Rolf's Book - Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation

From: Williams, Wes (
Date: Thu Mar 18 1999 - 13:03:58 EST

I do not intend a sales pitch but I just received and read Rolf's
newly-released book, The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation. The
chapter that discusses the book description (below) on the relationships
between the words one sees on the page and the theological concepts in the
mind I believe will stick with me for a lifetime. Which takes precedence in
translation, our understanding of the sentence/ paragraph kernel or the
words on the page? He discusses that a charge of translation bias should be
measured, not by theological views, but whether or not the target word
choice accurately represents the semantic domain for the source word (which
choice is affected by theology). Rolf supplies copious examples using some
of b-greek and b-hebrews most controversial topics (Verbal Aspect, John 1:1,
8:58; Ex. 3:14; Col 1:15-17; Phil 2:6,7; Tetragrammaton, Sheol/ Gehenna,
etc), and does so using a disarmingly honest criticism that I personally
have not encountered in theological/ critical literature. I recommend it for
the b-greek and b-hebrew audiences, 300 pages - $12.76.

Wes Williams

Here is the book description from

Book Description
In the natural sciences, a basic principle is to break everything down to
the smallest possible units and then study each unit. In linguistics and in
the study of the biblical languages, a similar principle was followed with
the word as the basic unit, but from the middle of this century the view has
developed that the smallest units which were meaningful for translation had
to be the sentence or even the paragraph. The author believes that the
pendulum has swung too far in one direction, and that it still is meaningful
to work with the word as the fundamental unit of translation. The book
therefore suggests that for a particular target group - those who, by the
help of their mother tongue, want to come as close as possible to the
original languages - a literal translation will be better than an idiomatic
one. In the course of discussion it is shown that the principles on which
such a translation is based accords fully with modern linguistic

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:20 EDT