Producing an Accurate and Faithful Translation of the Words of God
Nine Important Factors
The Dean Burgon Society
The William Carey Bible Society
H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
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The elements ivolved in producing an accurate and faithful translation of the Bible must begin by examining how we got into the modern pestiferous situation. It involves: (1) translation methods and techniques (2) the texts used for translating; as well as (3) translation experience that also incorporates the cncept of the ‘art of translating;’ (4) excessive national and ‘scholarly’ pride that overrides the principles of translating found in the Words of God; (5) bibliology and theology of the translator; (6) adequate funds for translating; (7) one overlooked principle or the neglect of it by so many participating in translating endeavors which will be discussed below; this principle may be the reason a significant number of otherwise good translations fail in the final analysis (q.v.); it is the need for multiple counselors; (8) faith in God; and (9) "without ceasing" prayer.
Faith & Preservation
Furthermore, and probably most importantly, the modern quagmire in translation theory and practice involves unbelief (apisto" or ou pisto", no faith, Lk. 18:8, Mk. 4:40, etc.) or, at best, little faith (oligopisto", little faith, Mat. 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, etc.). Part of the reason for lack of faith in the last two or three generations is related to the horrendous modern and postmodern attack on the ‘Preservation of the Words of God’ in the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; specifically, the Words of God that are found in the Greek Received Text (Textus Receptus or Traditional Text) and the second edition of the Rabbinical Hebrew Masoretic Text published by Jacob ben Chayyim and Daniel Bomberg that underlie the King James Bible. In this work, the two texts will be referred to as the Received Texts or the Traditional Texts (with an "s"). In addition, the attack by modernists includes the caustic harassment of those who are steadfast in their stand for Preservation of the Words of God and for the most accurate and faithful translations such as the King James Bible. They are falsely labeled as uneducated, apostates, or heretics. These vitriolic and false accusations have confused and frightened many pastors and missionaries, much less the man in the pew.
Missionaries are the primary translators of the Words of God into the language-groups of the world. Discussions with missionary-minded men who have been called of God to go unto "the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8) reveals their confusion about these issues, their fear of loss of financial support, their abandonment by ‘so-called’ friends, and their loss of retirement funds. Examples could be given by this author from trips overseas, emails, and from his conversations with missionaries at conferences. One example will suffice. On a trip to South America (the country’s name is withheld), a Southern Baptist missionary served as my translator by necessity. After ten days of work in the ‘field,’ the missionary explained his dismay at the Southern Baptist Mission Board’s fall from proper doctrinal stance and the handling of their missionaries in the field. He expressed his desire to change, but he was only 3 years from retirement. He would lose all of his retirement funds after almost 30 years away from America. What would you do?
In light of the comments above and other factors, this work is not for liberals, modernists, or others who have a low view of Scripture. The old adage, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still" is very apropos to this presentation.
What follows are short explanations of the nine important precepts listed above, which must be understood and applied for producing a proper, accurate, and faithful translation and the apt (right) and proper process of translating the Words of God.
The nine factors discussed must be addressed by missionaries and those supporting them BEFORE they enter the mission field; and hopefully, before entering educational facilities for training and preparation. A missionary’s "path" and "practice" (Jer. 6:16) is influenced by the school chosen to attend because tremendous pressures are applied by mission broad for a school to conform to the ‘ideas’ of the board. The effect on the missionary lasts a lifetime. Once the individual is disposed (infected?), and influenced by a school’s doctrine, reversing faulty educational training and doctrine is nearly impossible.
Mission-minded pastors and churches funding the deputation of missionaries must be aware of a missionary’s stand and beliefs about the issues presented in this work. These factors will ultimately influence many ‘bibles’ that are published around the world because missionaries are the most common translators of ‘Bibles’ in other languages. Do you want to support defective training and translating?
What kind of persuasive pressures are we indicating that influence the final translation result? Those listed above. The first on the list is translation methods.
1. TRANSLATION METHODS
Modern translation methods are either causing many very poor translations or translations that are basically satisfactory, but they contain from a few minor errors to numerous serious, significant, critical text-type errors. These errors may be related to bibliology, the significant influence of inappropriate interpretation (hermeneutics), faulty verbal and formal translation methods and techniques, and even the use or influence of dynamic equivalent (DE) translating (also called functional equivalent translating).
The Wrong Precept: The Paraphrase
The proliferate paraphrase versions of the Bible that are in many languages and in many countries are primarily the result of one man, Eugene Nida. His influence cannot be underestimated. It has been insidious and pervasive. From the beginning of Nida’s career, his problem has been, and still is, unbelief in the inspiration and preservation of Words of God. Nida said:
"…God’s revelation involved limitations. …Biblical revelation is not absolute and all divine revelation is essentially incarnational…Even if a truth is given only in words, it has no real validity until it has been translated into life…The words are in a sense nothing in and of themselves…the word is void unless related to experience" (Nida, Message and Mission, p. 222-228).
Furthermore, he said the following concerning the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross:
"Most scholars, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, interpret the references to the redemption of the believer by Jesus Christ, not as evidence of any commercial transaction by any quid pro quo between Christ and God or between the ‘two natures of God’ (his love and his justice), but as a figure of the ‘cost,’ in terms of suffering" (Eugene Nida and Charles Taber, Theory and Practice, 1969, p. 53). In A Translator’s Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Nida (with co-author Barclay Newman) says, "... ‘blood’ is used in this passage [Romans 3:25] in the same way that it is used in a number of other places in the New Testament, that is, to indicate a violent death...Although this noun [propitiation] (and its related forms) is sometimes used by pagan writers in the sense of propitiation (that is, an act to appease or placate a god), it is never used this way in the Old Testament."
We are commanded to separate from heretics and blasphemous men (Rom. 16:17, Tit. 3:10, etc. in many places). The practice of separation as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ extends not only to people, but our responsibility, extends to many other areas of our lives. For example, what books we read or what movies we watch. The old maxim that "the pen is mightier than the sword" or even the spoken word" is either disregarded or not understood. Therefore, what books influence or guide the translator related to the methods and practice of translating becomes very important also.
Those of us interested in accurate and faithful translating and translators are surprised to learn of the widespread use of Nida and associates’ materials, ideas, and concepts to translate the Bible. These influences are particularly observable in the programs and products of many Bible Societies. The Societies include those such as the Wycliffe Bible Society and their "Summer Institute of Linguistics," the American Bible Society and their use of corrupted texts and DE translations, and the United Bible Society and their board members that for years included the apostate Bruce Metzger, Roman Catholic Cardinal and Archbishop Carlo Maria Martini, Matthew Black, Kurt Aland, Eugene Nida, and Allen Wikgren. Many other Bible Societies that number at least 145 have used the translating principles established by Nida.
