Copyright © By Dr. Adel Elsaie, Book Title: "Please Revise the Bible, Again"

4.3 English Translations

 

There are over 50 major translations of the New Testament. Theories of translation are enthusiastically and even hotly debated among both laymen and the scholars. The debate largely focuses around whether a translation should be “word for word” equivalent to the existing manuscript, or what is called dynamic or functionally equivalent focusing on the ease of understanding of the intended reader. Every translation imperfectly represents the existing manuscript, because languages and cultures differ in ways that translation by itself cannot conquer. While translator bias is a fact to be contended with, translations are being tainted by the theological background of translators by interjecting their interpretation of ancient Hebrew and Greek words and idioms. A translator's first and most essential job is to bridge the language and time gaps. The translator attempts to seek the best way of saying in English what was said first in ancient Hebrew or Greek. But even this is not simple. No English word fully matches a Greek or Hebrew word. For instance, the biblical words for "soul" are the Hebrew “nephesh and the Greek “psyche.” Unfortunately, nephesh is also translated as "life," "appetite," "neck" and "person," among other words.

 

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