NASB italics

Date: Tue Apr 02 1996 - 04:50:11 EST

I think I've mentioned before that I work as a translator of the NASB and
sit on the editorial board, so I can say that the complaint about 2 Thess
2:6 is duly noted, and perhaps we will change the first "him" to italic.
There are two problems that should be considered, though and perhaps some
of you will offer suggestions. First, it is one thing to add a word when
good English does not demand it and the idea of the word is inferred from
the context; this calls for italics. But when a word is necessary to make
sensible English and there is virtually no doubt about the context, trans-
lators often feel justified in using roman for the word in question. This
verse is borderline; you'll notice that "him" is not added in v. 7, and if
it had not been added in v. 6 either it would be rather difficult to make
sense of (the Eng., that is). For that matter, I would be interested in hte
pastor's opinion of what is being restrained.
Secondly, the practice of using italics has a major drawback of giving the
average reader the impression that the italicized word is being *empha-
sized*. Hopefully more educated readers realize that the purpose is much
the opposite, but even I have to remind myself of the true purpose of Bible
italics when I see them. There are other possibilities now for conveying
the idea of an "added" word now, but it's very hard to come up with a
substitute format that everyone likes, and the tendency is to stick very
reluctantly with the traditional italics. So I ask, does anyone have any
preferences or suggestions? I would appreciate any constructive criticism.
Don Wilkins
UC Riverside
The Lockman Foundation

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