Guest / Limited Access /
Finding the Right Words for God's Word

For 20 years, missionary and translator Dave Brunn labored to provide the Lamogai people of Papua New Guinea with Scripture in their own language. Meanwhile, a debate broke out among Western Christians about the merits of translating the Bible into different versions of English: Are "dynamic equivalent" translations (which aim to reproduce the basic meaning of original biblical texts) as faithful to the original biblical text as "literal" (word-for-word) ones? In One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? (IVP Academic), Brunn, dean of academics for New Tribes Mission's USA Missionary Training Center, explains the choices faced by Bible translators and exposes the limits of English-language conventions in understanding the translation process. Lindsay Olesberg, Scripture engagement director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and author of The Bible Study Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to an Essential Practice (InterVarsity Press), spoke with Brunn about the judgment calls that translators inevitably face, no matter which translation theories they espouse.

Why do English-speaking evangelicals face so much tension around this issue?

Part of the tension is due to a limited, incomplete view of translation. I don't question anyone's motives. They are all driven by a desire to protect the faithfulness and accuracy of God's Word as it is translated into English or another language.

But it is a little bit dangerous to raise discussion of Bible translation to the level of doctrine. Obviously, there are key doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth and the deity of Christ, that we must protect very carefully. But the Bible does not give instructions on how to translate ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhen Jesus Wanted All My Money
Subscriber Access Only When Jesus Wanted All My Money
And everything else. How I learned he’s an all-or-nothing Lord.
TrendingJosh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' Apologizes, Resigns after Reports of Molesting 5 Young Girls
Police investigated sexual assaults in 2006, but no charges were brought against Duggar. TLC pulls program from its lineup.
Editor's PickHow to Glimpse the Trinity
How to Glimpse the Trinity
The world declares the glory of God's "mutual indwelling."
Comments
%%var.bookTitle%%
One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal?
IVP Academic
2013-04-04
207 pp., $14.69
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
Finding the Right Words for God's Word
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.