From: Wayne Leman (
Date: Wed Feb 23 2000 - 18:44:19 EST

Bible Translation -

Thumpity, thumpity, thump, thump...
Approaching hoofbeats:

>Jason suggested:
>>«In the beginning was the LOGOS, and the LOGOS was with God, and the LOGOS
>>was God.»
>>You think? This would lead people to ask, „What is this őLOGOS‚?š Then
>>could be understood that the writer meant something deeper than „word.š
>I hear the approaching hoofbeats of Wayne Leman riding up to declare that
>this is not a good English translation because Logos is not a commonly
>understood English word. I do understand, and agree, with that.
>If it were decided, however, that LOGOS carries implicit information which
>is philosophical as well as linguistic, the use of transliteration
>**could** signal a technical term that bears intentional connotation which
>lies outside the culture of American (or British) English.
>Would such a "translation" then be justified?

George, it would be IF we are willing to say that there are some terms in
the Bible which are impossible to translate into another language and which
require a teacher to explain their meaning to those who want to understand
the Bible in their language. It is parallel to saying that HOI POLLOI can't
understand the Bible properly on their own, so they must hear it only in
Greek or Hebrew or Latin, even if they don't speak or understand any of
these languages.

I'm not willing to buy these assumptions yet, and too much blood was spilled
by those who had the Bible translator shoulders I stand upon to give up on
the idea of translating the Bible into the vernacular. I don't think we
should give up on any biblical term, no matter how hard it is to translate.
I *would* be willing to consider leaving LOGOS in the translation text if we
honestly believed we could find no English word or words which come close to
getting at its *essential* meaning, IF we footnoted it and clearly explained
its meaning there. I believe in footnotes, but I don't think we should use
them as crutches when we aren't willing to do the tough translational work
(after the tough exegetical work) to state the meaning of the source texts
in the vernacular.

Thumpity, thumpity, thump, thump...
riding off into the sunset,

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