Re: dynamic equivalency theory

On Sat, 30 Apr 1994 23:15:32 -0500 (CDT) you said:
>                                  ...  but rather we should be involved in the
>task of translating the 20th century mind into the 1st century text (speaking
>of the Gospels, for example).  Comments, insights, corrections?

I assume that we are talking about more than the New Testament or even the
Bible here, but isn't there a considerable hermeneutic problem here? (1) In
the first place, aren't the possibilities of "translating the 20th century
mind into the 1st century text" somewhat limited? I don't mean to suggest it
can't be done, but I rather doubt that we can go all the way (the good Lord
knows it's sometimes difficult for me, at least, to put my mind into a text
composed by some of my contemporaries!). (2) Assuming that we can do this with
a reasonable degree of success, must we respond to the text in a 1st-century
way--or can we? Doesn't this put us right back into the problems raised half
a century ago in Bultmann's celebrated essay on demythologizing the gospel?
It does seem to me that whether we translate in order simply to make an
ancient literature communicate to us or we translate in order to make the
Word of God accessible to our contemporaries, we must do more than simply
accommodate the 20th century mind to the 1st century text; we must still form
that daunting task of understanding what the 1st century text MEANS for the
20th century mind. And this, if I may say so, is the sort of questions that is
loaded with theological implications and certainly IS appropriate to our
discussion on this forum.

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