by the known rules of the Greek language.

When there is no way to resolve rival possible meanings, we really can't blame translators for following the one that corresponds with their beliefs. But they owe it to their readers to make a note of the uncertainty. In passing judgment on how well or poorly translators have done in avoiding bias, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

If the translation given is at least within the realm of possibility for the meaning of the Greek, we must grant that fact and not be too hard on the translators for preferring one possible meaning over another. But if they stretch beyond that rather generous range and reach for the truly novel, rare, or unlikely sense of the Greek, we must be very suspicious of their motives.

We have to wonder why they couldn't let the Bible say what it has to say, why they had to put some other idea there in place of the more likely, obvious meaning of the original biblical text.

Accurate, unbiased translations are based on I linguistic content, 2 literary context, and 3 historical and cultural environment. The very same three things are consulted to assess a translation once it is done. We use these three bases for making and assessing New Testament translations because we presume certain things about how the New Testament was written by its authors.

Our reliance on linguistic content presupposes that an author used Greek correctly, in line with the linguistic conventions of his or her time. If he or she didn't, we really have no way to know what might be meant. Our use of literary context assumes that an author was relatively consistent and non-contradictory in what he or she said.

If the author has not assembled a coherent piece of writing, we would be unable to judge our ability to understand it. Our attention to the historical and cultural environment presumes that an author worked with images and ideas available in his or her world even if working to redefine or transform them , and that a contemporaneous audience was the intended readership.

If the books of the New Testament were written in a way that was incomprehensible to the earliest Christians, they never would have been valued, preserved, and collected into scripture. Let's consider th In order to have any ability to make a judgement about the ac curacy of a translation of the New Testament from its original Greek into modern English, you have to know how to read Greek, and the particular kind of Greek in which the New Testament was originally written something known as Kaine or "common" Greek.

I am sure this seems obv ious to you. Yet, amazingly, the majority of individuals who publicly pass judgement on Bible translations -- in print, on television and radio, on the internet, and in letters they send to me -- do not know how to read Greek. The obvious question to be asked here is: then how can they tell what is a good translation and what is not? The fact is that they cannot. Their opinions are based not on the accuracy of translating Greek words into English words, but on the agreement of the fnal product with their own beliefs about what the Bible must say.

In practice, people who do not read Greek compare a new translation with an existing one of which they approve. Any difference is judged negatively, and is considered to be changing or distorting the text of the Bible. But differences are bound to arise in new translations because Greek words ofen can mean several different things in English and, besides that, the good news is that with every passing generation we are learning to read Koine Greek better as we learn more about it.

So the first question you should ask anyone who claims to have the credentials to speak about the translation of the New Testament is: Do you know how to read Koine Greek?

If not, then you have no basis to render an opinion, other than to rely on other people who do read Koine Greek. If we Greek readers disagree among ourselves, then you must examine our arguments and evidence and decide who has the better case. When it comes to using literary context to assess the accuracy of a translation, anyone who has spent a lot of time reading the New Testa ment has made a beginning on mastering this credential.

It involves rec izing the different types of writing contained in scripture. Paul's lett are a very different sort of literature than a narrative such as the Gospe l according to Mark, which again is quite distinct from a visionary acc like the Book of Revelation.

The success of numbers or of time does not guarantee truth. Accuracy in Bible translation has nothing to do with majority votes; it has to do with letting the biblical authors speak, regardless of where their words might lead. It has to do with strictly excluding bias towards later developments oi-Chri?

Any other choice needs to be justified by strong evidence from the literary context or historical and cultural environment. Such evidence can sometimes make a less obvious meaning possible, even probable; but it cannot rule out the other possible meanings allowed by the known rules of the Greek language.

When there is no way to resolve rival possible meanings, we really can't blame translators for following the one that corresponds with their beliefs. But they owe it to their readers to make a note of the uncertainty. In passing judgment on how well or poorly translators have done in avoiding bias, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. If the translation given is at least within the realm of possibility for the meaning of the Greek, we must grant that fact and not be too hard on the translators for preferring one possible meaning over another.

But if they stretch beyond that rather generous range and reach for the truly novel , rare, or unlikely sense of the Greek, we must be very suspicious of their motives. We have to wonder why they couldn't let the Bible say what it has to say, why they had to put some other idea there in place of the more likely, obvious meaning of the original biblical text. Accurate, unbiased translations are based on I linguistic content, 2 literary context, and 3 historical and cultural environment.

The very same three things are consulted to assess a translation once it is done. We use these three bases for making and assessing New Testament translations because we presume certain things about how the New Testament was written by its authors.

Our reliance on linguistic content presupposes that an author used Greek correctly, in line with the linguistic conventions of his or her time. If he or she didn't, we really have no way to know what might be meant.

Our use of literary context assumes that an author was relatively consistent and non-contradictory in what he or she said. If the author has not assembled a coherent piece of writing, we would be unable to judge our ability to understand it.

