Friday, November 7, 2014

How Can You Get Meaning Out of The Bible? (or Koran?)

Muslims have an interesting solution to the translation problem: you don't translate the book. You read it in the original medieval Arabic. Christians don't do this. For English-speaking Christians - is your English version the most correct one? Or are the original Greek (and Hebrew) versions more accurate? How could the English version (and Spanish, and German, etc.) NOT corrupt the original meanings somehow?

The interesting implication: if you can assure us that the English translation has exactly the same meaning as the Greek+Hebrew, then can't we use the correlations as a translation standard? Isn't there a whole field of semantics that we can generate from knowing that this particular translation is perfect? This would be incredibly useful!

I think most Christians either wouldn't care, or would say that the question is offensive, very much like someone would (say, a Muslim) if they didn't want to think about the implications of their beliefs.

1 comment:

theonomist said...

This problem you are recognizing is exactly why we have professionally trained ministers (at least in many of the more traditional, less fundamentalist, denominations). For example, my pastor studies the scripture texts in the original languages when preparing his weekly sermons. There is an entire science and discipline dedicated to crossing the barrier of language translation.