Hey, everyone. It has been a while since I last blogged, I've been busy with this whole 9th week of school thing. Check out the conclusion to my paper analysis of 4 translations of the first chapter of Jonah.
Now comes the big question. Which is the best translation of the four renditions provided? The TEV translation is way too loose of a translation, it loses some very important bits of information by doing just what it is supposed to do provide the scriptures in “Today’s English”. The NIV, like the TEV is interested in making the Bible readable, not making it a word for word version of the Hebrew. The NAS is a lot more literal than the first two translations, but it too veers off from the Original Hebrew on occasion, but usually only when clarity is needed. The JPS seems to make logical leaps that are found in the essence of what is in the Hebrew, but would not be found in a word for word translation. When dealing with any foreign language translations like this are always important.
In the end there can be no “better” or “best” translation, only different translations. Frost said, “Poetry is what gets lost in translation,” but sometimes translations even take poetic license to accept the lyricism of the original language. Other times a translator may emphasize literalness or readability.
Translating the Bible is especially difficult, because, for so many, the heart and soul of their belief rests in the translator’s choice of words. Writer and pilot Anne Morrow expresses this concept when she says, “The intellectual is constantly betrayed by his vanity. Godlike he blandly assumes that he can express everything in words; whereas the things one loves, lives, and dies for are not, in the last analysis completely expressible in words.”