Bible Translation Studies Bookshelf:
These books are excellent additions to one's library and are particularly useful for research.
Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament
Jason BeDuhn's book compares nine translations (from the King James Version to several 20th century translations, including the New World Translation), not with each other, but with the original Greek of the New Testament. He analyses, in chapters Four (4) through Twelve (12), scriptures such as John 1:1, 8:58, Colossians 1:15ff, etc., as well as Greek words such as proskuneo ("worship") and pneuma ("spirit"). His conclusion as to which translation has been more accurate overall, based upon what words and scripture passages he does analyze, might surprise many! His own preferred translations, at times, ("a god" at Luke 20:38 for instance) are thought provoking. This is an excellent book not least because it is written for the public who have an interest in the subject of accuracy and bias in English Bible translations. but also because the same public rely upon English translations to understand God's Word today. It is paramount that theological biases of our times and held by scholars that translate the Bible into our tongue do not distort the true meaning of the Greek and produce inaccurate renderings. BeDuhn's book demonstrates that this has been the case in all the translations compares. But.....some much more than others. You might not agree with everything he writes (he has his own biases as he freely admits) but his is not only an honest evaluation but one free of anachronistic theological presumptions.
The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early
Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament
The victors not only write the history, they also reproduce the texts. In a study that explores the close relationship between the social history of early Christianity and the textual tradition of the emerging New Testament, Ehrman examines how early struggles between Christian "heresy" and "orthodoxy" affected the transmission of the documents over which, in part, the debates were waged. His thesis is that proto-orthodox scribes of the second and third centuries occasionally altered their sacred texts for polemical reasons--for example, to oppose adoptionists like the Ebionites, who claimed that Christ was a man but not God, or docetists like Marcion, who claimed that he was God but not a man, or Gnostics like the Ptolemaeans, who claimed that he was two beings, one divine and one human. Ehrman's thorough and incisive analysis makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the social and intellectual history of early Christianity and raises intriguing questions about the relationship of readers to their texts, especially in an age when scribes could transform the documents they reproduced to make them say what they were already thought to mean, effecting thereby the orthodox corruption of Scripture.
The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation: With a special
look at the New World Translation of Jehovah's Witnesses
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 principles.
The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern
Answering those who claim that only the King James Version is the Word of God, The King James Only Controversy examines allegations that modern translators conspired to corrupt Scripture and lead believers away from true Christian faith. In a readable and responsible style, author James White traces the development of Bible translations old and new and investigates the differences between new versions and the Authorized Version of 1611. Is your Bible translation reliable? Is it the real Bible?
The King James Version Debate: A Plea for Realism
"The King James Version is superior to all modern English translations of the Bible": so say many popularly written books and pamphlets. The King James Version Debate is the first book-length refutation of this point of view written for both pastors and laymen. The author concisely explains the science of textual criticism since the main premise advanced by KJV proponents is the superiority of the Greek text on which it is based. After showing the problems with this premise, the author refutes the propositions that: (1) the KJV is the most accurate translation; (2) it is the most durable; (3) its use of the Old English forms (e.g., thou makes it the most reverent; (4) it honors Christ more than do other versions; (5) it is most easily memorized; and (6) it is most suitable for public reading. Concluding the book is an appendix in which, on a more technical level, the author answers W. N. Pickering's The Identity of the New Testament Text, the most formidable defense of the priority of the Byzantine text yet published in our day.
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