Re: linguistis and positivism
One brief note re: the Good News Bible. I too have had to explain/defend
translation choices taken in this version a few time to people who had
trouble understanding anything but some sort of wooden word-for-word
translation (e.g., "blood" must be translated "blood", not "costly
sacrifice of himself" etc.). But on the negative side, and apart from the
dynamic-equivalence translation theory on which the translation is based,
the GNB was also designed primarily for people with marginal
English-reading abilities and/or people whose second language is English.
This was quite clear when the translation was announced, but is hardly
ever mentioned today. As part of this, the translators confined
themselves to a vocabulary selection deemed that of about a 12 yr. old
reading ability. The result is that there is a flattening of vocabulary,
esp. in the vocabulary-rich Old Testament (and more esp. in the poetic
sections, such as Psalms). So, the GNB is a sort of "basic communication"
translation, not at all intended for the competent reader of English at
the adult level, and certainly will flatten, deaden and render less
interesting and colorful many passages in the Bible, esp. in the OT.
It's probably a choice for young children, but adults should
certainly wean themselves early on and get into translations that more
effectively convey the verve and color of the Bible.
Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba