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Truth in Translation

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Truth in Translation is a book. Here is a link to a PDF copy. It may take a minute to load:
http://thebibleisnotholy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/truth-in-translation.pdf

Below is a few quotes from a review from amazon:

"In the book nine major English N.T. translations are examined. They are the:

King James Version
New Revised Standard Version
New International Version
New American Bible
New American Standard Bible
Amplified Bible
Living Bible
Today's English Version
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures"

"In the final chapter Beduhn sums up the results of his investigation. Unexpectedly two translations that most people would assume to be the most biased (The New American Bible translated by Catholics and the New World Translation translated by Jehovah's Witnesses) turned out to be the most accurate translations. BeDuhn gives his reasons on why he thinks the translators from these two widely different groups were able to to produce the most accurate translations of those examined."

"There is also an appendix article on why Beduhn thinks the translators of the New World Translation (even though rated one of the best translations) were mistaken to insert the divine name "Jehovah" in the their translation of the NT."

The NWT must be the 1984 version given that the book is published in 2003. For me it is interesting that a catholic and a jw bible are the most accurate. In this case, it seems, I might want to get one of these and just mark in the text the places where the corrections are needed and boom, have the most accurate English translation.
 

jasoncran

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uhm no bias there. the nwt writers from what I recall weren't greek scholars. the nwt and niv have the same greek manuscript for a source. the nwt uses the name Jehovah which isn't a name but an attempt to say the YHWH.
 

Doulos Iesou

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Truth in Translation is a book. Here is a link to a PDF copy. It may take a minute to load:
http://thebibleisnotholy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/truth-in-translation.pdf

Below is a few quotes from a review from amazon:
"In the book nine major English N.T. translations are examined. They are the:

King James Version
New Revised Standard Version
New International Version
New American Bible
New American Standard Bible
Amplified Bible
Living Bible
Today's English Version
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures"

"In the final chapter Beduhn sums up the results of his investigation. Unexpectedly two translations that most people would assume to be the most biased (The New American Bible translated by Catholics and the New World Translation translated by Jehovah's Witnesses) turned out to be the most accurate translations. BeDuhn gives his reasons on why he thinks the translators from these two widely different groups were able to to produce the most accurate translations of those examined."

"There is also an appendix article on why Beduhn thinks the translators of the New World Translation (even though rated one of the best translations) were mistaken to insert the divine name "Jehovah" in the their translation of the NT."

The NWT must be the 1984 version given that the book is published in 2003. For me it is interesting that a catholic and a jw bible are the most accurate. In this case, it seems, I might want to get one of these and just mark in the text the places where the corrections are needed and boom, have the most accurate English translation.
Having studied Greek extensively myself, I would say that ALL translations are biased and have to be in order to make a translation even possible. Many Greek tenses such as the Genitive requires the translator to make an interpretation on the nature of that Genitive case. For instance, the phrase "faith in the Son of God," can also be rendered, "faithfulness of the Son of God." One's theological opinion and bent will direct the interpreter to make a designation of either objective Genitive or subjective Genitive. My favorite is the LEB, because it is meant to be read along with the Greek and Hebrew texts and points out these differences.
 
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Having studied Greek extensively myself, I would say that ALL translations are biased and have to be in order to make a translation even possible. Many Greek tenses such as the Genitive requires the translator to make an interpretation on the nature of that Genitive case. For instance, the phrase "faith in the Son of God," can also be rendered, "faithfulness of the Son of God." One's theological opinion and bent will direct the interpreter to make a designation of either objective Genitive or subjective Genitive. My favorite is the LEB, because it is meant to be read along with the Greek and Hebrew texts and points out these differences.
Hi, Doulos. How about commenting on John 1:1c as examined in this book by BeDuhn?
 
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Sorry, I forgot (a common problem for me lately) to give the page numbers: pp. 113-132.
 

