The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation

( 1 )

Overview

With so many Bible translations available, how do you make a choice between them? How do you even know what the criteria should be for making a choice?

As an expert in English literature and literary theory, Leland Ryken approaches the translation debate from a practical artistic viewpoint. He believes that many modern translations take liberties with the biblical text that would not be allowed with any other type of literary work. Also, what readers are presented with as ...

See more details below
Paperback
$14.61
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $10.95   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

With so many Bible translations available, how do you make a choice between them? How do you even know what the criteria should be for making a choice?

As an expert in English literature and literary theory, Leland Ryken approaches the translation debate from a practical artistic viewpoint. He believes that many modern translations take liberties with the biblical text that would not be allowed with any other type of literary work. Also, what readers are presented with as biblical text is actually far from the original text. In literature, a simplified version of Milton's work is not Milton, and neither is an edition written in contemporary English. Anyone who is interested in Milton would find any version that changes his words unacceptable for serious study. Ryken argues that the same dedication to reproducing literature texts as closely as possible needs to be present in biblical translation. To do so it is necessary to take into account the difficulty of working with original languages. Only an essentially literal, "word for word" translation of the Bible can achieve sufficiently high standards in terms of literary criteria and fidelity to the original text.

Ryken does not contest that many modern translations have been used for good, and believes that there is a place for a range of Bible translations, including children's Bibles and Bible paraphrases. His purpose is not to say that the only Bible available should be one that is essentially literal. Instead, he defines the translation theory and principles that would result in the best Bible for English-speaking people and serious students of the Bible, and also for the English-speaking church as a whole. He believes that an essentially literal translation is the natural result of following these principles.

Along with a short history of translation, Ryken evaluates presuppositions that impact translation theory. He also examines fallacies about the Bible, translations in general, and Bible readers that influence what translation decisions are made. Believing that those who undertake the serious work of translating God's Word have an obligation both to God and to others, he assesses the theological, ethical, and hermeneutical issues involved and surveys difficulties with modern translations. Ryken's literary expertise gives him the perspective needed to provide Christians with a standard for comparing contemporary Bible translations, as well as an understanding of why some translations may not convey the very words of God.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581344646
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication date: 11/12/2002
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,128,305
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for over 43 years. He has authored or edited over three dozen books, including The Word of God in English and The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.

C. JOHN COLLINS (PhD, University of Liverpool) is professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis. With degrees from MIT and Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, he pursues such research interests as Hebrew and Greek grammar, science and faith, and biblical theology. He is the author of The God of Miracles.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Introduction: The Current Debate About Bible Translation 13
Part 1 Lessons from Overlooked Sources
1 Lessons from Literature 23
2 Lessons from Ordinary Discourse 35
3 Lessons from the History of Translation 47
Part 2 Common Fallacies of Translation
4 Five Fallacies About the Bible 67
5 Seven Fallacies About Translation 79
6 Eight Fallacies About Bible Readers 103
Part 3 Theological, Ethical, and Hermeneutical Issues
7 The Theology and Ethics of Bible Translation 123
8 Translation and Hermeneutics 139
Part 4 Modern Translations: Problems and Their Solution
9 Ignoring the Literary Qualities of the Bible 157
10 Obscuring the World of the Original Text 173
11 Destabilization of the Biblical Text 187
12 Reductionism 199
Part 5 Criteria for Excellence in an English Bible
13 Fidelity to the Words of the Original 217
14 Effective Diction: Clarity, Vividness, Connotation, Ambiguity 229
15 Respect for the Principles of Poetry 243
16 Effective Rhythm 257
17 Exaltation and Beauty 269
Conclusion: What Makes the Best Bible Translation? 287
Appendix Without Form, You Lose Meaning 295
Index 328
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Interesting perspective about bible translations

    The bottom line of this book is that a good bible translation is the one that is based on a word for word translation instead of thought for thought. Ryken's uses his literary expertise to explain that no one should change the author's way of telling the story just because people do not understand them. He also goes in details about how the thought for thought translations are twisting the message of God in order to make the bible easy to read. This is a good book with great arguments but the author is trying to sell the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible and sometimes the main message is lost due to this fact. I use the New King James Version for my daily readings and even though the author is selling the ESV, I felt like the King James Version is the bible to be use according to Ryken¿s arguments. Another good resource for the English translation debate.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)