|Ward Green Version, 2003|
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The problem with Bible translation, in general, is that while it is possible to render ancient tongues using word-for-word correspondence, this precludes or ignores the use of any modern idioms in attempting to communicate accurately the meaning originally present. While literal or word-for-word renderings may be extremely useful to the Bible student, they remain somewhat obscure to the casual reader, and even a student of the Bible needs more than a literal translation in order to get the true meaning. Ancient Hebrew, for example, has thousands of words. Today, the English language contains upwards of a hundred thousand words, so that it would be irresponsible to assume that mere word-for-word substitution is best, thereby foregoing many subtleties which may shade or colour text and can be used to good advantage to achieve better equivalence of meaning. More poetic renderings of the Psalms (Songs) is just one example of this, as in more recent times rhyming has become accepted in poetic written verse. No translator can hope to improve on the Holy Scriptures, and even a talented writer would be foolish to try. What may be done, however, is to prevent the loss of the original meaning, and I believe that this can be done only with divine guidance and by considering as fully as possible the modern-day context as well as the vocabulary available, by studying the Hebrew diligently, and looking at other translations intently. The same thoughts are equally applicable to the Greek Bible text. The Bible is in itself a literary masterpiece, and as the word of God there is absolutely no reason why it should not be equally a masterpiece in the chosen tongue. The glory for the result belongs to God-- may he dispense it as he wills.
© 2003 Ward Green. All rights reserved.