Translations of the New Testament

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Sollos
 
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 04:34 pm
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on translations of the New Testament (I don't care about the Old, but if its included thats fine). I'm looking for something that might have notes on certain translations and the difficulty and possible meanings; and renders itself as the most authentic/accurate translation as is possible considering the circumstances.
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 04:46 pm
@Sollos,
The most beautiful translation and most poetic translation in
English I think remains the Kings James revised. Unfortunately it may also be the least accurate. There are many more modern translations from the original Greek which may be more accurate but lack the majesty and poetic beauty of the KJV.
The oxford companions to the bible may be the most academic which do not have a particular sectarian bias or fundamenatalist overtones.
 
IntoTheLight
 
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 06:52 pm
@prothero,
I agree with Prohero: the King James version is the way to go for academic purposes. It's considered cannon by most scholars.

Many of the newer translations such as the NIV, New World, and Good Book editions radically change the language and, thus, the meaning of the words. It may be 'easier to understand', but a great deal is lost in the changed definitions from a semantics standpoint.

For example, Exodus 20:13 in the KJV said:

Thou shall not kill

In the New American Standard it says:

You shall not murder

However, "killing" and "murdering" are two very different things.

See how this could cause issues?

-ITL-
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 01:06 pm
@IntoTheLight,
IntoTheLight;106498 wrote:
For example, Exodus 20:13 in the KJV said:
Thou shall not kill
In the New American Standard it says:
You shall not murder
However, "killing" and "murdering" are two very different things.
-ITL-

Yes they are and the irony is that "murder" is probably the more accurate translation.
And the there is the "virgin" versus "young woman" translation for Mary.
Much can be added or "Lost in Translation".
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 02:20 pm
@Sollos,
As someone that studies ancient Greek (older than New Testament Greek), I can say that translation into English is a major problem. There are such great subtleties that are missed when making the translation. The best way to study anything translated is to compare a couple different translations. Then it is possible to appreciate the little subtleties within the message.
 
Catchabula
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 02:52 pm
@Sollos,
 
IntoTheLight
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 05:07 pm
@prothero,
prothero;106678 wrote:
Yes they are and the irony is that "murder" is probably the more accurate translation.


Actually, you're correct. In the original Greek, Exodus 20:13 is rendered as "Thou shalt not murder".

Quote:

And the there is the "virgin" versus "young woman" translation for Mary.
Much can be added or "Lost in Translation".


Good call about the virgin/young woman issue. I've seen that one too!

The only thing I will say in favor of some of the newer translations is that they are unintentionally hilarious. Here's a few of my favorites garbled translations from Proverbs:

Proverbs 22:13

KJV: "The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets."

Good News Edition: "Why doesn't the lazy man leave his house? What is he afraid of? Lions?"

Proverbs 19:13

KJV: "A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping."

Good News: "Stupid children can bring their parents to ruin. A nagging wife is like water going drip-drip-drip."

Proverbs 21:9

KJV: "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."

Good News: "Better to live on the roof than share the house with a nagging wife."

LOL @ these. =)

-ITL-
 
re turner jr
 
Reply Sat 28 Nov, 2009 09:51 pm
@Sollos,
Sollos;106459 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on translations of the New Testament (I don't care about the Old, but if its included thats fine). I'm looking for something that might have notes on certain translations and the difficulty and possible meanings; and renders itself as the most authentic/accurate translation as is possible considering the circumstances.


Version I use for reading: (ESV) English Standard Version, it is easier to read than say the KJV and instead of using quantity manuscripts (like KJV) it uses earliest manuscripts

Version I use for studying: (NASB) New American Standard Bible, it also uses earliest manuscripts and as much as possible keeps the sentence structure, it is however a little awkward just to sit and read (kind of like KJV is awkward).
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 08:17 am
@IntoTheLight,
IntoTheLight;106498 wrote:
I agree with Prohero: the King James version is the way to go for academic purposes. It's considered cannon by most scholars.


I am quite certain that a decent degree of looking into this, will present us with the negative understanding of such at the end of the day. It is a very, 'goes without saying' fact that 'the way to go for academic purposes' will be an array-of-original-tongue-manuscript/codex/papyri recension; and Nestle/Aland 27th edition (Novum Testamentum Graece) is far more arguably the best recension of the Greek New Testament yet.

IntoTheLight;106716 wrote:
Actually, you're correct. In the original Greek, Exodus 20:13 is rendered as "Thou shalt not murder".


I would suggest a little more care here, actually. In the LXX (which again, is not an original, as we have it today, but a recension, compiled from a number of source texts) Exodus 20:13 is rendered as "ou moixeudeis." Now what that gives us is the better English translation of ' (YOU [pl.]) do not commit adultery.' So, perhaps you had meant to say Exodus 20:15--which LXX renders as "ou phoneuseis." What that would best be translated into in English, based on an average of applicable matters such as context, didactic intent (as best understood), and over all understood Jewish theology (as best understood as relative to the possible time of penning [or very, very thinkably, re-scribing] of that text through the major witnesses) could be murder, slay, or kill. (This is because second temple period Greek, as well as Christian Greek writings) used that verb for a number of Hebrew words.)

But you see, that particular Hebrew verb is not used as often for a pure verb intention as other verbs. You can check a whole bunch of quasi-noun usages in Numbers regarding the 'cities of refuge for the accidental spiller of blood--using that root word. We can look at Numbers 31:17 and see two usages of another verb, harag, which doesn't appear so much, and also find at Exodus 22:1, and 16:3, two yet other verb roots--and these are all different words. What we find, then, is that these various words will have to be weighed by those above mentioned applicable-for-more-proper understanding, by which, in turn, we can choose a possible, a better, or a best choice (and please do note that these are three separate classes of choices, I mention) And I wish to make it most clear here, that the original texts of most of the Palestinian canon were in Hebrew or Aramaic . . . not Greek.


Sollos;106459 wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on translations of the New Testament . . . I'm looking for something that might have notes on certain translations and the difficulty and possible meanings; and renders itself as the most authentic/accurate translation as is possible considering the circumstances.


A new addition of the several volumed Anchor's Bible just came out last year (if my memory serves me well . . . if you're looking to spend some 500 dollars or so) There are also 'translator's' edition (can't recall the exact name at the moment, but again, some 400 or so dollars). If you can get your hands a copy of Young's Analytical, it might be good, but that may be only at your local city library (by now).

However, Sollos, it has been pointed out more directly, or much more subtly by other posters above; if you are really, really interested in an academical investigation, you should make an earnest effort to learn Koine Greek, get your grammers, your lexicons, your recensions (I have Greshbach (based on Vatican 1209), Westcott & Hort, and Nestle/Aland 27th . . . and receive related journals), and dive in head-first !

However, otherwise, like some above have pointed towards, a cross examination of English translations is good (especially for the NT). I use the Diaglott, KJV (which is a version, actually; not a direct translation), American Standard, New American Standard, New Revised Standard Version, Today's English Version (Good News), New World Translation, and two Japanese versions (one of which is actually from the 15th year of Meiji).

If I were to make a suggestion, I would strongly recommend one KJV, one New World Translation (but you've got to get that by order from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York [otherwise known as Jehovah's Witnesses], so just say NO, NOT INTERESTED, firmly, to any following visits), and one paraphrased style [like NIV, or TEV]. Good luck.

Also, if you are interested in any different readings, I can help you out (when I have the time) because I've got this library already [plus, what I can't get know of, I have ways of getting infor on...and not on the internet].
 
 

 
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