Having warned you about paraphrases and politically correct translations, let’s turn our attention in today’s devotion to the fact that modern-day translations primarily come in two varieties.
To start with, there are the Formal (Literal) Translations, which I personally prefer. These translations, like the New American Standard Bible and the English Standard Version, are word for word translations. They attempt to translate the Greek or Hebrew word into its current English counterpart.
Besides the Formal Translations, there are the Dynamic Translations. I find these translations somewhat troubling. A good example of a Dynamic Translation is the New International Version of the Bible. In these translations, the translators attempt to translate the original meaning of Scripture into its corresponding modern-day meaning. By doing so, these modern translations of the Bible often become way too interpretive for me.
A good case of what I’m talking about is the NIV’s translation of the Greek word for “flesh” in Paul’s epistles as “sinful nature.” There is simply no way this Greek word can be literally translated into the words “sinful nature.” Yet, the translators of the NIV translate it “sinful nature” upon the assumption that it is what the Apostle Paul meant to convey to the reader in his use of a Greek word that literally means “flesh.”
I don’t know about you, but I want a translation that just tells me what the original word is and doesn’t attempt to interpret it for me.