Re: "The Stealth Bible Exposed"

From: Andrew Kulikovsky (
Date: Tue Jun 24 1997 - 21:59:48 EDT

"Perry L. Stepp" wrote:
The fact of the matter remains: communication is not one sided.
Translators who refuse to use inclusive language should realize that
work is ambiguous, possibly inflammatory, and open to
misinterpretation--none of which, IMHO, characterize a good translation.

Besides, are gender-inclusive translations really "misleading" or
"non-literal"? Commitment to literal translation principles should lead
translators *toward* gender inclusivity, not away from it. For example:
I know that Paul's language is inclusive, and I know that part of my
audience will misconstrue a word-for-word equivalent translation of
words to be exclusive, then why in the world would I want to allow for
a misconstrual?

In this specific area (gender exclusivity), English has changed over the
last few decades. IMHO, we shouldn't translate the scriptures into
English any more than we should translate them into 1600's English, and
the same reasons. Translations are in general meant to be read and
understood: translations of the scriptures, even more so.

Translators (and writers in general) need to be aware of their
Too much of our debate here has taken the attitude (at least as I
it) that translations are written for the linguistically and
literate. Such is not the case. [WARNING: statement of theological
conviction coming up!] People approach the English text from a wide
variety of backgrounds and contexts, and anything that can make the text
more understandable and more accessible (and thus more easily applicable
their lives) has my vote.

Well I have to agree with Perry here.

The literalistic approach just substitutes words and constructions with
the most common English (or whatever the target language is) glosses.
This just leaves the translation ambigous - it doesn't just preserve any
ambiguities in the Greek it also introduces many as well. A literal
translation can only be of any value if you know Greek grammar, in which
case you more likely just read the Greek itself.

The justification for literal translations is because dynamic
translations interpret - and that they do - but so do all translations -
granted, some more than others. But I can't understand how it is
possible to translate without interpreting. This is the conclusion I
come to from my reading in linguistics (which is not exhaustive or
extensive but is past the introductory material).

So what do the real linguists on this list say? Can you translate
without interpreting?

No translation is perfect - none can preserve or communicate all the
nuances of the Greek - which is why you should read as many as possible.
I like the NIV the best - it's got my vote - but I also like the NRSV as
well. Its inclusive language is mostly true to the Greek and to the
Word of God.

Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
Software Engineer
CelsiusTech Australia
Module 6 Endeavor House
Technology Park
Adelaide Australia 5095
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Some people are so narrow-minded,
    they can see through a key hole with both eyes
Others are so open-minded
    their brain has fallen out.

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