Re: literal not = interpretive

From: Mark O'Brien (
Date: Thu Jun 05 1997 - 07:49:42 EDT


At 12:54 AM 6/5/97 -0700, you wrote:
>The danger of an overly interpretive translation like the NIV is that for
>the lay reader the possible interpretations (as revealed in the Greek or
>Hebrew texts) are eliminated from consideration, giving the impression
>that the interpretation is the Word of God. If there is uncertainty, or
>at least not a high probability in the Greek text, then that should be
>reflected as much as possible in the translation.

I agree with you here, but I have also encountered another problem, as a
teacher and in the pastoral setting, and that is when people in the pew
start to think that they need to know Greek and Hebrew to really understand
the Bible, and so they quit trying for themselves and let you tell them
what it means. I'm very careful how I criticize the English text amongst
those who don't have the languages, because I don't want to diminish their
confidence in these works by which they have access to God's Word. I'm not
saying we shouldn't point out where there are alternatives or problems, but
we should be careful not to breed an elitist attitude where the
pastor/teacher becomes the "only-begotten" mediator of truth!!



PS: I'm sure this is not your approach at all, but your comments dinged a
dong in my head.

Rev. Mark B. O'Brien Grad. Student, Dallas Theological Seminary
3909 Swiss Ave #1092 Adj. Prof., Dallas Christian College
Dallas, TX 75204

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