John Oaklands (matthews@dragon.net.au)
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 15:58:34 -0600

I've been enjoying the translations discussion. I suppose if Greek is to be
studied, the translations have to be considered somewhere down the track. I
read and enjoy most of the English translations mentioned. I like to see
what God has shown these tranalators in his word. But mainly I don't need
them, for I just like to read and enjoy the Greek and Hebrew texts.

The translations I most enjoy are a contemporary French one and the French
TOB, though I must admit I'm greatly enjoying the 1984 German translation
from Stuttgart. And why not, the Spanish RVA is fine but very much like the
NIV. I even enjoy the Latin Vulgate. The more I read it the more I
appreciate its beauty and power and understand somewhat more why it has
survived for so many centuries.

As I read the translations in other languages I continually discover how
they are related to the culture of that language group. And I think this
needs to be remembered whan reading English tranalations, that they
frequently portray Scripture in terms of English culture, and 20th century
(almost 21st) century at that. In other words it's not merely the issues of
the Greek text itself or someone's theology, though they both seem to play a
part and naturally so, but the cultural backgrounds of the translators.
This all makes the translations so interesting to me for I love to see what
these scholars have found in the text.

And that is one of the problems I have with the KJV. In fact, I have no
problem provided the reader understands where the language was at, what was
the cultural milieu, and what was their understanding of the Greek and
Hebrew languages--in some aspects those scholars might have even been a
little ahead of us! But we also have the benefit of archeological finds and
advanced linguistic studies.

For the pulpit I read from the clearest translations for the congregation
concerned and the ones which deal with the text in the best way, if they can
be married.

For more reading of Greek as Greek (I've been inspired by b-greek scholars
to study classical Greek intensely) and translations in their cultural and
historical setting. Any takers?