[Jason David BeDuhn] Truth in Transl

Our attention to the historical and cultural environment presumes that an author worked with images and ideas available in his or her world even if working to redefine or transform them , and that a contemporaneous audience was the intended readership.

If the books of the New Testament were written in a way that was incomprehensible to the earliest Christians, they never would have been valued, preserved, and collected into scripture. Let's consider these credentials more closely.

In order to have any abil ity to make a about the accuracy of a translation of the New Testament from its original Greek into modern English, you have to know how to read Greek, and the particular kind of Greek in which the New Testament was originally written something known as Kaine, or "common" Greek. I am sure this seems obvious to you. Yet, amazingly, the majority of individuals who publicly pass judgement on Bible translations -- in print, on television and radio, on the internet, and in letters they send to me -- do not know how to read Greek.

The obvious question to be asked here is: then how can they tell what is a good translation and what is not? The fact is that they cannot. Their opinions are based not on the accuracy of translating Greek words into English words, but on the agreement of the final product with their own beliefs about what the Bible must say.

In practice, people who do not read Greek compare a new translation with an existing one of which they approve. Any difference is judged negatively, and is considered to be changing or distorting the text of the Bible. But differences are bound to arise in new translations because Greek words often can mean several different things in English and, besides that, the good news is that with every passing generation we are learning to read Kaine Greek better as we learn more about it.

So the first question you should ask anyone who claims to have the credentials to speak about the translation of the New Testament is: Do you know how to read Kaine Greek? If not, then you have no basis to render an opinion, other than to rely on other people who do read Koine Greek. If we Greek readers disagree among ourselves, then you must examine our arguments and evidence and decide who has the better case.

When it comes to using literary context to assess the accuracy of a translation, anyone who has spent a lot of time reading the New Testament has made a beginning on mastering this credential. It involves recognizing the different types of writing contained in scripture. Paul's letters are a very different sort of literature than a narrative such as the Gospel according to Mark, which again is quite distinct from a visionary account like the Book of Revelation.

Accuracy and Bias in English New Testament Translation.pdf

These discrete forms of writing shape the meaning of the passages they contain. But knowing the New Testament inside and out is only the beginning. The books of the New Testament belong to a larger literary context that includes early Jewish and Christian traditions of writing.

The Jewish scriptures the Christian Old Testament , for example, form an essential context for understanding the expression of the New Testament. Other Jewish and Christian writings produced at the same time as the New Testament, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Christian apostolic fathers, help us to grasp the literary conventions followed in the New Testament, as well as the characteristics that set the New Testament apart. The New Testament was not written in isolati on, but emerged from a larger literary world by which, and against which, it was shaped.

So familiarity with literary context in both the narrow and broad sense is an important skill to apply to assessing Bible translations.

Knowing the dictionary definition of isol ated Greek words, or having a sense of literary conventions are good stmiing points, but they are not sufficient to make someone able to make or assess Bible translations.

Words change their meaning over time, and one has to be familiar with how particular words and phrases were understood in particular times and pl aces by reading writings ot her than the biblical ones. Moreover, when we write or talk, the full meaning is not in the dictionary meaning of the words alone, but in the references and allusions of our imagery, metaphors, and figures of speech.

Some terms have very specialized meaning for particular groups of people. Some statements assume familiarity on the part of their hearers about the topic being spoken of. For example, a great deal of what Jesus had to say refers to and builds upon the ideas and images of lst century Judaism.

Without education in how I st century Judaism operated and what it valued, it is easy to misunderstand what Jesus is talking about, or to be downright baffled by it. This kind of background knowledge is available to hi storians from the literature and archaeology of the period.

The exact nuance of a phrase or argument in the New Testament may depend on this background knowledge. So it is important to have some credentials in this area. If you haven't had the opportunity to receive this sort of education, it is never too late.

You can easily fill your home library with books on the subject, of which dozens are published every year. In this area, too, we are learning more all the time.

All they can do is argue the dictionary meaning of a term, or the normative understanding of a concept found in their church, against a translation that takes cognizance of the language in its own time and place, as it was known to the actual authors ofthe Bible.

Thousands of biblical researchers in America have these three credentials, not to mention the many more in other English-speaking countries, and I am one of them. That is why I feel somewhat justified in writing this book. But just as importantly, I have an attitude that puts me at a distinct advantage to write a book such as this. I am a committed historian dedicated to discovering what Christians said and did two thousand years ago.

I have no stake in proving that those Christians are most like a particular modern denomination of Christianity, or that they adhered to particular doctrines that match those of modern Christians.

If it turns out that they did, fine; if not, then I certainly am not going to fault them for that.However, it is not a new argument. When a translation seems to come out of nowhere, we are likely to find that it involves certain ideas that the translator would like to see in the Bible.

The same argument applies to the New World Translation's use of "[other]" in Philippians when it says, "For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name. This problem arises because the Bible itself is not consistent in the way all of these translators want it to be. This chapter states the necessity of an accurate definition of Greek words as the foundation for trustworthy English translation.