The philosophical basis that grounds the work of translators. Questions about specific translation problems should instead be tagged hebrew, aramaic, or greek as appropriate.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

39
votes
6answers
6k views

Does the Bible mention unicorns?

I was reading Psalm 22 (from this question) and I found this verse: Psalms 22:21 (KJV) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. When I switched ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Is NWT's translation of John 8:58 reasonable?

I already assumed the opposite in an answer to why there are so many Bible translations, on Christianity.SE. Now that we have an expert community, I'd like to check. The translators of the New World ...
17
votes
8answers
46k views

Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation?

Which 'modern' (anything inclusive of King James Version to date) English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation from the original Hebrew & Greek texts? ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Are Andronicus and Junia(s) apostles?

Two of our most literal English translations render Romans 16:7 in remarkably different ways: NASB: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the ...
17
votes
2answers
367 views

How does a Bible translator know if it is a poem?

Let's take 1 Tim 3:16 as an example among many others, where Paul wrote or quoted (ESV): Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the ...
13
votes
3answers
459 views

Is ἐγώ εἰμι testified in extra-biblical Greek as an expression for saying “I am he”?

This question arises from this insightful answer to another question about John 8:58. That answer makes an argument that the Greek ἐγώ εἰμι (literally "I am") is the wording used to translate the ...
12
votes
2answers
387 views

Why do English translations sometimes, but not always, transform names instead of just transliterating them?

When translating a text you have to deal with names. While occasionally names are translated "semantically" (according to their meaning), usually we just keep the name as a name -- approximately. ...
12
votes
2answers
706 views

Is it true that Luther intentionally mistranslated Romans 3:28?

I recently listened to Dr. Scott Hahn's conversion testimony. One thing that really jumped out at me was that Dr. Hahn stated that Luther purposely inserted the German word "allein" (alone) into ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

What translation philosophies have cause such a wide variation in translation of *tachash* skins?

In Exodus (e.g.: 26:14), we learn one of the coverings for the tabernacle is to be made of "תחש" (tachash) skins. The translation of this term appears to be especially difficult or contentious as ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is morphological analysis, as it relates to Bible study?

As far as I can tell, morphological analysis is a technique used by Bible students to better understand the original languages in context. How does one go about using a tool such as Robinson's ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Did eve say “I have created a man just as the LORD did!”?

NET Version: "I have created a man just as the LORD did!" (Genesis 4:1) Most other translations have her giving credit to the Lord, whereas this one has her pretending to be a Godess. While this ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the Fear/fear of Isaac?

The ESV renders Genesis 31:42 like so (emphasis mine): If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Should the title in Isaiah 9 be translated?

Translators publishing for the Christian market translate the title in Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his ...
11
votes
2answers
642 views

“which translated means…”

I am told that many scholars believe that the words of Jesus which we have presented to us in Greek were originally spoken in Aramaic. What confuses me then is why there are instances in the Greek ...
10
votes
2answers
245 views

What language are people translating the Bible from?

Say a publisher or other organization creates "a new translation" of the Bible: What's the source text? Are they experts in ancient Aramaic? What exactly is the text being translated from in modern ...
10
votes
3answers
403 views

What were the translators of the LXX thinking in rendering “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14?

Obviously we can not know for certain what they were thinking, but with some knowledge about ancient interpretations of this text and the translation philosophy employed by the LXX, I suspect someone ...
10
votes
1answer
217 views

Do English Translations of the New Testament Show a Negative Bias Towards Translating 'Tradition'?

The Greek word παράδοσις (paradosis) means “tradition,” literally “the content of instruction that has been handed down” (BDAG). I’ve been told that certain translations of the New Testament only ...
10
votes
2answers
879 views

Why do many chinese Bibles translate “Logos” in John 1:1 as 道 (Dao)?

道(Dao) is the concept which the entire Dao De Jing seeks to expound upon and discuss. Dao De Jing is the central text of Daoist philosophy. I don't know how to define "dao" beyond an extremely ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the Kingdom of God “within” you or “among” you?

Luke 17:21 (KJV) says, in relevant part, "the kingdom of God is within you." More recent translations give this much differently, for instance, as "the kingdom of God is among you" (NRSV) or "the ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why it is translated “Be filled by the Spirit” (Eph 5:18-20)

"And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to ...
9
votes
1answer
355 views

1 Pet 3:3 (NASB) “Your adornment must not be *merely* external”

1 Pet 3:3 Net Bible Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes NIV Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate ...
8
votes
3answers
339 views

Brothers *and sisters* in modern translations

In the New Century Version, passages in the New Testament that were addressed to "brothers" are now "brothers and sisters". For example: "Brothers and sisters, in the Scriptures the Holy Spirit ...
7
votes
3answers
213 views

Should different but synonymous words be translated differently?

Background: On Matthew's account of the temptation of Jesus in the desert, the exchanges between the tempter and Jesus are recorded for three temptations. The last one ending with Jesus sending the ...
7
votes
1answer
90 views

James and Jacob are translated as the same name. What were the criteria followed for name translations?

I refer my native language telugu bible. This is my observation from my bible. The people listed below are translated using the same name: Jacob son of Isaac James the son of Zebedee James the ...
7
votes
2answers
301 views

What are the translations of the Greek word μονογενής in Ancient Versions?Is it “only” or “only-begotten”?

What are the translations of the Greek word μονογενής in Ancient Versions? What are the rendering of μονογενής into Ancient Versions of the *NT passages? Hebrew Arabic: Ethiopic: Syriac ...
7
votes
3answers
567 views

What, exactly, counts as a “vain repetition” (Matthew 6:7)?

