Category Archives: Bible Translation

103 Religious Preciseness and Baptism

In the article Baptism and Jesus’ orientation to the law I cited Luke 11.39-42 as evidence that Jesus’ concern is with the purpose or heart of God’s commands that can often be fulfilled without word for word compliance. A reader … Continue reading

102 Baptism and Jesus’ orientation to the law

“Immersionists” believe that baptism by any other mode than immersion is not adequate because it does not conform to the literal meaning of the Greek word baptizo nor does it follow New Testament practice. Therefore those who are not immersed … Continue reading

101 Why I am a Baptist, but not an “Immersionist”

The “Immersionist” position is that any act of baptism that is not by the mode of immersion cannot be accepted as fulfillment of Jesus’ command to baptize.[1] Their rationale stems from a deep and admirable desire to radically obey[2] Jesus … Continue reading

94. God as Artist: Expressions of Goodness

In the Beginning: the Word When I was a young boy, one of the mysterious verses in the Bible was John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word.”  I remember puzzling over this phrase and thinking it must mean the … Continue reading

78. Gamble on the Redeemer: Culture and Bible Translation

Meaning is Determined by Culture I recently gave a message from the book of Ruth focusing on the meaning of the Hebrew concept of go’el, the “kinsman–redeemer” (NIV), which is one of the key themes of the book.  While struggling … Continue reading

72. Which Bible Version is Superior? 3. How Culture Affects Bible Translation

Both literal or “word for word” translations as well as meaning-based or “thought for thought” translations are legitimate representations of the original biblical manuscripts. Each style of translation has strengths and weaknesses in providing readers access to the content of … Continue reading

65. Which Bible Version is Superior? 2. Weaknesses of translation styles

Both literal or “word for word” translations as well as meaning-based or “thought for thought” translations are legitimate representations of the original biblical manuscripts. Each style of translation has strengths and weaknesses in providing readers access to the content of … Continue reading

64. Which Bible Version is Superior? 1. Two Styles

Both literal or “word for word” translations as well as meaning-based or “thought for thought” translations are legitimate representations of the original biblical manuscripts. Each style of translation has strengths and weaknesses in providing readers access to the content of … Continue reading

59. The Problem with Heaven

Translation seeks Communication When our main translator walked into the translation office last December in Shikarpur, Pakistan, I greeted him with, “I have a problem with heaven.”  He laughed and responded, “Well, if you have trouble with heaven, what’s left? … Continue reading

58. User Friendly Bibles: When Titles Mislead

section headings … can be misleading I like section headings in Bible translation.  They are not part of the original text, but added by the translation team to assist the reader in three ways: “1. to help those already familiar … Continue reading

54. A Call for a Complementary view of Bible Versions

As a missionary involved in Bible translation for the past 18 years, I was disappointed with the tone of the article “‘Packer’s Bible’ now bestseller” appearing in the BC Christian News, August 2007 Vol 27 #8. During the course of celebrating … Continue reading

51. To Sprinkle or Not to Sprinkle: Translating Metaphors

Many years before I was involved in Bible translation, I happened to be in the public library and I picked up a copy of The Three Muskateers.  A different copy of the same book was also lying on the shelf.  … Continue reading

43. How Ideology affects Translation: “Gender-neutral” vs “Inclusive” Language

I admit it: I am doing Bible translation1 because I want to see the Sindhi culture change.  I want to see people affected by the word of God so that they put Christ at the center of their lives.  As … Continue reading

42. Bible Translation as Theology

Bible Translation Shapes Faith A missionary colleague phoned me up quite irate about a translation choice in the Sindhi NT1. A couple of Muslim friends had dropped in for a chat and asked him why Christians did not pray like … Continue reading

41. Clarifying Bible Translation

Importance of Clarity in Bible Translation In discussing Bible translation and Bible versions with a number of people in our churches I have discovered a not uncommon assumption – that the more formal or literal a translation is in maintaining … Continue reading

40. The Most Accurate Bible Translation

Accuracy requires a single standard I remember seeing an ad for a new translation of the Bible claiming to be the “most accurate translation” available today.  Although a good marketing tactic, it is less than honest because accuracy in Bible … Continue reading

25. Communicating a Christian view of Bible Translation

A High View of Scripture Walk into any store in Pakistan and almost inevitably high up in a corner the Koran can be seen wrapped up in expensive cloth and covered in fresh rose petals.  Hand a copy of the … Continue reading

24. An Islamic versus Christian view of Holy Scriptures

Scripture as “supra-cultural” One of the frustrations of Bible translation in an Islamic context stems from the Muslim belief that the Koran was written in heaven and is thus “supra-cultural,” that is, it is not shaped or determined by human … Continue reading

13. Qawwali: Can Biblical Poetry be Translated?

Is Meaning Related to Form? A colleague in Pakistan more familiar with Sindhi(1) poetry than I am, recently pointed out some similarities between the Song of Deborah in the book of Judges and a type of Sindhi poetry called "qawwali." … Continue reading

4.   Searching for an Accurate Bible Translation

The Perfect Translation Illusion The translation of Scripture into other languages is a cross-cultural mission activity that enjoys enthusiastic support in evangelical circles.  But curiously this support is coupled with wide spread ignorance concerning what constitutes an accurate Bible translation. … Continue reading