Perhaps many pastors and churches are unaware of Nida’s beliefs and influence. Whatever the case, Nida’s principles of translation or even the versions of the Bible, which have come about as a result of his influence, should not be used. They are infected with man’s philosophy; albeit his "professed desire" was to reach lost souls for the Lord. His doctrine and theological stance cannot be sustained by Scripture. As a matter of fact, by his own admission of his low view of the preserved revelation of the Words of God (see above), his views are obviously not based on Scripture.
The Pedagogue’s Result
The result of Nida’s influence on translators can be boiled down to two primary factors. (1) Since he believes the Words of God are not preserved, he concludes that only the message, idea, concept, or thought needs to be conveyed to a receptor-group (dialect). (2) As a result of the first factor, the next premise falls into place. He claims the primary aim of a translator should be to make the "message" understandable to the receptor group. Thus dynamic (or functional) equivalent translating was birthed as a consequence. This is paraphrase or interpretive translating.
The Perfidy of the Paraphrase:
Six Precepts Subverted
The outcome of these two major premises subverts seven of the Bible’s most important proclamations related to proper translation:
1. The Lord’s claim to and for glory:
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11
2. And the Bible’s statement:
"For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another." Isaiah 48:11
3. And the Bible’s warning:
"Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit." Jeremiah 7:8
4. And the an example of the Bible’s proper word-for-word translating by the cognates of interpreted (meaning translated) such as:
"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Mark 15:34
5. An the Bible gives the reason for accurate and faithful translation of the Word’s of God:
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalms 138:2
6. The Bible’s command (in many places):
"And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious." Ezekiel 2:7
7. The Bible’s assertion of the right Words (in many places):
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20
The proper translation method is verbal, formal equivalent translating without the influence of bias from theological beliefs and influence. The translators job is to translate the Words on the page. It is stated this way in Word-For-Word Translating of the Received Texts, Verbal Plenary Translating by this author et al:
"DE (dynamic equivalent) theorists mistakenly think that word-for-word translating is only one word for one word and only one class of words (nouns, verbs, pronouns, etc.) for one class of words. Although the primary attempt should be one word for one word or one class for one class, the syntax of language determines the final disposition of translating. Nothing could be further from the truth than the accusation by modern language theorists that word-for-word translating is rigid. Rather, it is militancy for accurate and faithful translation of His Words! Literal word-for-word translating is translating words in the source language for words in the receptor-language so far as the syntax of the receptor-language will allow. No one would deny the difficulty that often occurs, but the primary aim of translators is for His glory through faithful preservation of His glorious Words (Isa. 42:8) in any language."
However, since a translator cannot get away from his theological beliefs and interpretation, care about who is chosen for a translating team must be exercised.
2. THE TEXTS USED FOR TRANSLATING
This factor alone has greatly influenced the production of many false, corrupted, and inadequate translations. Anyone involved in translating or the support of translators needs to understand the facts related to the multiple original language texts in the market place that are all called the original Words of God. How can all of them be the very Words of God? It is not logical and does not make sense. There are thousands of word differences. Why doesn’t it make sense? God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, declared their Preservation and their eternality to the jot and tittle in multiple places in Scripture, which has been declared by many men of God through the ages (Mat. 4:4, 5:17-18, 24:35, Psa. 12:6-7, 1 Pe. 1:23-25, etc.) to be used for translating. How can there be twenty-eight (28) significantly different REVISIONS (not editions) of the Nestle/Aland critical text, four (4) UBS texts, and several Majority Texts and claim to be the Words of God according to His promise to preserve "EVERY WORD." Oh yes, we know, immediately, the mantra of the "Critical Text" or "Majority Text" men will pull out their false claims of multiple REVISIONS of the Received Texts. The truth is there have been several EDITIONS of spelling changes, printing errors, and RARE word changes, but not REVISIONS of the. Prior to the King James Bible, there were minor changes in the RT editions (e.g. 100’s) as more manuscripts of the RT were uncovered; there certainly were not thousands as in the Critical Text (CT) of Westcott/Hort, UBS, or Nestle/Aland texts.
Furthermore, the evidence supporting the preservation of "every word" is overwhelming, if the evidence for the Received Text alone is considered. In other words, if the one percent (1%) of the Critical Text manuscripts (MSS) are removed from the "mix," the remaining ninety-nine (99%) of the original language MSS along with the MANY witnesses to their accuracy and perfection confirms their Apostolic origin. Some of those witnesses are the early post-Apostolic versions and lectionaries, plus the church elder writings before the first Nicene Council of 325 A.D.
Dean Burgon addressed these facts related to the support for the Traditional Texts in regard to VARIETY and DIVERSITY saying:
"Variety distinguishing witness massed together must needs constitute a most powerful argument for believing such Evidence to be true. Witnesses of different kinds; from different countries; speaking different tongues:--witnesses who can never have met, and between whom it is incredible that there should exist collusion of any kind:--such witnesses deserve to be listened to most respectfully. Indeed, when witnesses of so varied a sort agree in large numbers, they must needs be accounted worthy of even implicit confidence… Variety it is which imparts virtue to mere Number, prevents the witness-box from being filled with packed deponents, ensures genuine testimony. False witness is thus detected and condemned, because it agrees not with the rest. Variety is the consent of independent witnesses…It is precisely this consideration which constrains us to pay supreme attention to the combined testimony of the Uncials and of the whole body of the Cursive Copies. They are (a) dotted over at least 1000 years: (b) they evidently belong to so many divers countries,--Greece, Constantinople, Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria, Alexandria, and other part of Africa, not to say Sicily, Southern Italy, Gaul, England and Ireland: (c) they exhibit so many strange characteristics and peculiar sympathies: (d) they so clearly represent countless families of MSS., being in no single instance absolutely identical in their text, and certainly not being copies of any other Codex in existence,--that their unanimous decision I hold to be an absolutely irrefragable evidence of the Truth." [HDW, my emphasis]
Dean Burgon was talking about the Received Text (Textus Receptus). Dr. Waite says:
"If you are talking about the Textus Receptus of the New Testament we find those manuscripts virtually identical one with the other…a seamless garment. There are a few spelling differences but other than that not much else."
