What is the most secularly acclaimed Bible translation?

by sabastious 86 Replies latest jw friends

  • truebelieverbob

    I would like to ask anyone on this site who knocks Beduhns book , truth in translaion, and knock the NWT , how do your qualifications as a bible translator compare to Beduhn's ? I notice on this site alot of anti NWT bias by bible translation amateurs. I just love his book because he exposes the bias in pseudo christianity today . As time goes on , one thing is proven to me more and more , the WTS has it right in most things ,if not all, as far as true christianity and bible translation.

  • GLTirebiter

    Marcus Scriptus, that's interesting information, thanks for posting it. The politics behind such decisions are interesting.

    I found some more information on the revision to the Grail Psalter. It seems to be aimed at making the translation more accurate while maintaining the musical quality. It's rather like a "dynamic equivalence" translation for musicians. (For those unfamiliar with the Catholic mass, each week a different part of the psalter (psalms) is sung, thus the emphasis on lyrical quality.)

  • Terry

    The best way to think about TRANSLATING the bible is to consider how difficult it is to capture a POEM in a different language.

    Take Shakespeare, for example.

    If you go for the SENSE of the story---that's all you end up with. No big deal.

    But, the glory of Shakespeare is HOW he tells the story.

    The rhythm of the words (dih DAH dih DAH dih DAH dih DAH) is iambic pentameter.

    The clever punning and play on words and allusions; all of this creates the climate of witty repartee and devilish cleverness.

    How can you pack that---the whole GENIUS of language--into a TRANSLATION in another languge??

    Take German, for instance. That is a brick hard and sloppy language. Imagine hearing "Soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" in gutteral Deutch!

    You see? You pick and choose what strategy you're going to adhere to---but, whatever strategy or paradigm you employ---something is left on the cutting room floor which is essential to original language and intention.

    Besides all that---each layer of translation and redaction carries with it the pious corruptions of the translator or scribe "helping the meaning" by changing things to make it come out.....um....right.

  • wannabefree

    I would also have to agree with JD BeDuhn's comments in the Appendix of his book ...


    Having concluded that the NW is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available, I would be remiss if i did not mention one peculiarity of this translation that by most conventions of translation would be considered an inaccuracy, however little this inaccuracy changes the meaning of most of the verses where it appears. I am referring to the use of "Jehovah" in the NW New Testament.

    ... the name never appears in any Greek manuscript of any book of the New Testament. So, to introduce the name "Jehovah" into the New Testament, as the NW does two-hundred-thirty-seven times, is not accurate translation by the most basic principle of accuracy: adherence to the original Greek text.

    [Other translations replace the personal name of God in the Old Testament]. Both practices violate accuracy in favor of denominationally preferred expressions for God.


    BeDuhn also points out that, for the sake of argument, if one is to justify putting Jehovah into the New Testament where direct quotation is made of Old Testament verses containing God's name, that would account for seventy-eight passages, yet the translation committee only did so seventy times. So, of the two-hundred-thirty-seven times the NW translators inserted Jehovah into the NT, only seventy are somewhat legitimate (though still truly inaccurate as far as being a translation) and eight were omitted, yet only three of the omissions would seem to be because of bias (2 Thes 1:9; 1 Peter 2:3; 1 Peter 3:15) ... BeDuhn comments that "The inconsistency of the NW translators in not using "Jehovah" in [these three places] show that interpretation rather than a principle of translation is involved in deciding where to use "Jehovah".

  • Wonderment

    MarcusScriptus: Thanks again for your insightful post.

    truebelieverbob: I appreciate your bold stand on behalf of the NWT and WT. I too think that the J. BeDuhn´s book is perhaps the most fair review of bible versions yet. However, I wouldn´t go too far to the other side defending the WT. Let us not forget, that the WT is a humongous organization, hence, they respond to a lot of issues as the politicians do. "Unity at all costs" seems to be the driving force of their existence. The end result can be dangerous. They set policies in their org. that are driven more by what they seek to accomplish to unify their structure, than by what the Bible actually supports. They will never admit to that.

    And to mention the NWT, as much as I like their bibles, I do see places where they have stretched the meaning of a word so as to communicate better with their constituency. So, cleverly, they used some renderings where it is difficult to prove them wrong, but we have to ask honestly whether the original writer really meant what the NWT communicates to us. For ex. Joh 17:3 with "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you..." As support the WT quotes some scholars that seem to support that rendering. However, did Jesus really mean that we as his followers must start ´taking in knowledge´ as religionists do of their religious systems? Does a true Christian has to go thru months of studying the Bible with another book so as to know God? I think not. That is stretching the whole statement of Jesus. Back then it was like: Believe in Christ, and you shall be saved. That simple! For the WT it can´t be that simple. You have to go thru loops of men to get the approval for baptism.

    Another example: Rom 10:10. "With the mouth one makes public declaration for salvation." Ask any Witness what that means, and he may tell you that preaching from house-to-house is essential for salvation. So you see. The Greek may allow "public declaration" as a meaning there of the orginal, but it may allude to baptism, where one publicly declares ones faith in Christ´ as our Savior.

    Now, before anyone else comes rushing to condemn the NWT, remember other Bible versions do the same thing, but in other places where it suits them.

    Therefore, we should keep our minds open to fairness and truth, from whatever the source.

  • truebelieverbob

    If Gods name is not used by his true christian followers, there is confusion . Thats why most translations do not use the name of God ( BIAS ). Why not ?? because they want to promote THE FALSE TEACHING OF THE TRINITY .

    Jehovahs Witnesses may have been wrong to include the name of God in the NT , but as Jason Beduhn brings out on page 169 0f the book "truth in translation" - "Of course Jehovah also appears throughout the NWT old testament . In this case ,the NWT is the only accurate translation of the 9 we are comparing , since all of the other translations replace the personal name of God , in over 6000 passages.

    page 179 of this same book brings out - " It may be that one day a Greek manuscript of some portion of the new testament will be found , lets say a particularly early one, that has the hebrew letters YHWH in some of the verses listed above. When that happens , when evidence is at hand , biblical researchers will have to give due consideration to the views held by the NWT editors.

    What should be the TRUE CHRISTIANS view on Gods name ??

    The lords prayer says it all "HALLOWED BE THY NAME" ( given 1st priority in the lords prayer )

    I am proud to be apart of a group of people that TRULY apply that prayer of our lord. And no he wasnt praying to himself or 1/3 of himself ( rediculous trinity doctrine )

  • Wrong Way
    Wrong Way

    BOB, who art thou?

  • MarcusScriptus

    Bob, the inclusion of the Divine Name has been an earmark of both the Jerusalem and New Jerusalem Bible since their first publication in the early 1960s. The New Jerusalem Bible contains the Divine Name throughout the Old Testament, just like the New World Translation does, and it’s not just read and studied by Roman Catholics. The NJB also happens to be the most widely circulated, published, and read Catholic translation in the English-speaking world as well as having remained on bestsellers lists in the top 20 of all Bible sales in Europe. Widely praised by Protestant scholars it also generally the only Catholic translation that a non-Catholic often chooses over the King James and New International versions, and usually the only Catholic version you will find in most Protestant’s Bible library.

    Just on the number of Catholics alone (not to mention the others who use it or to figure in the number of distributed copies by the publishers and various Bible societies), more people have read it and its use of “Yahweh” as the Divine Name than have ever seen a copy of the NWT, so many in fact that Yahweh is now the form most widely used and recognized in the English language for God’s name. “Jehovah” is not only considered archaic, it is considered etymologically incorrect.

    The reason for the Divine Name not appearing in many other versions is in part due to the wide distribution of the NJB among Christians in general. It is considered by many the standard when anyone wants to do a study of Scripture in English that makes explicit use of the Name.