Doulos Iesou

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Hi, Doulos. How about commenting on John 1:1c as examined in this book by BeDuhn?
He definitely has summed up much of the debate, and I actually agree with his argument concerning Colwell's Rule (which really isn't a rule at all). Although I probably don't agree with BeDuhn on the theological implicatoins of a qualitative meaning for the word Theos. I would contend that it demonstrates that while Jesus is not the Father, as in the same person, it demonstrates that they have the same essence and nature. Which is what we trinitarians contend all along.

Stating, "the Word was of the same divine nature," would be accurate and bring out the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative of Theos in the clause.
 
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He definitely has summed up much of the debate, and I actually agree with his argument concerning Colwell's Rule (which really isn't a rule at all). Although I probably don't agree with BeDuhn on the theological implicatoins of a qualitative meaning for the word Theos. I would contend that it demonstrates that while Jesus is not the Father, as in the same person, it demonstrates that they have the same essence and nature. Which is what we trinitarians contend all along.

Stating, "the Word was of the same divine nature," would be accurate and bring out the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative of Theos in the clause.
Can you show me any anarthrous constructions in John's writings parallel to that of John 1:1c (excluding those which would use the article ambiguously: mass/amount nouns, abstract nouns, nouns 'modified' by prepositions or genitives) in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be 'qualitative'?
 

Doulos Iesou

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Can you show me any anarthrous constructions in John's writings parallel to that of John 1:1c (excluding those which would use the article ambiguously: mass/amount nouns, abstract nouns, nouns 'modified' by prepositions or genitives) in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be 'qualitative'?
An example that jumps to my mind is John 4:24.

"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."[1] The KJV renders this as, "God is a spirit," which failed to recognize the qualitative meaning of the noun Πνεῦμα, which denoted something about God's nature. It provided the indefinite article of "a," because there was no accopmanying article to the word Πνεῦμα, but it was a clear example of an anarthrous construction in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be qualitative. (to borrow the words from your well phrased question)

Hope this helps,
DI
 
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He definitely has summed up much of the debate, and I actually agree with his argument concerning Colwell's Rule (which really isn't a rule at all). Although I probably don't agree with BeDuhn on the theological implicatoins of a qualitative meaning for the word Theos. I would contend that it demonstrates that while Jesus is not the Father, as in the same person, it demonstrates that they have the same essence and nature. Which is what we trinitarians contend all along.

Stating, "the Word was of the same divine nature," would be accurate and bring out the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative of Theos in the clause.
Can you show me any anarthrous constructions in John's writings parallel to that of John 1:1c (excluding those which would use the article ambiguously: mass/amount nouns, abstract nouns, nouns 'modified' by prepositions or genitives) in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be 'qualitative'?
An example that jumps to my mind is John 4:24.

"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."[1] The KJV renders this as, "God is a spirit," which failed to recognize the qualitative meaning of the noun Πνεῦμα, which denoted something about God's nature. It provided the indefinite article of "a," because there was no accopmanying article to the word Πνεῦμα, but it was a clear example of an anarthrous construction in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be qualitative. (to borrow the words from your well phrased question)

Hope this helps,
DI
Thank you, DI.
I would classify this with those which may have ambiguous article usage and is, therefore, an inappropriate example.

A number of Bibles translate this as "God is a spirit" and many others as "God is spirit." This alone shows the ambiguity of "spirit" here. It may be that John intends "God is a spirit person" ("a spirit" - indefinite). But it is equally possible that he is saying that God's substance is "spirit" (mass/amount noun). And, I suppose, it could be taken as abstract noun (like "God is love").

Can you show me some others which are clearly qualitative in John's writings?
 

Doulos Iesou

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Can you show me some others which are clearly qualitative in John's writings?
Good point, I'll have to look into that when I get home later. (if I find the time this evening that is)

I haven't gone through the entire Gospel of John with regards to studying the Greek text.

Do you exclude the possibility of the the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative being the case in John 1:1? Going to the rest of John's writings is helpful, but this sort of thing is determined by a context where it would be appropriate. Not necessarily a common writings style, as it isn't the type of thing you'd encounter an opportunity for. (if that makes sense)

Eager to hear your thoughts.
 