With the overpowering evidence available for the Received Texts (the Traditional Texts), one has to ask himself or herself, what is all of this confusion produced by some ‘scholars’ and essentially all Bible Societies. We will let you insert your reasons here. This author suspects it is related to the old serpent, lust, greed, pride, money, and similar.
The Preservation of the Words of God in a Translation
The most important job of a translator is to produce a translation to God’s glory using the proper original texts; the only way translating will glorify God is by accurately and faithfully translating His Words from the right Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts without wavering. If you believe the Scriptures proclamations concernig "inspiration" of His Words, then verbal plenary inspiration demands verbal plenary preservation, which in turn demands verbal plenary translation. Technically, this type of translating is called verbal and formal equivalent (Verbal Plenary Translating ~ VPT) or essentially literal translating. The result is the Words of God preserved in the receptor-language. When the emphasis is on the receptor rather than the Author, the technical name for this type of translating is dynamic or functional equivalent (Fun E) translating.
The translator, who produces a translation whose major guiding principle is the receptor in a language-group, will fail his call to be a translator of the Words of God. His emphasis is on the receptor and not to the glory of God. As indicated in Psa. 138:2, God has a very high opinion of His Words. Deviating from this important precept leads to failure to produce an accurate and faithful translation that can be said to preserve the Words of God in a receptor language.
The Pattern to be Extolled
The primary and classic example of accurate and faithful translating of God’s Words and also of almost perfect English literature is the King James Bible. It is an English product; that is, it was produced in England, not America. For those around the world who are caught up in prejudice against America and in national pride, purge your narrow-mindedness.
The King James Bible can and should be used as confirmation of a translation in many language-groups. First of all because of its allegiance to the Words of God. Second because it is recognized by many scholars of literature as the greatest of all English writing.
For example, Laurence M. Vance wrote:
"The Authorized Version not only functions as a standard in the religious realm. As the famed commentator Adam Clarke (1762 - 1832) observed: "Our translators have not only made a standard translation, but they have made their translation the standard of our language." The place of the Authorized Version in English literature is a story that has often been told. "Historically," said Geddes MacGregor (1909 - 1998), author of A History of the Bible: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Abingdon Press, 1968), "it is the most influential version of the most influential language." John Genung (1850-1919), writing on the occasion of the tercentenary of the Authorized Version for The Biblical World, points out how this is even more remarkable in that "it is a thing so rare that it may indeed be called unique when a book translated faithfully from one language becomes a literary classic in another…In the case of the Authorized Version the unique has become the universally recognized fact. It is not only a classic, it is the English classic par excellence, true to the genius of English speech and life." Robert Lowth (1710-1787), one-time Professor of Poetry at Oxford, termed the Authorized Version "the best standard of our language" and "the noblest monument of English prose."…"
Something has to be missing in the synapses of the brain when some translators, pastors, missionaries, or evangelists ‘thumb their noses’ at the King James Bible. Disregarding this most excellent of all translations of the Bible and its indelible contribution to English literature is akin to denying the Preservation of the Words of God in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that underlie the Authorized Version.
In the past, many men have stood for the English translation of the KJB. However, there is an ever increasing chorus of men in opposition to those who would defend the 1604 to 1611 English translation of the Bible as the most accurate and faithful. Those opposed fall into two groups. First, many recent ‘scholars’, neo-evangelicals, protestants, emerging church leaders, and even more and more fundamentalists, loudly proclaim in essence: "The KJB translation is not very good because it has many errors, the English is outdated, and it is based upon the wrong text. The modern translations and texts are better." For example, Dr. James Price said:
"In my early days, it never entered my mind that the King James Version needed revision in modern English because I cut my teeth on that edition of the Bible, memorizing it from early childhood. Consequently, I understood King James English as well as Modern English and did not know some people had trouble comprehending it. It was not until I began teaching in seminary that I discovered I was investing a worthwhile percentage of my teaching Elizabethan English in my classes instead of Bible. Many students did not understand (or they misunderstood) what they read in the King James Bible because of its archaic language. That encouraged me to participate in the editing of the New King James Version." .
Dr. Price could have better spent his time producing a KJB with the words defined such as the Defined King James Bible published by Bible For Today, Collingswood, NJ. His path has certainly contributed to many students not knowing "where the Bible is" and to confusion. Do his students know for sure that they hold A BIBLE in their hands or it is still being "constructed" from somewhere in ‘cyberspace’? Are they certain EVERY WORD in their ‘Bible’ is the Words of God or their translation is the Words of God preserved in English? Are his students certain when the teach, pastor, or preach that they are using God’s Words or man’s words?
Second, some individuals, although they use the King James Bible for preaching and teaching, claim those individuals defending the preservation of God’s Words to the "jot" and "tittle" (Mat. 5:17-18) and to "every word" of the canon of Scripture (Mat. 4:4) are duped. In other words, they believe the KJB translation conveys the thoughts, ideas, concepts, or message adequately, but they admit to preferring another text than the Traditional Texts underlying the KJB. Dr. Sproul said:
"I write from the perspective of a preference for the Byzantine/Majority Text. My purpose is not to defend that position necessarily, but I am certain some of my beliefs will be apparent. I preach every week from the Old Scofield King James Version that relies on Blayney’s 1769 revision."
So why doesn’t he use the New King James Version (NKJV)?
In addition, many of these men falsely claim that there are or have been only a few poorly trained men who stand for the King James Bible translation and its underlying texts. Those, who are opposed one way or another to the KJB and to the men who support it, have loudly promulgated their claims over television, websites, emails, books, journals, and newspapers and have denigrated those who defend the KJB English translation and the inspired, preserved, pure, perfect, inerrant, infallible words of the Traditional Texts behind it. Their favorite accusation is to lump all defenders of the KJB and underlying texts as "King James Only" ‘dupes’ after the fashion of Peter Ruckman, which is deceptive and libelous. Do all of these things fall into the hands of the enemy to eventually influence translators? Of course it does!
But the KJB men, who defend it as the most accurate and faithful because of the texts it is based upon and because of the method underlying its translation, have withstood the attacks with deference. They have not attacked the "persons;" rather, they have defended their beliefs with Grace and Wisdom. They always start with the Words of God, which is where all of us should start, rather than with ideas passed from one person to another that are without foundation. This information is important for translators around the world in order to caution them NOT to be so ready to take up the pronouncements of modernistic scholars without careful reflection and consideration of the man’s false philosophies and ideas. Seek multiple counselors (see below). The verses that come to mind concerning those who attack so many who believe in Preservation of the Words to the jot and title is:
"For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord." 1 Corinthians 4:4
"And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." 1 Corinthians 8:2
This leads to the next element in producing an accurate and faithful translation of the Words of God.
