Translators commissioned by the National Council of the Churches of Christ to produce the NRSV will not see their role in exactly the same way as will translators struggling to produce the first New Testament for a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea, precisely because the envisioned readers are so different.
They are in vital union with one another. Here is a situation which is also familiar to many of us. The Bible is a very important book, and it deserves our utmost care.
These renderings do not convey to the reader the emphasis on God as the initiator and author of the prophetic message, and it does not convey the concept of mere instrumentality on the part of the prophets. Some virtues are more sedulously inculcated by moralists and philosophers when the language has fit names for indicating them; whereas they are but superficially treated of, or rather neglected, in nations where such virtues have not so much as a name.
The Church does not spring from the Scriptures in the simple manner that Nida envisions, and God did not intend for it to do so. This tendency to normalize anything that strays from the beaten path of everyday language affects not only allusions, but all sorts of interesting linguistic features of the text.
The development of an indigenous church will always be the living response of people to the life demands of the message. At bottom they are theological. None of them is obsolete.
They habitually draw upon Scriptural models and patterns as they apply the Word of God to their situation. No matter how discordant the interpretations grew, the one thing that could not be questioned was the idea that the right interpretation was obvious. The truth is that behind these writings there lies an intractable Hebraic, Aramaic, Palestinian material.
Within the subculture of a long-established church it is possible to maintain the illusion that the Bible does not need to be explained, because people who have been raised in the church forget how many explanations they have absorbed over the years; but when the Bible is taken outside the church, the error of this notion becomes painfully obvious.
And if this is true with regard to Jews, how much greater must have been the labour when the community included pure Gentiles, who had scarcely any knowledge of Jewish scriptures, and lacked the sound foundation of Jewish monotheism.
The first sentence of the Bible assumes that the reader believes in God. It implicitly teaches the relationship of the man to Christ, and emphasizes Christ himself over the man.
Obviously, such a version could not be one which required explanations or any introductory preparation of the readers; the versions would have to be made as simple and idiomatic as possible — not only because of the nature of the languages into which it is being translated, and not only because of the primitive cultural state of the people who spoke these languages, but because the teaching ministry of the Church was simply left out of the equation.
In order to be allusive, words must somehow stand out and point to a special context elsewhere. Jewish tradition says that this was the beginning of those translations into Aramaic called Targumsfree renderings of the Hebrew which were used by Jews in later times to explain the meaning of the archaic Hebrew text.Against the Theory of ‘Dynamic Equivalence’ by Michael Marlowe Revised and expanded, January Introduction.
Among Bible scholars there is a school which is always inquiring into the genres or rhetorical forms of speech represented in any given passage of the Bible, and also the social settings which are supposed to be connected.Download