Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A New NAR "translation" of the Bible

If you can't get around what the Scriptures say, it seems the next best way is to change what the Scriptures says. NAR (New Apostolic 'Reformation') "apostle" Brian Simmons has produced his own Bible "translation," the Passion Translation, which is exposed as altering the actual words of Scripture (See here, here, here and here).

The advertising blurb advertises it as "A dynamic-equivalent translation of the Holy Scriptures — From the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into modern English." Notice that it advertises itself as a dynamic-equivalent translation. In other words, it is supposed to translate the meaning from the original language to the target language. Therefore, a D-E (or F-E "functional equivalent") translation only has to preserve the meaning of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts, and can disregard the actual original words.

I have been against the Dynamic Equivalence methodology ever since I dealt with Rick Warren's Scripture twisting through the use of multiple translations. This "translation" of the Bible is the perfect example for my objections, even better than the Message translation paraphrase. While one can blame NavPress for hyping up the Message while Eugene Peterson actually intended it to be a paraphrase, one cannot do the same for the Passion "translation," which is both intended and marketed as a Bible version.

The D-E/ F-E methodology is flawed because meanings are taken to have no real relations with words. In their attack against the Formal-Equivalent methodology, which looks day by day more like a strawman based upon positivism (aka the early Wittgenstein), F-E advocates emphasize the importance of meaning over form, and claim that Formal Equivalence leads to wooden translations. The problem is that no one who actually knows more than one language (as languages, not code) does "wooden" translation. No one who translates languages like languages actually prioritize form over meaning. Rather, we reject the Platonic idea that one can divorce meaning from form, and then do translation as if form is totally irrelevant to meaning. When one divorces meaning from form, you get "translations" such as the Passion Translation. Upon what basis can a D-E/ F-E advocate dispute that the Passion Translation is not a legitimate translation, since Simmons will just claim that, although the words are not the same, yet the meaning is there? With the endorsement of Che Ann and James W Goll, this "translation" will go places within the Charismatic circles.

Do not be deceived! Instead of getting around what the Scriptures teach, it seems the new trend is to just produce one's own translation, and then claim that one is actually translating the true meaning of the text of Scripture. Most Christians don't read the original languages anyway, so claiming that the teachings in one's Bible 'translation' is actually found in the original text will confuse many of these Christians.

No comments: