Re: NASB italics

From: Carlton L. Winbery (
Date: Tue Apr 02 1996 - 11:15:44 EST

Don Wilkins wrote;
>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.

I would agree with Don that italics are difficult for the average reader to
interpret. I often hear various erroneous ideas tossed about in my SS
class because of italics in the text. I cases like this one where using
the masculine pronoun would surely cover other possible interpretations
(the Roman Government) that a footnote would be far more helpful.

Carlton Winbery
Chair Religion/Philosophy
LA College,
fax (318) 442-4996 or (318) 487-7425

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:40 EDT