Each day I check on BBB hoping to see a new post by one of the other bloggers. I’ve been busy lately, not the least part of my busyness has been wrestling with a kidney stone for 1 1/2 weeks. I even got to take my first ride in an ambulance to go to an ER to lower my pain. I’ve never had pain that bad before. And if I weren’t taking pain pills, the pain would still be intense. We men are told that if we want to know what the pain of childbirth is like, get a kidney stone. But taking pain pills can decrease one’s ability to think as clearly as one would like!
Well, by now, many of you may be glad that I haven’t posted any other BBB essays recently! This is going to be one of those “throwaway” posts, done when I feel the necessity for a post but my brain isn’t working well enough (it’s hard to multitask with pain or fuzzy brain) to write something more interesting. But at least maybe I can write something which can tweak your interest a bit.
Was there any word in the title of this blog post which stood out to you as not being a word that you commonly use? If so, I suspect it was the word “unto.” We can all spell “unto.” Perhaps we can even recite some memorable phrase from the past which contains the word “unto.” But I suspect that it has been several years since most of us have read or written any sentence with the word “unto” in it.
I suggest that words like “unto” which are not commonly used by people who we hope to use our Bible translation should not be used in our translation. Such words may be accurate, if we determine accuracy by dictionary definitions without regard to usage. They may have been used commonly at some time in the past. But use of even a word as short and simple as “unto” can communicate to users of a translation a message that we may or may not intend to communicate, namely, that the message of the Bible itself is out-dated, irrelevant for issues we face today, that the Bible itself is a piece of classical literature, not intended to be written with words which are used by most elements of a society. Now at this point, let’s not get sidetracked by a common detour that often comes up at this point in many BBB blog posts that have to do with word usage in Bible versions. Please note that I am not suggesting that we avoid all “educated” or more difficult words of a language; I am now only addressing the issue of whether or not a word is used and understood by all levels of a society for whom we intend a translation to be used.
When is the last time that you composed a sentence with the word “unto”?
What are some words besides “unto” which are used in some English Bibles which you believe are not used by enough elements of English-speaking society to justify their use in a Bible version?