watch a Bible translation committee work

Have you ever wondered what goes on when a Bible translation committee works? If so, here’s an interesting, informative video of the ESV translation committee meeting discussing how to translate biblical languages words having to do with slaves:

6 thoughts on “watch a Bible translation committee work

  1. C. S. Bartholomew says:

    Sounds like Peter Williams is arguing for concordant translation,
    doesn’t it. Why are half of the old men frowning?
    Probably they are put off about being filmed.

    C. Stirling Bartholomew

  2. Gary Simmons says:

    That’s wonderful! I’d love to see more such videos if given the opportunity. And I’m also glad they chose to video tape a controversial topic rather than playing it safe and taping the conversation about a more tame one.

    More of this, ye who translate!

  3. Jp says:

    The word SLAVES only appears one time in the bible in Rev 18-13. It is amongst A long list of things that perish from the great city BABYLON.
    and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and SLAVES, and souls of men. The word slaves in a NEUTER NOUN, and points towards decendents as a NEUTER NOUN always does in the bible.

    3) is used of a (large or small) number of men closely united into one society, or family as it were; a social, ethical, mystical body
    a) so in the NT of the church

    The base root word would identify the PARABLE, as one being saved from peril because of something negative, such as being a slave!

    1) negatively
    a) to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
    b) to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance

    What a great bible blog!

  4. Mike Sangrey says:

    I finally got an opportunity to watch the video. This is quite valuable. I appreciate the “real world” nature of the discussion. And I think seeing the discussion, in real time as it were, presents how difficult the task of Bible translation really is when you actually have to make a decision.

    One of the things that stood out to me in the discussion was that it completely revolved around the question of “what English noun does one use to translate the Greek or Hebrew noun?” The discussion (the part we saw) didn’t explore other possibilities. Though I appreciated the sensitivity to the current context–the Pragmatic issues of today’s reader bringing their own context to the text, and how that will likely influence one’s reading, and therefore result in a different interpretation than originally intended. And yet, they chose ‘bondservant’, a word that has zero meaning for most English speakers.

    For an example of thinking outside the ‘noun’ box, what about exploring the possibility of translating DOULOS with various forms of ‘owned’. Taking the TNIV as a base, here’s 1 Cor. 7:21-24 with suggested changes:

    Were you owned when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For those who were owned when called to faith in the Lord are the Lord’s free people; similarly, those who were free when called are owned by Christ. You were bought at a price; don’t let people own you. Brothers and sisters, all of you, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation in which God called you.

    I think the English could be smoothed out more fully, but my point is that the one speaker in the video pointed out that the primary, core meaning had to do with being owned. Well then, why not use that?

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