There’s an old Italian proverb that warns translators about jumping in to the task: “Traduttori? Traditori!” Translation: “Translators? Traitors!” The English proverb, “Something’s always lost in the translation,” is clearly illustrated in this instance. In Italian the two words are virtually identical, both in spelling and pronunciation. They thus involve a play on words. But when translated into other languages, the word-play vanishes. The meaning, on one level, is the same, but on another level it is quite different. Precisely because it is no longer a word-play, the translation doesn’t linger in the mind as much as it does in Italian. There’s always something lost in translation. It’s like saying in French, “don’t eat the fish; it’s poison.” The word ‘fish’ in French is poisson, while the word ‘poison’ is, well, poison. There’s always something lost in translation.
But how much is lost? Here I want to explore five more myths about Bible translation.
via Five More Myths about Bible Translations and the Transmission of the Text | Daniel B. Wallace.
This is about N.T. Wright’s translation of the New Testament. Here’s an excerpt:
I’m not hearing much chat about Tom Wright’s new translation of the New Testament, called The Kingdom New Testament, but it sure does deserve careful consideration to be on your desk or chair when you read the Bible. I hope everyone gets a copy and puts it next to the Bible they are now reading — read them together for a month or so, take it to church, and see what you think. I think you will like it.
Scot McKnight’s fuller review is here: Kingdom New Testament.
Here’s how Stephen J. Bedard’s post begins:
How important is it to know the Bible’s original languages? Is it good enough to just rely on your favourite translation? I think it is indeed a good idea to gain some knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. However, translations are good if you do not rely on just one.
For me, I depend on translators for the translation but on the Holy Spirit for the interpretation.
via Translators as Interpreters | Hope’s Reason.
Church historian Eusebius (AD 263 – 339) here reports on what Papias had written in the first third of the Second Century:
“When Mark was the interpreter [or translator] of Peter, he wrote down accurately everything that he recalled of the Lord’s words and deeds—but not in order. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him; but later, as I indicated, he accompanied Peter, who used to adapt his teachings for the needs at hand, not arranging, as it were, an orderly composition of the Lord’s sayings. And so Mark did nothing wrong by writing some of the matters as he remembered them. For he was intent on just one purpose: to leave out nothing that he heard or to include any falsehood among them.” So that is what Papias says about Mark. And this is what he says about Matthew: “And so Matthew composed the sayings in the Hebrew tongue, and each one interpreted [or translated] them to the best of his ability.”
Source: Ehrman, Bart D. (2012-03-20). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (Kindle Locations 1513-1519). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Dan Wallace explains that Lucifer does not always mean Satan. Rather, it means “morning star,” and so its further meaning is defined by the respective context in which it is used.
Daniel B. Wallace.
New Testament scholar Daniel Kirk helps us better understand what to think when we see the word “Jew” in the Bible. Here’s how it starts…
A conversation that has been going on for some time now in the study of early Judaism and Christianity is how we should translate the Greek word Ioudaioi.
In your Bible, this will almost invariably be translated “Jew.” For most of us, this word homes in on the religious identity of the people being discussed.
But it may be that the ancients were more likely thinking of the more literal rendering of the word: Judean. I.e., it refers to those who share a common geographically determined heritage.
via Jew, Judeans, and Commas | Storied Theology.