Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why I prefer the New American Standard Bible

OK, I'm wierd. I know that. But for a long time I have been suspicious of "modernizing" or "re-imaging" the Bible. The further you get away from the original text, the further you get away from its true meaning. (see, I did get something out of those years of Latin) Translators can do a lot with language, and like a powerful weapon in the hands of a 4 year old, powerful words in the hand of the ignorant or evil is exceptionally dangerous.

Language changes over time, so "newer" translations are fine. You update the words, but not the meaning. Though I love the language and scholarship of the King James (KJV) and New King James (NKJV)
translations, I like the study version of the New American Standard Bible (NASB) - and avoid the New International Version (NIV) like the plague. Why? Glad you asked. The busy bodies are at it again.
One of the world's most widely read Bibles, the New International Version, has been modernised by a team of 15 American and British scholars and is published today....the term "saints" is deemed to be too "ecclesiastical" and has been banished, to be replaced with "God's chosen people". The Virgin Mary is no longer "with child"; she is "pregnant".

And, to the dismay of traditionalists, who will suspect a feminist agenda, "inclusive" language has been introduced throughout.

Where the original read: "When God created Man, he made him in the likeness of God"; the new version says: "When God created human beings, he made them in the likeness of God."

More than 45,000 changes - about seven per cent of the text - have been made. Even the title has been changed to Today's New International Version.

The new version has already caused a stir in the United States, however. Paige Patterson, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that the translators had gone beyond trying to clarify meaning.

"They have an agenda - to attempt to force egalitarian and even feminist perspectives on readers in the name of translation," he said.

But the scholars who worked on the book rejected the charges, saying that their changes were a fair reflection of the original Greek or Hebrew texts or updated colloquial English words.
Harumph. Define fair. From a distance, a paint by numbers version of the Mona Lisa looks like a "fair reflection" of the masterpiece; that doesn't mean it is one.

1 comment:

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