- File Size: 335 KB
- Print Length: 72 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Chapel Library (August 24, 2014)
- Publication Date: August 24, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00N0YNFUU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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- Lending: Enabled
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English Bible Translations - By What Standard Kindle Edition
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However, I believe the way Einwechter makes his case leaves much to be desired. There is first the verbal magic trick with the issue of dynamic equivalence. Traditionally, formal equivalence has been understood as the translation philosophy where the grammatical forms and word to word meanings of the original text are maintained as much as possible, whereas the dynamic equivalence view takes the reader into account and attempts to bring forth a translation which captures the meaning of the original text but in a form which can be most easily understood by readers. Now of course, this is not a black or white issue but is a matter of spectrum. There is no totally formal nor any totally dynamic translation. But Einwechter comes near to conflating early in his book the dynamic equivalence philosophy of translation with the dynamic equivalence view of inspiration, where one believes that God only inspired the general ideas which men then went on to record as Scripture. It is demonstrably false that a dynamic view of inspiration leads to a dynamic view of translation, or vice versa. Many dynamic philosophy translation teams are composed of people who affirm plenary verbal inspiration. There is simply not a direct connection between a dynamic view of inspiration and a dynamic equivalence philosophy of translation.
Einwechter also errs in saying those who accept the modern text are modernists, influenced by the spirit of the age that brings us many negative things. Many who reject the majority text do so because they believe the facts do not line up in its favor. Surely Einwechter knows the arguments for the modern text much better than I, but he is reluctant to give opposing views a fair hearing. He is building a case, but it will not convince those with more than a rudimentary knowledge of these things.
Finally, I believe Einwechter errs in his insistence that a rejection of the Byzantine text is a rejection of the providence of God. Einwechter is confounded that people could believe that God in his providence would allow an inferior text type to be the standard text of the church for its first 1500 years. But I would just bring up the fact that for much of those 1500 years God in His providence also allowed the gospel to be veiled in many places. The Reformation doctrines Einwechter and I both celebrate came to light only after many years of spiritual darkness. Should we question God's providence in that? No! Let God be God and look at the facts. Study the evidences of textual criticism and study the theories of translation philosophy and then choose that translation or translations which you believe to be most faithful to the original text. Read Metzger and Sturz and all the more modern works on textual criticism from both sides and read good books on translation philosophy (Dave Brunn's "One Bible, Many Translations" comes to mind). If your conclusions in the end match Einwechter, I will commend you and encourage you in your journey. Let Einwechter's book be an impetus to further study, not the final word.
He then systematically, succinctly, and rationally explains WHAT it is that's being translated into English, and that while there is little disagreement over the use of one basic, foundational OT Hebrew text (the Masoretic), there are DIFFERENT foundational NT Greek texts upon which ALL current, popular English Bible translations are based; that is to say, most are based on either the "Textus Receptus" (AKA: the "Received Text") OR what Einwechter refers to as the "Modern Critical Text."
The Textus Receptus (TR) is based on those Byzantine manuscripts discovered as of the date of its compilation. (A great many more were discovered afterward.) The TR accepts these manuscript texts as having been Providentially given and correct as received (hence, the name). The authority of the TR, he feels, is demonstrated by its foundational use in early Bibles from Erasmus to the KJV.
The Modern Critical Text (MCT) considers all currently available manuscripts (including numerous, subsequently-discovered, Byzantine manuscripts), but makes primary use of a much smaller but older (and therefore preferred) collection of Alexandrian manuscripts (discovered after the Byzantine ones). To reconcile differences and inconsistencies in the various manuscripts available to them, MCT Biblical scholars use principles of textual criticism to determine (as nearly as humanly possible) which seem to be most correct.
In addition to the TR and the MCT, there is a third textual base called the "Majority Text" (MT). Unlike the MCT, the MT discounts manuscript age and doesn't begin with manuscript preferences, nor does it attempt to reconcile manuscript differences. Rather, when faced with a variable text, the MT Bible experts identify the one most frequently used in the majority of manuscripts (hence its name). Given the exceptionally large number of Byzantine manuscripts relative to the far fewer Alexandrian ones, this majority-seeking process would tend to be supportive of the TR , and generally IS -- EXCEPT that it includes in its consideration those numerous, later-discovered Byzantine texts not included in the TR; these do not necessarily always or consistently reflect total agreement with the earlier ones. Thus, the MT does not coincide 100% with the TR in every single instance (though in most cases it does). Wechter only indirectly addresses the Majority Text in his discussion (probably not wishing to unduly complicate or confuse the issue), but because of those slight differences just mentioned, he prefers the TR (which was, and remains, unaffected by the MT).
Although older manuscripts (such as the Alexandrian preferred by the MCT) might at first appear obviously more desirable to newer ones (such as the Byzantine used by the TR), Einwechter explains it's not the age of the MANUSCRIPTS themselves that matters most, but the age and consistency of their Scriptural CONTENT. That is to say, a newer manuscript may contain an older version of a Scriptural text.
Based on all the above, the author's standard for textual acceptance is the TR and, therefore, every formal-equivalent English Bible translation FULLY based on it. But there is only ONE such Bible: the KJV. (The formal-equivalent NKJV, though MOSTLY based on the TR, occasionally is not insofar as it identifies alternate renderings in marginal notes -- and it's this that renders it less fully trustworthy than the KJV in the author's estimation.)
By rejecting the MCT because of its preference for certain ancient manuscripts over others, its lack of Providential historicity, and its higher level of subjectivity in its methods of textual criticism, he correspondingly rejects those Bibles (even formal-equivalent ones) which utilize it as the basis for their English translations. This is virtually every popular Bible EXCEPT the KJV.
Moreover, the TR is historically and Providentially established and essentially unchanging, but the MCT is comparatively new and still evolving. As the product of an on-going, human decision-making process, the MCT is subject to change when (for whatever reasons) Scriptural consensus changes. And when it is subsequently revised, this necessarily causes an eventual revision in all those English translations based on it -- meaning virtually every popular Bible EXCEPT the steadfast KJV.
Those who agree with Einwechter's line of reasoning (which I have tried to explain above) will understand why he insists the KJV is the only consistently sound translation, past, present, and future. By the standard he sets forth, only it passes muster. Those who disagree with his argument and his standard will, in all likelihood, reject his KJV-only conclusion. Either way, this book will cause us all to think more carefully about our own personally preferred Bible translations and the importance of textual accuracy. It also causes us to recognize the complexities of Bible translation and better appreciate the efforts of those who strive to provide truthful versions to us. It is primarily for those reasons -- NOT because I either DO or do NOT agree with Einwechter's KJV preference -- I have rated this book 5-stars. Above all, it takes the Bible seriously as the Holy Word of God -- and so should we.
I think it is necessary, however, for us to always keep in mind that, as important as textual accuracy is, Sovereign God can and does use even "imperfect" Bible translations to fulfill His Divine purposes -- because ultimately there is no one "perfect" translation (not even the author's preferred and much-beloved, time-tested KJV). At some level, and to some degree, they are all imperfectly translated. We take great comfort in the knowledge that the very same Holy Spirit Who guided the original writers of Scripture still guides us to a proper understanding of His Word -- as, and however, that Word is made available to us today. The important thing is that we begin by prayerfully reading some version of It; the Holy Spirit will then superintend to all the rest.
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