Questions tagged [translation-philosophy]

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

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In Psalm 22:21 is the Bible speaking of "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 ...
Richard's user avatar
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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 ...
StackExchange saddens dancek's user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
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21 votes
8 answers
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Does Granville Sharp's Rule indicate that “God” and “Savior” share a referent in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1?

Granville Sharp's rule states that when a clause has two nouns (or other substantive) in the same case, connected by a copulative kai ("and"), that are not proper nouns (i.e. not someone's name), ...
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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 ...
ScottS's user avatar
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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 name ...
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19 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
Michael Hampton's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
934 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
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18 votes
6 answers
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Answer not a fool, or answer a fool?

Proverbs 26:4 (KJV) says, Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. The very next verse, verse 5, says, Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise ...
Iconoclast's user avatar
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5 answers
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"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 ...
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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 ...
Charles Alsobrook's user avatar
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9 answers
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Which 'modern' English translation of the Bible is considered the 'closest' or most accurate translation? [closed]

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? ...
studiohack's user avatar
16 votes
13 answers
8k 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 verse ...
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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 ...
1Up's user avatar
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4 answers
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What translation philosophies have caused such a wide variation in the 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 there ...
Jessica Brown's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
712 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. ...
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5 answers
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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 ...
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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 layman-...
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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׃ Most ...
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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 empty-...
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Does Moses Speak Broken Hebrew?

When translating Exodus, I became intimately familiar with every sentence (it is really a tremendous form of close reading), and I noticed something amazing. The cases where Moses speaks Hebrew, he ...
Ron Maimon's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
944 views

Is it appropriate to translate Galatians 3:21 as "If a law had been given"?

I do not read Hebrew or Greek but my interpretation of Pauline epistles is different than traditional protestants. Gal 3:21 (ESV) Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! ...
Michael16's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

In Romans 3:26, why not translate dikaiosunēs as "justice" rather than "righteousness?"

In the following passage there are four different Greek words sharing the same root. Romans 3:23-26 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace ...
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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 ...
Double U's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Philip Schaff's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
453 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 ...
Dan's user avatar
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Daniel 7:27 translation

I hope someone can help me with this one. Question - What is the correct translation of end of Daniel 7:27? Is it Him (God) or it (kingdom)? As much as I looked, all English translations say Him - ...
Edgear's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
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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 the ...
myshon's user avatar
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10 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is there a much simplified version of the Old Testament?

I'm new to reading the Bible, I'm currently focused on the Old Testament and there's something I've been wondering about when looking through various translations and English-Hebrew interlinear ...
TimMc378372's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
409 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 ...
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10 votes
9 answers
6k views

What basis do we have for defining Sabbatismos in Hebrews 4:9?

The word, Sabbatismos occurs in the Greek NT only once. Strongest Strong's defines it as Sabbath rest; Sabbath observance. Thayer's/Strong's defines it as a Sabbath keeping. Various English ...
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

In Genesis 11:1, what is the difference in Hebrew between the word "language" and the word "speech"?

Genesis 11:1 (KJV): And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. The English translation seems to be redundant here, ie language and speech. In doing some prelim research into ...
alb's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why is עֲרוּמִּ֔ים (Gen 2:25) translated "naked," and in the very next verse its singular form, עָר֔וּם (Gen 3:1), is translated "crafty/shrewd?"

I am curious as to why the Hebrew word for "crafty/shrewd," עָרוּם, used to characterize the serpent in the Garden in Genesis 3:1 is the same word in Genesis 2:25, describing Adam and Eve, yet ...
H. F. Watts Jr.'s user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
2k 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 1611), ...
Susan's user avatar
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10 votes
7 answers
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In Revelation 10:6 the Greek text has, “there should be time no longer.” Yet modern translation say 'delay'. Is there warrant in the Greek for this?

Revelation 10:5-6 says, “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the ...
Anne's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
288 views

How are statistical comparisons between bible translations calculated?

(This arose from this question which was in turn triggered by this answer.) Quoting Jack Douglas quoting Wayne Grudem: In "The advantages of the ESV” by Wayne Grudem, he states that the 2001 ...
Susan's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
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Is Leviticus 16:2 an explanation or instruction?

The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will ...
bach's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
38k views

A purported Hebrew translation of Deuteronomy 22:5; is it accurate?

This question pertains to this article regarding transgenderism. Deuteronomy 22:5 is sometimes cited as a Biblical passage condemning transgender behavior. It states: The woman shall not wear that ...
Rebecca J. Stones's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
5k 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 out, ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ( ...
R. Brown's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
293 views

Does the postfixed χ in Jewish Greek transliterations simply denote the aleph, i.e. vs. other vowels?

The Hebrew א and the Greek χ (especially in their typical manuscript form) look very similar. 'Jewish Greek' (Septuagintic/Diaspora/NT Greek) already being an insiders language (inasmuch it's ...
Sola Gratia's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
987 views

Translation of Romans 7:5 sinful passions aroused by the law

Many translations of Romans 7:5 have a phrase like "the sinful passions which were aroused by the law". This seems puzzling to me because it doesn't make sense that the law would "...
Craig McQueen's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
479 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 ...
cnaak's user avatar
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9 votes
7 answers
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How to explain the differences in Matthew 19:16-17 translations?

There appear two very (frustratingly) different versions of Matthew 19:17 in english translations: And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if ...
Mike Borden's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
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Is the church at the time of the book of James meeting in synagogues?

In James 2:2 (YTL) for if there may come into your synagogue a man with gold ring, in gay raiment, and there may come in also a poor man in vile raiment, or in ASV For if there come into your ...
Tiago Martins Peres's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
12k views

How do the waters of Noah's flood correspond to baptism (1 Peter 3:21)?

In the NIV and the Berean Study Bible (apparently the most literal Bible translation according to its website) versions, 1 Peter 3:21 reads: "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you ...
AngelusVastator's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a difference between "the sin" and "sin" in Romans?

In the Youngs Literal Translation, Romans 5:12 reads Romans 5:12 because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the ...
Gabe's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
872 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 ...
Mike Pennington's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
403 views

What is the better rendering of colossians 2:14?

What is the better rendering of Colossians 2:14 ? KJV " blotting out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us " ESV " by canceling the record of debt that stood against us ...
user63409's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
10k 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 accurate ...
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