3. TRANSLATION EXPERIENCE
On occasion, it has been my privilege to travel to foreign lands to share the Gospel and to teach in churches out side of the United States. Invariably, encounters with translators occur.
Eventually, the conversation turns to translation(s) in existence or underway. Unfortunately, on most occasions, the translation underway is being made by only one to several men (less than three or four). The effort for an accurate and faithful translation is probably bound for failure. In addition, the names and addresses of the men on the translation team are usually hard to obtain.
The ‘art of translating’ the Bible into a language-group must by definition occur with a great depth of knowledge in languages of the Bible, in customs of the Biblical era, in the receptor language, and in the culture of the language-group. The nuances of translating are greatly influenced by the understanding of idioms, precise sense of a word in a passage or "signification," and many similar concepts in both languages. This experience (acquired knowledge) cannot not be reflected in a translation by a novice (1 Tim. 3:6). It requires a team of experience Christians with exceptional knowledge of texts.
4. EXCESSIVE PRIDE
National pride related to translating is extolled by many authors. Even Kurt and Barbara Aland use it as a reason to translate the words of God. This may be related to "pride for country" or for "pride by nationals" of a nation to produce a translation in their receptor-language. The Alands said:
"Consequently in most languages at least revisions of Bible translations were (and are) long overdue, if only to satisfy a sense of pride in a text prepared by national Christian translators." (HDW, my emphasis).
On the basis of our Lord’s commands and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, national barriers for the church are removed. Brothers and sisters in every nation are charged with the same responsibilities; namely, to make the faith "once delivered unto the saints" made known to the world (Jude. 1:3, Mat. 28:18-20). The members of the body of Christ in the world know no borders. The Bible recognizes only three groups pertaining to the Gospel. The first two are unbelievers, the third, believers. They are:
"Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:" 1 Corinthians 10:32
The purpose of translating the Bible into a language-group is for winning souls and educating the ‘body of Christ’ until:
"…the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Ephesians 4:16
This applies to the local church as well as to the "whole body." Anyone who has traveled to another nation for evangelistic purposes will immediately recognize the bond of fellow believers. Translate the Words of God for the "body of Christ."
A translator who has begun the arduous task of properly and appropriately translating the Words of God secondary to pride will soon lose his way.
"When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2
"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." Proverbs 13:10
"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
Need we say more?
5. THE BIBLIOLOGY OF THE TRANSLATOR
This is a cardinal point for producing an accurate and faithful translation of the Bible. Pastors and local churches must be attuned to the Bibliology of the missionaries or translators they are supporting.
Although conservative, fundamental men should believe the following they increasingly do not:
"The Old Testament in Hebrew…and the New Testament in Greek…being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them." (HDW, my emphasis)
Care must be taken as to how terms are defined. For example, the precise definition and use of the word "inspired" by many people through the years. When used "secularly," the word inspired carries the connotation of enthused, extraordinarily good, stimulated, motivated, and similar terms. Many individuals have used the term, inspired, applied to a translation, when they were trying to convey the special providential care of a translation.
However, when used in a Biblical setting, it causes great misunderstanding. Theologically, the definitions above are not the meaning of "inspired" when applied to the Bible. Bibliologically, the term is technical. It means the Words of the Bible were God-breathed; every Word was given by God, meaning every "jot" and "tittle."
In like manner, other words were defined and applied in the area of bibliology over the centuries to combat many errors. For example, "inerrancy" and "infallibility" of the Scriptures were applied during the Reformation as theological terms to combat higher and lower criticism that was sweeping Europe and America. Many critical texts and translations of the corrupted texts were developing as a result of the work of Hugo Grotius, John Fell, Gerhard von Maestricht, J. A. Bengle, Johann Semler, J. J. Griesback, Carl Lachmann, and many others. The terms helped refute modernistic, liberal teachers.
Likewise, the heretical opinions of men such as those mentioned above have undermined faith in VPI, VPP, and the necessary corollary of VPT.
Therefore at the risk of repetition, verbal plenary inspiration demands verbal plenary preservation and subsequently verbal plenary translation.
A book could be written about this topic alone. Let it suffice to say in this brief exposition that pastors and churches supporting translators (missionaries) need to know where they stand on these issues. Are the missionaries/translators solid literal bibliologists?
6. ADEQUATE FUNDS FOR TRANSLATING
This seems to be an elementary topic. But it must be mentioned because the cost of completing an excellent translation of the Bible demands a heavy price. It is not only the acquisition of money, but it is related also to the loss of funds for translators who could be earning money to support their families and themselves doing something else.
The pressures related to this area of producing an accurate and faithful translation are often overlooked. Subsequently, the toll on men participating in the effort are unnoticed and "the drop out rate" can be high. Those left to complete the translation subsequently assume a much greater responsibility and more time than was anticipated.
Furthermore, world-wide inflationary pressures are causing many projects to be "short changed." This author recently heard of a building under construction that initially was to cost $50,000 and the cost has doubled to $100,000. The discretionary funds to be allocated for translation endeavors will be cut as a result.
This leads to the final element to be discussed in this brief work about producing an accurate and faithful translation: multiple counselors.
7. MULTIPLE COUNSELORS
Proper counsel is a very important element. It is far too often side-stepped or neglected. How many times have we learned of a single solitary translator working by himself. This does not preclude an excellent translation, but the Scripture is clear about the need.
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." Proverbs 12:15
"Every purpose is establishd by counsel: and with good advice make war." Proverbs 20:18
"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established." Proverbs 15:22 (cf. Prov. 19:20
There is a word of caution for a translating team, however. False counsel may be used by the Lord to test your resolve, to test your wisdom and understanding, and to test your sanctified counselors assisting with the translating project. (see 2 Sam. 17). Also, an evil spirit can be used to confuse a matter. A lying spirit may be involved. (Judges 9:23, 1 Kg. 22:23, Acts 19). Any counsel that is opposed to Scripture should not be accepted (Job 5:13, Acts 4:19-20). Positively, God can thwart evil counsel (Neh. 4:15). Sometimes, the counsel of the Lord should make a believer tremble; this certainly applies to a translator because of the awesome responsibility (Ezra 10:3, Jer. 23:28).