I answered a question on Christianity.SE which focused on Christian prayer in light of Matthew 6:7: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be ...
7
votes
1answer
162 views

Nestle-Aland equivalent critical apparatus for early New Testament translations

As an amateur textual critic, I've become very interested in the early translations of the New Testament, and I found this page listing a number of critical editions of NT translations. At least in ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

English Bible translations based on the Vulgate

Which well-known English Bible translations are based on the Vulgate? Which are not? Knowledge about other languages (e.g. French) is welcome too.
6
votes
3answers
551 views

How is the New World Translation's usage of “Jehovah” controversial?

The New World Translation transliterates the Tetragrammaton as “Jehovah”. Why does this translation choose to transliterate the Tetragrammaton this way? How was the choice made to use the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why didn't the Septuagint translate 'ahabah to eros?

Song of Songs 2:7 in English (NPJS) reads: I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem, By gazelles or by hinds of the field: Do not wake or rouse Love until it please! As the NET Bible points ...
6
votes
2answers
561 views

Why are Hebrew verbs in the “perfect” form so often translated as present tense in modern translations?

Why are Hebrew verbs in the "perfect" form so often translated as present tense in modern translations? For example in Psalm 119:47 : וְאֶשְׁתַּֽעֲשַׁ֥ע בְּמִצְוֹתֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָהָֽבְתִּי׃ ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

Language question in Mark 15:34

In Mark 15:34, why was part of the verse left in the Aramaic language instead of being translated into English? Why, if the rest was translated, does that line remain the same? 15:34 Around three ...
6
votes
2answers
419 views

What does the Greek word θεότητος in Colossians 2:9 mean?

The Greek word θεότητος is translated differently in English Bibles: Colossians 2:9 New Living Translation For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. New American ...
6
votes
1answer
164 views

Is translation a subset of exegesis?

This site is in an odd position. Questions about the site are also questions that are valid for the site. This is another such question. It seems that there has been discussion on chat multiple ...
6
votes
1answer
479 views

Why does Matthew use the plural form of “Key(s)” as opposed to other singular references according to the original Greek texts?

The word "Key" is referred to a few times in Scripture: 22 And I will give him the glory of David; and he shall rule, and there shall be none to speak against him: and I will give him the key ...
6
votes
2answers
414 views

In 1 John 3:6, is “keeps on sinning” a good translation of ἁμαρτάνει?

1 John 3:6 reads: πᾶς ὁ ἐν αὐτῷ μένων οὐχ ἁμαρτάνει· πᾶς ὁ ἁμαρτάνων οὐχ ἑώρακεν αὐτὸν οὐδὲ ἔγνωκεν αὐτόν The KJV translates it the way the elementary Greek student would (if he lived in ...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

In Matt. 26:28, should πολλῶν be translated as [for] “many” or “the masses”?

Is the translation “the many” in verses such as the following an accurate translation of the Greek word πολλῶν? 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the ...
6
votes
1answer
63 views

Are 2 Samuel 1:25 and 1:27 questions or an exclamations?

In 2 Samuel 1:25 and 1:27 there appears the sentence: אֵיךְ נָפְל֣וּ גִבֹּרִ֔ים Ekh naphelu gibborim How the mighty have fallen! / How have the mighty fallen? Is this meant to be understood as ...
5
votes
3answers
273 views

Is Jesus the λόγος in Hebrews 4:12?

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart ( ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Should the word elohim in Psalm 8:5 be translated into gods/angels/or god?

Should the word elohim in Psalm 8:5 be translated into gods/angels/or god? The NIV translates it this way: You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and ...
5
votes
2answers
538 views

What would Jesus' qualifications have been for a “worthy” person for the disciples to stay within the Matthew 10 narrative?

When Jesus sends the twelve out in Matthew 10, he gives them instructions for what to do when they enter a city that include finding "worthy" citizens there. Matthew 10:11-13 (NASB) 11  And ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

What is the justification for the NASB translators capitalizing “Word” in 1 John 1:1?

In John's gospel introduction, Jesus is presented as the incarnate Word and so capitalizing Word there is fitting. In 1 John 1:1, it seems clear that the 'word' is the message about the Life, and ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How should “ektroma ” be translated in 1 Corinthians 15:8?

Paul delivers his famous account of the death and resurrection of Jesus: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Various translations of Psalm 19:3

Psalm 19:1-3 in the English Standard Version reads: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God,        and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours ...
5
votes
2answers
419 views

The Correct Meaning of Genesis 6:3 - Also Flesh or Is Flesh?

This is a translational issue which the meaning changes greatly on, depending on how it is rendered. For a Christian reader this matter of spirit or flesh (or both) would be highly relevant. Some ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

What distinguishes an excellent concordance?

A concordance can be extremely helpful in the study of a text as well as its language. Excellent understanding of the language (aided by a concordance) will help in understanding a religious text, or ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How should we understand “he cannot sin” in 1 John 3:9?

1 John 3:9 (NASB): No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. I am particularly intrigued by the 2nd half of the ...
5
votes
1answer
319 views

Is Hosea 6:1-3 a quotation?

Many translations wrap Hosea 6:1-3 in quotation marks. For instance, in the NJPS: “Come, let us turn back to the Lord: He attacked, and He can heal us; He wounded, and He can bind us up. In ...
5
votes
3answers
210 views

What is the proper translation of Proverbs 22:6?

I've read that the translation, which implies a promise to "right parenting" of Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. is not ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

In Revelation 13:8, should “ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου” be translated “from” or “before” the foundation of the world?

The phrase ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου is generally translated from the foundation of the world, and is translated this way in all occurrences of the phrase in the ESV, except in Revelation 13:8: and all ...