Saturday, October 14, 2006

Different translations

In the last video you would have seen using the NET bible's translation of the text, which is quite different from the traditional translations of the Lord's prayer.

Apparently in the past translators have been encouraged to stick to a more traditional (well known) translation because it is one of those favourite pieces of scripture that people don't like to hear changed - If you change the Lord's prayer slightly then not as many people will buy your translation.

Here's where the NET Bible comes in: It was never created to make money, but to be a ministry tool, so the translators had the liberty to translate how they wanted to.

Some people might not like hearing the Lord's prayer in the NET bible translation, but I hope that my teaching in this video will demonstrate some of the arguments in favour of their translation.

Here's a little test for you: When you hear something translated differently to what you're used to, how do you react? Do you say, "No that's wrong because my favourite translation says something different!" or do you say, "Hmmm, I wonder what the original language says?"

Hopefully you think the later, but often translations are judged by what people are used to hearing.
Many people (without knowledge of the original languages) say, "I think the such and such version is a better translation." But without comparing the translation to the Greek or the Hebrew or Aramaic they are not really able to have an authoritative opinion about which translation is best. That is not to say that people cannot have informed opinions without knowing the original languages, but those opinions are not authoritative opinions.

Often the more people study Greek, the more they appreciate the various translations of the New Testament. There is a saying that 'translators are traitors', because they always either over translate or under translate. This is why you sometimes find one translation to be superior in it's translation of one verse, but another translation superior in another verse!

If you'd like to know more about all the different translations then I cannot reccomend enough Mounce's "Greek for the rest of us" book with comes with a multimedia CD-rom of his lessons where he gives many examples of where different translations have either hit the nail on the head, or missed it slightly. I found it very informative, and as a result I found that I appreciated different translations all the more.

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