Monday, April 28, 2008

On Choosing a Translation

Please find here a link to a lecture I have given at Asbury on how to choose a proper Bible translation for you. You will find similar guidance in a chapter in my book The Living Word of God. This also gives you a glimpse of why you ought to come and study with us here at Asbury Seminary :)




Marc Axelrod said...

I'm not exactly the second incarnation of Jack Van Impe, but I've done so much memory work in the NIV that it would be hard for me to switch to anything other than the TNIV. I've got the Sermon on the Mount and portions of Psalms and Hebrews tucked away and couldn't imagine having to relearn them in another translation.

BTW, there was a part time prof at Ashland in the 1990s named Gary who used to sit in class and teach right out of the Hebrew and Greek texts. he was brilliant, but I can't remember his last name. Do you?

Brian said...

It sounds good, but without special speakers it's hard to hear. But I am also hearing impaired, it may be fine for others.

Nathan Stitt said...

I was having trouble copy/pasting those URLs, so if anyone needs it here is an easier link:
Asbury Seminary

Jimbo S. said...


Hi Ben.
Dave Ker from Better Bibles Blog has a link up to "On Choosing a Translation." I listened to it and thought it was really great-very sound-easy to understand. I think I must start visiting your Blog! I also visited the ATS Site-looks like a fine Seminary.

Your Brother in Christ,
Jimbo S.

Ben Witherington said...

Thanks Nathan--- You da Man! I couldn't get it to co-operate for anything.

Ben W.

Falantedios said...

Dr Ben,

Have you written (or are you planning to write) anything on the sacramental nature of the assembly?

A theologian from my own tradition, John Mark Hicks, has done comparable work to yours - covering how the Restoration Movement has looked at Baptism and Lord's Supper, and revisioning them sacramentally.

But HIS third book is called A Gathered People: Revisioning the Assembly as Divine Encounter.

YOUR third sacramental book went a different direction :)

I'm going to pester him about doing a comparable book on the sacrament of the Word.

in HIS love,

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Nick:

I am not sure I agree with the notion of the church as sacrament, but it depends on what one means by church I suppose. No, there are no plans for me to write on that. I would however like to write a books about a proper theology of worship based on the NT.


Ben W

Matthew said...

I just finished reading "Making a Meal of It." I really enjoyed the book, and coming from a churches of Christ mindset, certainly agreed with most, if not all of the material. Thank you for writing this wonderful book.

Brian said...

Dr Ben,

Is this an older lecture, some have noticed you left out the TNIV, the ESV and the HCSB. Or did you just leave all that out?

Ben Witherington said...

Yes, it is an older lecture.


David Wilson said...

Were you classing the NLT as a paraphrase or was that a mistake made by the Better Bibles blog folks. Maybe you meant the Living Bible (if you did it and they didn't).

NLT 2nd Edition is my main Bible with Holman as more literal backup and the Message for a little salsa.


Falantedios said...

Dr. Ben,

From the Introduction to "A Gathered People":

"Our third sacrament, the Lord's Day assembly or any assembly gathered in God's presence, is in need of particular rehabilitation. There is a marked tendency to think about the Lord's Day anthropocentrically rather than sacramentally. For some, assembly is primarily about mutual edification, as if it is mostly something believers do for each other (or seekers). Others construe it primarily as a legal duty prescribed by God with which we comply by performing the 'five acts of worship' as if assembly is mostly something we do for God.In the former God is a spectator and in the latter he is the audience. This book confronts these anthropocentric understandings of assembly which are driven by what I regard as a reduction of assembly to horizontal and/or legal dimensions. The competing dangers are that assembly can become a mere occasion for mutual encouragement or it can become primarily the ongoing public test of faithfulness (e.g., Baptism is our first test of public loyalty and the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day is the continual test of public loyalty). In the former, the assembly is fundamentally horizontal and susceptible to consumerist ideology. In the latter, assembly is fundamentally a legal duty and susceptible to the dynamics of power and control.

In contrast, we argue that the Lord's Day assembly is fundamentally sacramental, that is, an encounter between God and his people for the sake of transformation and spiritual formation within the community AS community."

Joanie D. said...

Excellent, Ben. I am going to give the link to the folks on Michael Patten's Parchment & Pen blog.

Joanie D.

Joel said...

Are there any translations similar in style to KJV, but more accurate? I understand that NKJV still uses the same problematic manuscript set.

Peter Kirk said...

it is an older lecture

How old? According to this comment at Better Bibles Blog, the lecture includes a long extract from the Aussie Bible published in 2003. But it does not mention ESV (2001) or TNIV (NT 2002), nor for that matter REB or NJB which are even older. The mention of the NIV Inclusive Language Edition, which was controversial in 1997, suggests that it dates from about then.

Or has Iyov fundamentally misunderstood something?

If this is a glimpse of teaching at Asbury, it would not attract me to a place which offers decade old information with no warning.

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Peter:

This lecture is from 1996. The very reason I can put it on the web is because it is old, since it was copyrighted. Obviously I deal with these other versions now in class. The point was not to show what was au courant, but to give a sample of the sort of practical teaching on this subject.

Ben W

Ben Witherington said...

As for the Aussie Bible, it was available in audio long before 2003.


Peter Kirk said...

Thanks for the clarification. I will link to your comments on Better Bibles Blog.

Rog said...

Thanks for a clear and concise presentation on the confusing and over-saturated subject of Bible translations and paraphrases.

See ya!
Roger Feeback
Class of 06

The Patrick Family said...

This has been a subject that is heavy on my heart and mind recently.

Thanks for the overview!

I'm going to link it to my blog.