paraphrase or translation?

From: Andrew Kulikovsky (
Date: Thu May 22 1997 - 20:22:22 EDT

> From: "Lee R. Martin" <>
> Eric Weiss wrote:
> >
> > Even Taylor (Living Bible) and Phillips (his own translation) called
> > their works "paraphrases," I believe, so they must have recognized a
> > difference.
> I sent my two-cents-worth before I read this post.
> The Living Bible is a paraphrase because Ken Taylor stated the message
> of the KJV in "different words" from the KJV, both works being in
> English.

I think Lee has hit the nail on the head here. Paraphrasing takes an
existing translation as a baseline and simplifies and/or clarifies it,
making it more readable and easier to understand. This was the goal of
Taylor (who rewrote the Bible for his children), Phillips (who rewrote
the NT for his youth group) and Robert Bratcher (in writing the Good
News or TEV). Of course this means they tend to be more interpretive as

The suggestion of back translation being a criteria seems to me to
completely misunderstand the concept of basic 'semantics' being
expressed by language. A paraphrase can accurately communicate the
intention of the author and the semantics of the original Greek even
though it doesn't translate the Greek literally. There is no reason why
it couldn't be backtranslated into Greek and although the
backtranslation probably won't result in the exact words used in the
original Greek it will still communicate the same thought (provided of
course the backtranslation is done well).


| Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
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