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He definitely has summed up much of the debate, and I actually agree with his argument concerning Colwell's Rule (which really isn't a rule at all). Although I probably don't agree with BeDuhn on the theological implicatoins of a qualitative meaning for the word Theos. I would contend that it demonstrates that while Jesus is not the Father, as in the same person, it demonstrates that they have the same essence and nature. Which is what we trinitarians contend all along.

Stating, "the Word was of the same divine nature," would be accurate and bring out the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative of Theos in the clause.
Can you show me any anarthrous constructions in John's writings parallel to that of John 1:1c (excluding those which would use the article ambiguously: mass/amount nouns, abstract nouns, nouns 'modified' by prepositions or genitives) in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be 'qualitative'?
An example that jumps to my mind is John 4:24.

"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."[1] The KJV renders this as, "God is a spirit," which failed to recognize the qualitative meaning of the noun Πνεῦμα, which denoted something about God's nature. It provided the indefinite article of "a," because there was no accopmanying article to the word Πνεῦμα, but it was a clear example of an anarthrous construction in which the predicate noun was obviously intended to be qualitative. (to borrow the words from your well phrased question)

Hope this helps,
DI
Thank you, DI.
I would classify this with those which may have ambiguous article usage and is, therefore, an inappropriate example.

A number of Bibles translate this as "God is a spirit" and many others as "God is spirit." This alone shows the ambiguity of "spirit" here. It may be that John intends "God is a spirit person" ("a spirit" - indefinite). But it is equally possible that he is saying that God's substance is "spirit" (mass/amount noun). And, I suppose, it could be taken as abstract noun (like "God is love").

Can you show me some others which are clearly qualitative in John's writings?
Good point, I'll have to look into that when I get home later. (if I find the time this evening that is)

I haven't gone through the entire Gospel of John with regards to studying the Greek text.

Do you exclude the possibility of the the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative being the case in John 1:1? Going to the rest of John's writings is helpful, but this sort of thing is determined by a context where it would be appropriate. Not necessarily a common writings style, as it isn't the type of thing you'd encounter an opportunity for. (if that makes sense)

Eager to hear your thoughts.

Good point, I'll have to look into that when I get home later. (if I find the time this evening that is)

I haven't gone through the entire Gospel of John with regards to studying the Greek text.

Do you exclude the possibility of the the qualitative fronting of the predicate nominative being the case in John 1:1? Going to the rest of John's writings is helpful, but this sort of thing is determined by a context where it would be appropriate. Not necessarily a common writings style, as it isn't the type of thing you'd encounter an opportunity for. (if that makes sense)

Eager to hear your thoughts.
I don't believe that any anarthrous predicate noun (excluding those which take the article ambiguously as previously stated) which precedes its verb was clearly intended by John to be 'qualitative.'
 
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In my study of constructions in John's writings parallel to John 1:1c I found:

H
1. John 4:9 (a) - indefinite (“a Jew”) - all translations

H,W 2. John 4:19 - indefinite (“a prophet”) - all

H,W 3. John 6:70 - indefinite (“a devil”/“a slanderer”) - all

H,W 4. John 8:44 - indefinite (“a murderer”/“a manslayer”) - all

H,W 5. John 8:48 - indefinite (“a Samaritan”) - all

H,W 6. John 9:24 - indefinite (“a sinner”) - all

H,W 7. John 10:1 - indefinite (“a thief and a plunderer”) - all

H,W 8. John 10:33 - indefinite (“a man”) - all

H,W 9. John 18:35 - indefinite (“a Jew”) - all

H,W 10. John 18:37 (a) - indefinite (“a king”) - all

[H,W 11. John 18:37 (b) - indefinite (“a king”) - in Received Text and in 1991 Byzantine Text]

H: Also found in Harner’s list of “Colwell Constructions”(end note #16, JBL)

W: Also found in Wallace’s list of “Colwell Constructions”(Greek Grammar & Syntax)

These are all indefinite nouns (not definite, not “qualitative”). All trinitarian Bible translations I have examined render them as indefinite! We should have enough examples to satisfy the most critical (but honest) scholar. (And I wouldn’t strongly resist the use of the “no subject” examples in my list of all pre-copulative predicate nouns which clearly intend the subject as being a pronoun included with the verb, e.g., “[he] is” - as found in the last clause of John 8:44 - which would then bring our total of proper examples to around 20.)
 