God The Counseller
The first counselor of utmost importance is God:
"Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do." Exodus 18:19-20
"With him i wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding." Job 12:13
And God warns (the Translator) to be certain that His Words and not man’s words are translated. He asks (the translator):
"Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Job 38:2
He reaffirms His promise that His Words (Counsel) will stand for ever, saying:
"The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations." Psalms 33:11
"Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge," Proverbs 22:20
Translator: "Should you use interpretive translating of God’s Bible and call it a Bible?" "Have you forgotten His works (one of which is the recording of His inspired Words)?
"They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:" Psalms 106:13
The preceding verse was addressed to Israel during their wilderness journey. But, we have His written Counsel. We no longer have to wait. We have His testimonies in hand which God calls His counsel.
"Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors". Psalms 119:24
As a translator, have you rebelled against God and despised His counsel wittingly or unknowingly and set at naught His Words?
"Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:" Psalms 107:11
"But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:" Proverbs 1:25
"There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand." Proverbs 19:21
"There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD". Proverbs 21:30
Surely you understand that God will not bless the translation if you have rebelled against His counsel and His counselors.
Too many have sought "the counsel of Balaam" after "the matter of Peor" and have trespassed "against the Lord." (Exodus 31:16). In other words, they have sought remuneration in the form of fame or power or influence. Access to God’s counsel is: (1) through His Words and (2) by prayer. The Words of God contain the proper translation principles that are clearly outlined in Scripture. Our prayer is that God would reveal them to those who desire to translate His Words into a receptor-language. Far too many start with man’s philosophy as opposed to God’s Counsel. Secondly, translators of the Bible should "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). They should be ready to cry out to him in adulation:
"O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth." Isaiah 25:1
The Counsel of the Poor
The rich Roman Catholic Church has been consulted either knowingly or unknowingly by translators around the world because many are based upon or influence by the CT. The CT currently used around the world is published by the UBS/Nestle/Aland subsidiaries. For many years, the members of the United Bible Society’s editorial committee on textual matters remained a secret. Finally, it was learned that Roman Catholic Archbishop and Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini was on the committee and other Roman Catholics had been in advisory positions. Furthermore, most modern translation mention the use of the UBS corrupted Greek texts on their title/copyright page, in addition to the corrupted Septuagint and other Biblia Hebraica texts such as the Leningrad or Stuttgard. .
The cries of lonely poor fundamental defenders of the Words of God concerning these issues have been shunned for years.
"Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge." Psalms 14:6
The warnings about the corrupted heretical influence of modern versions has not only been ignored, it has been scorned. The need to reassess the insidious influence of modern versions and the modernistic translation techniques that produced them is imperative.
This leads to another critical element that has been overlooked by translators or bypassed because of fatigue, printing costs, time, and many other factors. It involves the concept of multiple counselors.
The Field Test
The translation process is so overwhelming that not only is there a need for many men on a committee, but also for many sanctified well-trained men not on the committee to be utilized. It appears the most significant weak point in the process of translating for many translations is not allowing the review of the work by those in the "field" in language-groups. Before the final edition of the translation is printed, what needs to happen is to have a few copies (e.g. fifty to 100 copies or more) printed and sent to nationals and missionaries of a receptor-language for their review of the translation.
This is precisely what the KJB translators did, and incidentally, is exactly what happened with the Wycliffe Bible. This was done at a time when producing copies was much harder than it is today. Why can’t it be done today (q.v.)?
The use of ‘scholars’ not on the translating committee by translations in previous times has been pointed out by several authors. The KJB translators sent portions around the nation to be reviewed and commented upon by many; I understand their target was those who had pastor and teaching responsibilities.
Dr. David Cloud said:
The Wycliffe Bibles were reviewed by laymen and by competent ministers. As a matter of fact, many individuals were so anxious to have the Bible in their hand that they would pay a wagon load of hay (a days work) to have a chance to read/copy a few chapters of Wycliffe’s translation. There are preserved examples of these hastily made copies and of portions of the Wycliffe translation sent to individuals for review in museums. Andrew Miller said:
Even B. F. Westcott comments on many translators at work in various parts of England during Wycliffe’s time.
"While Wycliffe was engaged in his translation others were prosecuting a similar work in different parts of England. There is a manuscript translation of portions of the Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Gospel of Matthew, in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. It is in the western dialect. In the same library is a complete version of Paul's Epistles. The authors are unknown, and probably they concealed their names for the purpose of escaping persecution." (HDW, my emphasis)
The Print-0n-Demand Asset
The review of a translation project by many nationals and missionaries not on a translation committee has become easier. Print on demand (POD) printing, has made this possible. For example, as long as the NT or OT (or a portion of these) does not exceed 828 pages, then 50 to 100 copies can be printed at a reasonable cost to be submitted for evaluation to those who were not involved in the translating process. These working copies would be printed on 45# paper, however, and not on 25# paper (like the very thin Bible paper). The purpose would be to pick up every possible mistake or error possible before printing the translation for wide distribution and sale.
The Fatigue Factor
The Lord knows we all understand "fatigue." It is a REAL problem in the ministry for anyone who steps into the shoes of pastor/teacher/missionary/evangelist; and if I can be so bold as to add, translator! If someone is not called (or sure he is called) to these positions by our Great God and only Saviour by such a strong desire that he cannot resist, then he should flee the responsibility. Those in these positions mentioned must be trained, qualified, saved, and determined to do the best job possible to the point of death. One of the striking features of great men in the past is their service to the Lord to the point of demise. John William Burgon is one, Wycliffe is another, much less those who went to the fires such as William Tyndale and to the torture racks in prison.
Translating work requires a dedication beyond many extremes, without reward, without praise, without compassion; and certainly, it is often accompanied by much criticism, even vulgar attacks. Even so, this last step of seeking multiple counselors by sending the translation to many others for comments SHOULD NOT be neglected.
At the risk of repetition, pride should never ever enter the picture, whether national or personal when translating. This could keep a committee from seeking the advise of others. But translators are translating the very Words of a Holy God; it is not an ordinary book. Ever means possible to insure a correct translation is imperative.
If someone truly understands our God, his enormous ability (just look at the heavens and look at His Son), and His love for us, then we should have respect of no (one) man, and seek multiple counselors. This leads us to making a few comments about a foundation doctrine. Too many translators today have "little faith." Their doctrines of inspiration, preservation, and translation are 180 degrees in the opposite direction of Scripture. Why? They exalt themselves. They have no fear of changing, adding to, or subtracting from the Words of God by two important ways hinted at above. (1) Using the original language texts that are built upon man’s idea that God preserved only His message, concept, thoughts, ideas, etc., but not His perfect, pure, Words. (2) Using interpretive translating (paraphrase/dynamic equivalent/functional equivalent) translating that invariably inserts man’s idea. Why do they believe this with all their heart. Because they do not have faith in God’s promises.
