post.prepared for anglican

Date: Tue May 13 1997 - 17:32:36 EDT

post being prepared for anglican list, but unfinished:

Not only my wayward tendencies but also the interrelatedness of ideas causes
this communication to ramble. You've been warned. The D-KI, delete key warning,
has been used by me on Anglican for a long time now, so that the
pseudo-liberals whose mentality abhors my postings may simply delete the file
with one fatal putsch.

Maybe this won't be throwing down the gauntlet, but it will be throwing down
the padded mitten. On second thought, when I saw what Rolf just now wrote, I
thought it was so good that I would not proceed to finish this by finding the
real junk I know I've heard from the TEV. Since some of the assertions might be
somewhat comparable to some of Rolf's, but in language more lay (as in
layman's), I thought I'd pass it on. (Actually, contrary to what my critics
say, I really express myself with much less termini technici than putative
opponents, because I believe most t. t. to be snooty jargon with obfuscatory
elements built in.)

No Bible ever seemed to me so bad that the Holy Ghost couldn't use it, by
speaking through it. (The Bible, however, is not His only means of

Moreover to correct the status quo demands that much more be said.

Only really measurable objects of the sciences enjoy a relative freedom from
subjectivity, and even then the predefined terms of measurement ofen contain
potentially subjective statements. In discussing writings that treat of, or try
to cope with, ultimate realities through both tropical (from trope, not tropic)
language and records of events that today's so-called educators find suspect,
there emerges a rationale for safely assuming some subjective elements in

Most translators seem to be influenced by either Sadducee spirits or Pharisee
spirits. The subjectivity of the one side betrays a Bertrand Russellesque
tough-mindedness and often betrays strong antipreternatural assumptions. One
celebrated translator who lives in the Asheville area "vehemently objects" when
any claims anything miraculous. The Pharisaic spirits use the Most High as
means to promote their own religious respectability. They often displace the
love of Jesus with Biblical shibboleths designed to make others look worse than
they are. Either approach substitutes sub-divine rational faculties for the
guidance of the Holy Ghost.

This efile has been written, because someone on Anglican asserted that the TEV
(ABS's major product of recent years) would rate as a translation, not a

My own comparative study of English Bibles has not been thorough, because my
moderate (a safe expression: everyone's skills, except the Eternal One's, are
moderate, limited, &c.) skills enable me not to need to waste my time with

Occasionally, however, a friend asks me to critique this or that citation in an
English Bible. My sampling versions outside the old committee sequence of
AV=KJV > ERV > ASV >RSV leads me to think that liberal translation has grown
increasingly paraphrastic.

If I post on this subject, some tiro always tries to inform me of what I've
been explaining to students for almost 50 years: that verbum ad verbum
translation proves frequently misleading, or at least makes it hard to
understand what the ancient author wanted to communicate. If they cannot or
will not master the material so that their acumen can penetrate the larger
structures and appreciate the alien thought maps of the wording of their
original, they must consider themselves unfit to translate. Those who do
prepare well, will develop skill in translating, not by phrases or sentences,
but by paragraphs into clear, unjarring English. The skill to penetrate the
structure of the original through a kind of 'x-ray vision' will have demanded
much more than an ability to generate the gimmicky, colloquial cutesiness that
decorates most contemporary work.

So-called 'dynamic equivalence' becomes a slogan for many Biblical linguists,
but they proceed to compose English that's neither dynamic nor equivalent. This
slogan does, however, excuse lead them to think well of what they have done
when they incorporate questionable paraphrases to represent their original,
some of which will have been based on their assumptions or prejudices.

(Today's English Version) TEV sits in the pews in my parish church and the
clergy, who incidentally seem very sure, even though they know not the
original, prefer it alone for public readings. Most of those who demand it
offer a simply explanation. They 'like' it. Being completely unaware of whether
it brings the thought of the original to their minds, they nevertheless like
it. Since they like it, the church listens to it. At times it takes incredible
self-control to keep from laughing or weeping at the phraseology of what is
publicly claimed to be 'the word of the Lord'.

It is often necessary to use several translations that seem very different of
the same original expression. One Greek noun, as signifying value, timh = time
can have the sense of either price or honor. The TEV, however, even where using
the same English expression would have left the English equally smooth and
accurate, delights in radically altering its translation. This makes the TEV
useless as an instrument for serious research on the part of a greekless or
hebrewless anglophone.

So here's the mitten: Given the tendency of contemporary translational method
to use dynamic equivalence as an excuse to label paraphrastic work translation,
can anyone offer a concise, cogent statement of the difference between a
paraphrase and a translation? Who will take up the mitten?

Most translators, whether modernist or reactionary, suffer from being blinded
by customary assumptions. Take, for example, the so-called 'souls under the
altar' of Apocalypse 6,9. A Platonic definition of soul will have been subsumed
from sources even older than Thayer's lexicon (really Grimm's & Wilke's). A
translator, however, acquainted with the old Greek versions of Torah (so-called
LXX) could see at once that it's a typical circumlocution for corpses, which
happens to fit the context far better than thinking of those who lie at rest in
the ash-pan as disembodied immortal spirits.

If you accept my challenge to offer a non-prolix and compelling distinction
between translation and paraphrase, let me emphasize the need that you make it
more objective than subjective. Let it apply more to the results than the

Passage after passage of the LBP leaves traces of evidence that its creator
had, if any, only the slightest insight into the syntax or lexicography of his
original. (Furthermore, as someone noted here recently, a clear differentiation
between the lexical and the syntactical often escapes us. Witness the
practically identical treatment often accorded to prepositions in both lexicons
and in the syntax sections of grammars.)
He seems to have ransacked his resources to present a florid statement of what
he thought conservative English Bibles and conservative commentaries meant,
scil. something like the upshot of Scofield.

A paraphrase, however, need not be so distant from the original, for a
paraphrase could be created by someone with a deep awareness of the original,
and might conceivably represent the original better than a translation.

For all the good intentions of those who produced the TEV, they often seem not
to realize how blue collar persons might misunderstand their phraseology. For
example, on the point of justification by faith they avoid the older
expressions like "justified by faith" or "faith imputed to him for
righteousness". They speak instead of a person's being "put right with God" or
"put right through faith". They seem to have done this in complete unawareness
of how many blue collar types would think of their wording as if 'right' should
modify 'with' or 'through'. "Let the cup be put right with the saucer. Not way
away, but very close to it." "The car got put right through the wash. Hit dit'n
take no time 'tall." TEV contains far more likely traps, ambiguities celebrated
as 'dynamic equivalences', but I don't want to waste my time finding them for
you. Now that you know the nature of the disease, you can diagnose the blotches
for yourselves.

seemed to relish pushing much unclear syntax or lexicography of the original in
directions of their choosing. Their results sometimes deprive their readers of
making choices of interpretation that had better been left open to their
readers. If the greekless and hebrewless realized how frequently TEV could be
prejudicing their minds against a better understanding of the original, they
would probably hold one of the most massive bookburnings in history. Because
estimations of likelihood may greatly err, a responsible translation should at
least footnote possibilities of as low as 30%.

Maybe you can figure out from this unfinished piece getting ready for Anglican
-- except for the reference to Rolf -- why I like a good bit of what Rolf had
to say.

I'd think many modified words would just as well fall in with what Rolf says
about words. e.g. nup acbestov = pys asbestum I found in Greco-roman law
sources in the obvious sense of 'quicklime'. It sure fits in Isaiah 65-6 and
that's after all what Jesus was quoting in Mark 9.

bearded bill of asheville <>
unca not having approved either whom or thereof.

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