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Here is one example of one of John’s constructions which are parallel to John 1:1c (listed in last reply above):

John 6:70:

καὶ ἐξ ὑμῶν εἷς διάβολος ἐστιν.

And out of you one devil is

“and one of you is a devil?” - KJV.

John 6:70 - - - “One who sins belongs to the devil, like Cain (1 Jn 3:8, 12); or he is a devil himself, like Judas, the betrayer (Jn 6:70). .... Jesus’ enemies are called children [and sons] of the devil, i.e. those who share his nature and behaviour (Jn 8:44) [Acts 13:10; 1 Jn 3:10].” - p. 472, vol. 3, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1986, Zondervan.

So a man who is from [literally “out of,” ek] the Devil (1 Jn 3:8), and is a ‘son of the Devil’ (Acts 13:10), and who is “with the Devil (whether physically or figuratively) may also be called “a devil” (Jn 6:70)! So Judas, for example, could be described in NT terms: “Judas was with ho diabolos [the Devil], and diabolos was Judas.” And no matter how anyone wants to interpret it, it would be incredibly wrong to insist (as many trinitarians do about the parallel statement at Jn 1:1c) that this meant Judas was literally, equally the Devil himself! Whether you translate it literally (“Judas was with the Devil, and Judas was a devil”) or ‘qualitatively’ (“Judas was with the Devil, and Judas had the “nature” of the Devil”), it would mean essentially the same thing: Judas simply shared to some degree some (or one) of the qualities of the Devil, but he is not equally the Devil with Satan himself!

Although trinitarian-translated Bibles at John 6:70 disagree, trinitarian scholar Daniel B. Wallace tries to solve this difficulty by saying that Jesus is actually calling Judas “THE Devil” here, but not in a literal sense. Think about that. Even with this unusual interpretation, we still find that calling Judas “the Devil” in a figurative sense means that Jesus is comparing Judas to Satan in some non-literal sense. He is not really calling Judas the actual Devil, but is merely referring to some quality of Satan that Judas exhibits to some degree. If that were really the case (although not supported by most trinitarian scholars), then the parallel John 1:1c would merely show the Word exhibiting some quality of God to some degree.

No reasonable person would accept any of this as evidence for some mysterious ‘Satanity’ where Judas is equally The Devil with Satan!

So why do so many trinitarians accept the very same unreasonable ‘evidence’ as proof that the Word was equally God at John 1:1c?
 
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Another example shows the impropriety of the “word-order” approach for this scripture: John 10:1 has this word order, “that (one) thief is and robber” [the first predicate noun is before the verb and the second is after the verb!]. This is always translated as, “that one [or ‘he’] is a thief and a robber.” It is never rendered, “that one is the Thief and a robber.

And it is never “qualitatively” rendered as “that one has the full essence of thiefness and is a robber.”
 

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Having studied Greek extensively myself, I would say that ALL translations are biased and have to be in order to make a translation even possible. Many Greek tenses such as the Genitive requires the translator to make an interpretation on the nature of that Genitive case. For instance, the phrase "faith in the Son of God," can also be rendered, "faithfulness of the Son of God." One's theological opinion and bent will direct the interpreter to make a designation of either objective Genitive or subjective Genitive. My favorite is the LEB, because it is meant to be read along with the Greek and Hebrew texts and points out these differences.
I agree with Doulos. Translation is a difficult process, I think we need to:
a) Read a few different translations.
b) Be gracious towards the translators who have a very difficult job.
c) Be willing to learn to read Greek yourself if these issues are very important to you.
 
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Apparently DI is no longer here.

Is there any one else here who can find another "Colwell's Construction" (predicate count noun without article ["the'] coming before its verb) which is not translated as indefinite ("a man," a prophet," "a thief," etc.) as found in post #13 above?

