Reading the poetic portions of the Old Testament in English, especially in the Prophets, can be challenging. But the fact is that the more familiar one becomes with the poetic sections of the Prophets, the more one sees that they are absolutely, vitally central to the NT. In the end, the way to make OT poetry interesting and understandable is not by retreating from it but by studying it even more intensely using all the imaginative and scholarly resources at your disposal.
Category Archives: Understanding Bible Translations
The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Common English Bible
The defining characteristic of the Common English Bible translation is its willingness to revisit and re-render traditional translations of well known biblical passages. While this is often a strength, it seems to be driven by a desire among those who commissioned the translation to distance themselves from conservative evangelicalism, and in many places this results in replacing good (albeit traditional) translations with highly questionable ones for no apparent scholarly reason.
Q&A – Why Do Some Christians Have Longer/Shorter Bibles?
Question: AH! I just discovered that some Christian groups have more/fewer books in their Bible, and now I’m afraid I can’t believe anything anymore! What do I do? Short Answer: DON’T PANIC! We all agree about the New Testament. In the Old Testament … it’s complicated, but the positions are all reasonable.
“Good Will Toward Men”, Lectio Difficilior, and the Inspiration of Scripture
Luke 2:14 has well known variant readings (is “good will” nominative or genitive?), and despite scholarship preferring one over the other, the choice between these readings is not clear. How do variant readings and translations affect our understanding of the inspiration of the Bible? What if ambiguities weren’t something God intended to work around but something he intended to work within.
Understanding Bible Translation Methods
Because virtually all Bible translations strategically use the word-for-word and thought-for-thought methods where necessary based upon a threshold of difficulty unique to that translation, we shouldn’t fall into the error of thinking that there are “word-for-word” translations over here and “thought-for-thought” translations over there, and one category is automatically better than the other. It just doesn’t work that way.
When Word-For-Word is Not so Word-For-Word
Even someone as awesome as William Tyndale can make a mistake. And even as revered a translation as the King James Version can unthinkingly perpetuate it.