Re: literal not = interpretive

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Thu Jun 05 1997 - 11:58:12 EDT

On Thu, 5 Jun 1997, Mark O'Brien wrote:
> Paul,
> At 12:54 AM 6/5/97 -0700, you wrote:
> <snip>
> >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!!
Mark, I agree wholeheartedly with you. At the same time we do not want to
denigrate the study of Greek. You and I have both heard too much of this.
It usually comes from those whose skills in the languages are at least
suspect. If they only understood that it really comes across as sour

We do need to communicate the truth about the translations, so that an
undue confidence is not placed in any one translation. The KJ-only people
are a case in point.

Paul Dixon

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