8. FAITH IN GOD
"And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God." Mark 11:22
The entire process of translating the Words of God MUST BE ANCHORED in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (God) and His indescribable work, the SIXTY-SIX BOOK Canon of Scripture.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."Hebrews 11:6
So many translators seem to have forgotten:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
Faith does not come by man’s interpretations, man’s works, or man’s philosophy (Col. 2:8). These factors, which were briefly discussed above, are causing a paresis of faith among baptized saints. O’ translator, "What words do you want in the hands of the people of your concern?" "Are you helping to destroy faith among the people of the world in the "jot" and "tittle" preservation of "every word" of God found in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts that underlie the King James Bible.
9. "Without Ceasing" Prayer
Although this element to producing an accurate and faithful translation will not be expounded, any experienced translator or believer who is not a novice would be foolish to attempt a translation of the Words of God "without ceasing" prayer. The prayer should include every aspect (e.g. funds, people involved, first phase—selecting the team, texts, time, and ALL the factors, elements, printing, printers, patience, longsuffering, and on we could go.).
There are many more things that could be presented that are important to producing an accurate and faithful translation of the Bible such as selection of the translation team, the number on the team, national translators, pre-translation stage, books to have on hand, time schedules, and similar topics. But, in this author’s opinion, the very significant factors influencing translators and an accurate and faithful translation of the Bible are discussed above.
May the Lord bless each one of you who have taken up the mantle of the most daunting task of properly translating the Bible into the languages of the world according to the factors presented in this work and many more important factors recorded by the members of the William Carey Bible Society.
"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Numbers 6:24-26
H. D. Williams, M.D., Ph.D.,
A Vice-President, Dean Burgon Society
Board Member, William Carey Bible Society
The following seventy-seven (77) criteria were taken from this author et al book, Word-For-Word Translating of the Received Texts, Verbal Plenary Translating available on Amazon (type in the name, not the author) and Bible For Today ministries www.biblefortoday.org. They are placed here for your review and consideratio of the extensive preparation necessary for translating accurately and faithfully the Preserved Words of God.
77 RITERIA FOR TRANSLATING
"That thy way may be known upon earth…" Psalms 67:2
"And the gospel must first be published among all nations." (Mark 13:10) [HDW, whether spoken or written in every "part" of the world]
"Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But nw is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:" (Romans 16:25-26)
"For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Colossians 1:5-6)
"In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord". (1 Corinthians 14:21; cf. Isa. 28:11-12)
1. The correct Biblical texts should be used: they include (1) The Received Texts: The Received Greek Text (Textus Receptus ) and the 2nd Rabbinical Ben Chayyim Hebrew Received Text, which are the Words that underlie the King James Bible. (2) Guidelines offered by the superb, never to be equaled, English translation, the King James Bible, or other Bibles (versions) based upon the Received Texts such as the Tyndale, Geneva, Matthews, and Bishops.
2. Multiple counselors should be used, which includes: (1) Experts in the source-languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. (2) Native receptor-language speakers and/or writers, whichever is appropriate. (3) Well-trained elder theologians. (4) Intelligent believers in the receptor-language.
3. Word-for-word translation is the method of translating to be utilized. Interpretation is left for the pastors, missionaries, teachers, and evangelists.
4. The details of translating, such as figures of speech , passive voice, etc. are determined by the syntax of the language and the experience of the translators in the source and receptor-language, not the concept or method of translating, which is word-for-word. The concept or method of translating does not require an expert. It requires obedience to Scripture to make His Words known (not the message, concept, idea, or thought interpreted by man. God’s thoughts are revealed in His Words.)
5. Under no circumstance should words be added, subtracted, or changed in other ways. If no word or words exist in a receptor-language for a word or words in a source-language, a translator must construct one. Under no circumstance should "Seal of God" be substituted for "Lamb of God," even if no word for lamb exists in the receptor-language or if the receptor of the receptor-language does not understand "Lamb."
6. Under no circumstance should dynamic equivalent translations or alleged literal translations of the source-languages be used as examples for translating the Words of God into a receptor language. For example, the NIV, NASB, Living Bible, The Message, ARV, RSV , ESV , etc.
7. Under no circumstance should a version which is not based upon the Received Texts be used as an example.
8. Under no circumstance should the ambiguity in the original source-language be removed by inserting words of interpretation by the translator. (e.g. Rom. 1:17 "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith," as the NIV did, stating: Rom. 1:17 "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith.""
9. Under no circumstance shall an anachronism be used in translating. It is wrong to refer to an item that did not exist in the Biblical times. It will not be true to the culture and historical setting. (e.g. NLB wrongly uses a modern term, "clock." Isa. 60:11 "Your gates will stay open around the clock to receive the wealth of many lands. The kings of the world will be led as captives in a victory procession." The clock did not exist in Biblical times. KJB Isa 60:11 has it right. "Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought."
10. Under no circumstance will apostrophes be changed. For example, if God addresses an inanimate or abstract idea as if they were people, the translation into a receptor language will do the same. Also, if people are addressed as if they were present by the Scriptures, then the translation will also. (e.g. Mat. 2:6 "And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." Rom. 2:1 "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things."
11. Under no circumstance should information assumed to be known by the reader of the original source-language be added into the text. A word or words may be added to clarify a text, but see #13. Under no circumstance should text be added to the receptor-text which is thought to amplify, enhance, and not distort the "discourse" or "message." This is adding interpretation to the text, which is not the job of a translator. It is the job of pastors/teachers/missionaries/evangelists.
12. Footnotes and/or marginal notes should be used liberally in translation work.
13. Any words added to a text for explanatory reason under any circumstance needs to be identified in the receptor-text, such as by italics. (e.g. KJB Rom 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
14. A brief introduction to a book of the Bible should be placed at the beginning of the receptor translation.
15. Under no circumstance should the order of a chiasmus be changed in Scripture for interpretation reasons. (e.g. KJB Mat. 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." changed to TEV Mat. 7:6 "Do not give what is holy to dogs—they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs—they will only trample them underfoot."
16. Under no circumstance shall the order of events reported in Scripture be changed for clarification. (e.g. KJB Lk. 5:28 "And he left all, rose up, and followed him." changed to NRSV Lk. 5:28 "And he got up, left everything, and followed him."
