Re: literal not = interpretive

From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Date: Fri Jun 06 1997 - 04:17:52 EDT

On Fri, 6 Jun 1997, Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:

> Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church wrote:
> > >
> > > Paul, do you really think that literal = non-interpretive?
> >
> > Andrew: Let's say "less interpretive." The NIV and NAS have different
> > philosophies of translation. The former is more idiomatic, paraphrastic
> > and interpretive, while the latter is more literal (word for word) and
> > less interpretive.
> >
> I agree they have different philosophies of interpretation but I still
> don't see how the NIV is more interpretive than the NAS. The NAS assumes
> the basic unit of thought is the word. The NIV assumes the basic unit of
> thought is the sentence (to put it simplistically). All translations are
> interpretive.

I suppose if we are to make any progress, then we should define our terms.
Would you like to define what you mean by translation and interpretation?
I asked you first. :)

> > > Can you ever prove anything *conclusively*? I think it is best for an
> > > informed translator to examine the context (historical and literary) and
> > > make an informed interpretation rather than leave it ambiguous.
> > > Otherwise the layman and uninformed pastor will simply interpret it
> > > whichever way it pleases him (or whichever way preaches better or
> > > whichever way doesn't go against his own doctrinal stance etc.).

Again, it depends on what you mean by "conclusive." I would say something
like this: conclusive means it necessarily follows.

If we accept this simple definition, then I would say that we can prove
certain things conclusively. From "If A, then B" it is conclusive that
"if not B, then not A" follows. Logical analysis can be conclusive.

If we talk about induction, then we may not be talking about conclusivity,
but probability.

> >
> > Yes, we can prove things "conclusively," using logic. But, when it comes
> > to grammar and meanings of words "conclusively" is not the best word, to
> > be sure.
> >
> This may sound strange but *prove logic*? How do you know logic is
> correct? You can't prove logic using logic since that would be begging
> the question. We accept logic basically by faith and experience and
> account for it on the basis of being made in the image of God.

No, no. We are not proving logic. We are proving things using logic.
For the sake of argument, we can assume logic, then use it to prove or
deduce things conclusively.

The question then becomes, how do we know logic is trustworthy? Simply
because it is biblical. It is used in scripture consistently and
throughout. It is assumed there and used there. Thus, we can and should
utilize it.

> A logical argument can only be as good as its premises.

Of course.


Paul Dixon

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