I am looking for someone to find such a clause which is normally translated with a "qualitative" (or a definite) predicate noun.
 
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Surely there is someone here who has access to an interlinear NT. And surely that person is able to see if John has used the following construction (clause with predicate noun before the verb) in more places than I have been able to find (listed below):

For example:

“prophet are you” in John 4:19 is translated: “you are a prophet.”

“King are you” in John 18:37 is translated: “you are a king?” (or “are you a king?”)

Notice that in the Greek the predicate nouns (“prophet” and “king”) do not have the definite article (“the”) and they come before the linking verb (“are”). And all the 20-some Bibles I have examined translate these predicate nouns as indefinite with an indefinite article (“a/an” in English).

If we set aside John 1:1c as found in most Trinitarian Bibles for now, I don’t believe there are any other “Colwell Constructions” in all the writings of John (except for the few grammatical exceptions which are pointed out by trinitarian Greek scholars themselves) which are translated as “qualitative” (“prophetness,” “royal”) or as definite (“the Prophet,” “the King”).

I found 11 clear examples of “Colwell Constructions” in all of John’s writings (posted in #13 above).
They are all indefinite nouns (not definite, not “qualitative”). All trinitarian Bible translations I have examined render all 11 of them as indefinite! (And I wouldn’t strongly resist the use of the “no subject” examples which clearly intend the subject as being a pronoun included with the verb, e.g., “[he] is” (John 9:8, 17), which would then bring our total of proper examples to nearly 20.)

In that case we would have:
H 1. John 4:9 (a) - indefinite (“a Jew”) - all translations
H,W 2. John 4:19 - indefinite (“a prophet”) - all
H,W 3. John 6:70 - indefinite (“a devil”/“a slanderer”) - all
H,W 4. John 8:44 - indefinite (“a murderer”/“a manslayer”) - all
H,W 5. John 8:48 - indefinite (“a Samaritan”) - all
H,W 6. John 9:24 - indefinite (“a sinner”) - all
H,W 7. John 10:1 - indefinite (“a thief and a plunderer”) - all
H,W 8. John 10:33 - indefinite (“a man”) - all
H,W 9. John 18:35 - indefinite (“a Jew”) - all
H,W 10. John 18:37 (a) - indefinite (“a king”) - all
[H,W 11. John 18:37 (b) - indefinite (“a king”) - in Received Text and in 1991 Byzantine Text]
………………………………................................
H,W 12. Jn 8:44 (b) - liar (he) is.
H,W 13. Jn 9:8 (a) - beggar (he) was.
H,W 14. Jn 9:17 - prophet (he) is.
H,W 15. Jn 9:25 - sinner (he) is.
H,W 16. Jn 10:13 - hireling (he) is.
H,W 17. Jn 12:6 - thief (he) was.
18. 1 Jn 4:20 - liar (he) is.
And, possibly,
H,W 19. 1 John 2:4 - liar (he) is.

So when all the proper (those most closely equivalent to the actual usage found at John 1:1c) examples found in John’s writings are examined in various trinitarian Bibles (KJV, NASB, RSV, NIV, etc.), we find they are always translated with indefinite concrete nouns such as “you are a prophet” (Jn 4:19)
 

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Context is everything, Teddy, and that is why John 1:1c is translated correctly in most Bibles and in error in the NWT.
 
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Context is everything, Teddy, and that is why John 1:1c is translated correctly in most Bibles and in error in the NWT.
It really doesn't matter to me how any Bible translates John 1:1c.

My interest in this scripture began when I still thought it was correctly translated as "And the Word was God," but I was perplexed by the context ("Word WITH God" and "Word WAS God").

When a friend questioned the traditional translation, I began my original in-depth study of it. It wasn't until I had completed that study (after several years), that I was finally convinced "a god" was the intended meaning by John.

Yes, context is important when in doubt about differing interpretations, but the author's usage is more important. And John's grammar and usage is what I have carefully examined (unlike the poor and incomplete examination by commentators and translators).
 
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