17. Under no circumstance shall the sequence of events be changed in Scripture. (e.g. KJB, John 4:7, 8, 9 "There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." To NIV "When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)" Or this example, KJB John 21:7 "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea." Changed to CEV "When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water."
18. Under no circumstance is the quality of a translation measured by the "message" to the reader without regard to the words of the source-language. The quality is measured by the accuracy and faithfulness to God’s Words. The theme of the source-language may not always be clear to the receptor when translated accurately and faithfully into the receptor-language, as expected without a teacher.
19. Transition words are kept in the receptor-language if they are in the source-language. (e.g. Mk. 1:4-45 "and" begins almost each verse in the source-language, Greek, and should be maintained in the receptor-language.
20. Conditional words are used often in Scripture. For example, Greek ei, (often translated "if") is used by itself 271 times, and combined with other particles, at least 208 times. If the word is in the source-language , it must be translated with a word such as with, whether, that, if, etc. in the receptor-language. In these circumstances, a lexicon will help greatly. (e.g. KJB Mat. 9:35 "And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." Should not be changed to TEV Mk 9:35 "Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all."
21. Even if the connotation of a word in the source language triggers an emotional reaction by its use in a receptor-language, it should be translated as the source language text is written; and it should not be changed to accommodate the receptor-language-group. (e.g. KJB Jn. 19:26 "When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!" The word, woman, is the translation of the Greek word, gumh. It should not be changed to CEV "he said to his mother, ‘This man is now your son.’"
22. Under no circumstance should words in the source language be removed, even if the receptor-language -group is not familiar with an object mentioned in the Bible, or they interpret symbolic actions differently, or they lack Biblical knowledge or background, or their ideas of the spirit world differ greatly from the spirit world referred to in the Bible. (i.e. KJB Mat. 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." [HDW, my emphasis)
23. Passages in a source-language that "reference" another passage should be noted in the receptor-language margin or center area.
24. Proper receptor-language markings should be used such as question marks, quotations, paragraph markings, etc.
25. The double meaning of words in the source-language should not be explained within the word-for-word receptor-language translation. It would mean adding words to the text that are not there in the source-language. (e.g. "living water" maybe misunderstood by Biblically illiterate people to mean that a person needs water to live. KJB. Jn. 4:10-11 "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?" Should not be changed to CEV "…you asked him for the water that gives life.’ ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this life-giving water?’" Reason: translations of God’s Holy Words should be word-for-word as it is written in the VPI words.
26. An ellipsis in the source text should not be filled in or placed into the receptor-language if it is not in the source-language. (e.g. KJB Jn. 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." Do not place after "no more can ye" the words, "bear fruit" because it is not in the text, unless you indicate by italics the addition of the words. The NIV adds the words without indicating that it is not in the text. NIV Jn. 15:4 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."
27. An euphemism in the source-language -text should be left in the receptor-text. (e.g. KJB Mat. 21:25 "The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?" Heaven is the word in the Greek language. It should not be translated as the TEV Mat. 21:25 "Where did John’s right to baptize come from: was it from God or from man?" God is not in the source-language-text.
28. If a word or expression in the source-language stands for an association that accompanies it, called a metonymy, it should be translated as it is in the source language. (e.g. Mk. 3:25 "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." Should not be translated as the TEV "If a family divides itself into groups which fight each other." A translator could add to the KJB words that are italicized, such as, "And if a family in a house…" However, the addition changes the meaning to the family living in a house, and does not extend to the family living elsewhere, also. Therefore, again, translate the words.
29. If a synecdoche is used in the source-language , then it should be used in the receptor language . (e.g. KJB Mat. 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread." Should not be changed to: TEV Mat. 6:11 "Give us today the food we need."
30. The Hebrew poetic passages cannot be duplicated in the receptor language, but they should still be translated word-for-word, obeying syntax .
31. Words used repeatedly in a certain way in the source-language, such as "Thus saith the Lord" should be repeatedly used by the same words in the receptor-language .
32. Genitives in the source-language should be maintained in the receptor-language and not interpreted by the translator. (e.g. KJB "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Should not be translated as the NLT "people should be baptized to show that they had turned from their sins and turned to God."
33. The types of literary composition in the source-language such as narratives, hortatory discourse, or conversational discourse should be maintained in the receptor-language .
34. A glossary should be attached to the translation explaining (e.g.) people, festivals, titles, customs such as phylacteries, myrrh, etc.
35. .An hendiadys (noun), a literary device expressing an idea by means of two words linked by "and," should be translated as it is in the source-language . (e.g. KJB "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question." The "hope and resurrection" are linked and are in the original text. Therefore, the expression should remain. It should not be translated another way just because "The receptor language does not join two concepts with "and" when they are not coordinate."
36. Hyperbole in the source-language should remain in the receptor-language. (e.g. KJB Mat. 11:18 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil." Should not be translated TEV Mat. 11:18 "When John came, he fasted and drank no wine." The words are not in the source-language.
37. Idioms in the source-text should be translated into the receptor-language if at all possible. (e.g. KJB Jn. 11:41 "Jesus lifted up his eyes" should not be changed to NIV Jn. 11:41 "Jesus looked up." Sometimes, an idiom must be translated in such a way that it is understood. For example, ‘he had me in stitches’ or ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ may not be understood at all by anyone for ever in a receptor-language, and must be altered. These will be rare occurrences. See criteria number 62 below.
38. Irony in the source-language should be left in the receptor-language. (e.g. KJB Mk. 15:32 "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him." Should not be translated NCV Mk. 15:32 "If he is really the Christ, the king of Israel, let him come down now from the cross. When we see this, we will believe in him."
39. Key terms in the Scriptures should be translated a closely as possible to the way the KJB translated the terms (e. g. redemption, grace, propitiation, salvation, iniquity)
40. Font sizes and columns should be predetermined before translation begins.
41. Key words in the source-language should be translated consistently in the receptor-language (i.e. repeated). (e.g. KJB Mk. 12:15 "Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it." Should not be translated, TEV MK. 12:15 "Why are you trying to trap me?" And KJB Jam. 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:" should not be translated, TEV "For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one."
42. Litotes (a deliberate understatement by denying its opposite) should be translated word for word. (e.g. KJB Lk. 1:37 "For with God nothing shall be impossible." Should not be translated, NCV Lk. 1:37 "God can do anything!"
43. Metaphors in the source-language should not be changed in the receptor-language unless any word added is italicized. (e.g. KJB Acts 2:20 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:" Should not be translated TEV Acts 2:20 "and the moon will turn red as blood" or NLT Acts 2:20 "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood red, before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives."