    Because the type of scholastic logic that inspired the Jerusalem Bible versions comes from Catholic circles, as well as it being refortified by the NJB’s popularity, it is often a purposefully ignored surprise to Jehovah’s Witnesses that God is also regularly spoken of as Yahweh by Catholics, especially in catechistic employment. Only in liturgical settings is the Divine Name not uttered. In fact several other Christian groups have often protested the familiarity with God’s name caused by the use of this Catholic Bible translation.

    Add to this there are versions of the NJB in various other languages as well, the Spanish translation being one of the newest. Except for the United States (where the New American Bible is the official liturgical version and therefore outsells the NJB), the NJB has earned itself a place as the most recognized standard in Biblical scholarship and the translation sciences and disciplines of any Roman Catholic translation ever published. Considering that Roman Catholics alone number over 1.3 billion, and that the NJB exists in most of the major vernacular languages spoken, you would likely have to count every book published by the Watchtower Society, not just its editions of the New World Translation, to come close to how far and wide a Bible using God’s name has been printed and circulated around the world.

    Having just checked numbers for my previous answer for this subject, I can tell you that at present the copyright holders of the NJB cannot give us a good ballpark figure on circulation because there has been an explosion of E-book versions and a suddenly series of peaks in sales of Bibles on Amazon.com over the past two years. The last best guess is based on partial figures from around 2007-2008, and it is now easier to estimate on the number of English-speaking Catholics minus around half the number of those who live in the United States to get figures for the NJB (again not mentioning the countless numbers of Protestants and even non-religious people who use it as a reliable translation).

    Now what was this someone was claiming about who was truly promoting the use of God’s name?

  • PSacramento

    RE: "Hallowed be they name".

    One wonders why, IF Jesus actually MEANT the NAME of God and NOT what "name" stands for, why Jesus didnt 't include the ACTUAL NAME in the prayer?

    I had soem guests over on the weekend and a very interesting thing happened, oen of them was a former JW ( I didn't know that) we got to talking and it came up and I asked WHY he left, his answering was quite interesting.

    See, he was one of those that was ADAMANT about the use of the term Jehovah and how ONE MUST use it when talking about God and praying to God.

    One day he was talking to his business partner and his kid comes up and tries to interrupt the conversation ( you know kids), at one point to get his attention he called him Thomas ( his name) and not Dad, well he reamed into his kid about it being disrespectful and his partner reamed HIM about thet very samething HE DOES when calling God by his "name".

    A light went off and after that he decided to study the WT and the bible without "blinders" and that lead to his leaving.

  • truebelieverbob

    Marcus - thats wonderful that the NJB has the name of God in its old testament, but you stated some things that are not accurate :

    1) "Its read and studied by most Catholics" , Marcus , Most Catholics do not study the bible , they just go to mass and give their money contribution and go home and wait for next sunday to do the same thing over again, and if you asked them , do you like the NJB, most would say " whats that ??"

    2) "The reason for the divine name not appearing in other versions is in part due to the wide distribution of the NJB ", Marcus, the NJB has nothing to do with the removal of the divine name in other bibles, they have removed the name because of inaccurate translating, and because of BIAS, promoting the false trinity doctrine.

    3) " God is regularly spoken of as Yahweh by Catholics" , Marcus , If you ask 100 Catholics ,what is Gods name ? probably 90 of them will answer Jesus. I know this for a fact because i have spoken to hundreds of Catholics about the name of God in my ministry and NOT ONE ever said its Yahweh. Also if its true Yahweh is so important to a Catholic , shouldnt the leader of the Catholics ,the Pope, be using the divine name throughout his discourses . He never does , probably afraid of causing confusion , since all Catholics believe Jesus is God .

    IN CONCLUSION - its great that the NJB uses Yahwh, but please be a little more accurate when you talk about its influence on Catholics.

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