44. Naturalness in translation (i.e. syntax ) should be guarded with great care, but adding, subtracting, or changing the words in the source-language to accommodate "naturalness" is fraught with danger. (e.g. A difficult translation of 2 Cor. 1:12 from the Greek is made by the KJB, word-for-word: "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward." Should not be changed to "smooth" the translation in the receptor-language such as the NLT 2 Cor. 1:12 "We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have been honest and sincere in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own earthly wisdom. That is how we have acted toward everyone, and especially toward you." Much is missing from this translation by the NLT, which does not reflect the original source-language.
45. If negation is in the source-language, it should be found in the translation into the receptor-language . (e.g. "not" is in the Greek text in Mat. 13:57, at "a prophet is not…". The KJB has "And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." The NLT Mat. 13:57 has, "And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family." Many of these words are not found in the source language .
46. Rules of grammar such as capitalization should be decided before the translation begins.
47. The passive voice is a special situation in many languages. Sometimes the passive voice is not used in a receptor-language . Great care must be taken to express the source-language words in the receptor language. (e.g. KJB Col. 1:11 "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;" Should not be translated NCV Col. 1:11 "God will strengthen you with his own great power." Rather, "May you be strengthened, according to his glorious power,…" would be much better to overcome the passive.
48. Many more examples could be given. But the "bottom line" will be the same. The words of God that express His thoughts should be translated word-for-word into any receptor-language so far as syntax will allow. Semantics and interpretation added to the source-language should be no consideration.
49. A Translator must be born-again.
50. Method—A translation cannot take place without a translator. Therefore, criteria for a translator must also exist. A translator is influenced by his method of interpretation of the Scripture (e.g. literal versus allegorical, dispensational versus covenant). Consequently, a mandate to translate must consider the translators basic approach to interpretation. Ideally, men should set their theology and interpretation preferences aside in order to translate Scripture, but this would be similar to asking someone to separate a drop of blood placed in a glass of water.
51. Accordingly, the translator’s hermeneutical approach to interpretation must be compatible with Biblical concepts and methods. A translator should be a consistent literal interpreter of Scripture versus allegorical analysis or interpretation of Scripture (See Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, Chapter 1 and 2 quoted often in this work).
52. A translator’s hermeneutics should be inductive as opposed to deductive .
53. A translator must keep in mind that the Bible is not like "any other book" contrary to what Bishop Westcott and Professor Hort wrote in their "Introduction" to their revised Greek text in 1881. More recently, Eugene Nida has echoed these sentiments. The Bible must be approached with a believing heart and great reverence for God’s Words. The textual critics of the modern age have unceremoniously recommended that "scripture is to be interpreted like any other book;" and therefore, it should be translated like any other book. How false this statement is! In other words, the proper attitude for translation must be brought to the table. Foremost in the translators mind must be the remembrance that the Lord Jesus Christ is the ‘Logos’ who gave us the words and the Holy Spirit is the conduit (2 Pe. 1:21; Jn. 1:1; Rev. 19:13) and a translation must be faithful to His Words (Deut. 4:2; Pro. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19).
54. A translator must not be involved in presumptuous sin. If he is, then he must excuse (recluse) himself (Psa. 19:13; Nu. 15:30; 2 Pe. 2:10).
55. A translator must be morally upright according to Biblical standards, and not the standards of society (2 Tim. 3:1-7; Jam. 5:3; 2 Pe. 3:3).
56. A translator must be in constant prayer (1 Thes. 5:17, Rom. 12:10-12).
57. A translator must disdain pride and superiority in education and training (Phil. 2:3-4; Rom. 12:10-12).
58. A translator must keep in mind at all times that his ways and thoughts are not the ways and thoughts of God. Therefore, his philosophy, religion, church, thoughts, ways, doctrinal positions, theological bent (allegory vs. literal), social or educational background, theories, etc., should be put aside. (Isa. 55:7-9) (See Dean Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, pp. 80-87).
59. A translator must not abandon the verba ipsissima (the very words themselves) of Holy Writ by lapsing into expressions which are doctrinal predilections (Dean Burgon, Causes of Corruption, quoted in this work, p. 21).
60. Guarding against amalgamation of accounts in Scripture (particularly the Gospels) must be strictly avoided.
61. A translator must keep in mind that every letter to the yod and tittle of the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words (autographs), and preserved in the Apographs, are inspired. (2 Tim. 3:15-16; Mat. 4:4, 5:17-18; 24:35, 1 Pe. 1:23-24) Therefore (#61),
62. A translator must remember that God commanded His words were to be "made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." (Rom. 16:26; 1 Cor. 14:21; Mk. 13:10; Col. 1:5-6)
63. A translator must be familiar with idiomatic expressions in Scripture, which need to be translated into precise expressions in the ‘receiving’ language.
64. A translator must be cognizant that any text proclaiming to be the original text cannot be translated unless it can be shown that it goes back "without break or intermission to the original autographs." (Causes of Corruption, p. 2) Therefore, only the text that lies behind the King James Bible should be used.
65. A translator must shun dynamic equivalent translation promoted by most Bible societies and promulgated by Eugene Nida; only formal equivalent translation should be used.
66. If at all possible, the mechanisms, methods, and details for translation should be similar to those used by the translators of the KJB. (See Dr. D. A. Waite , Defending the KJB, Chapter IV)
67. A translator must be "walking with the Lord."
68. A translator is trained in the linguistics of the source-language and the receptor-language.
69. A translator is thoroughly familiar with the culture of the receptor-language group or nation.
70. A translator is competent in the meaning of words of the source and receptor-languages.
71. A translator is competent with the culture and customs of the Bible.
72. A translator is very familiar with an excellent translations such as the KJB, Tyndale, and Geneva, etc., which are based on the Received Texts of the original languages of the Bible as a source-languages.
73. A translator is competent with the best lexicons, dictionaries etc. of the original languages of the Bible.
74. A translator has many consultants in the receptor and source-languages. An individual translating without many counselors and much help is a sure prescription for disaster.
75. A translator understands word-for-word translating.
76. A translator may use computer resources such as Logos, BibleWorks, SwordSearcher.
77. .(vid. supra) This does not mean that a missionary going into a foreign nation rushes in and demands changes in the culture to match Western customs and dress. But, it certainly means that the missionary must address any cultural iniquity such as murder, governmental mayhem (bribes), fornication, dishonesty, etc. with love, compassion, patience, and longsuffering after the manner ofthe perfect God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His words.
The Bible For Today
For whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved.
From the Authorized King James Bible