Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm It

Scott tagged me, and it is my pleasure to share with my friends about the books that have impacted me. As a ground rule, the Bible will not be an answer for any of these questions, because it answers all of them (except the one about "should have never been written"), judges all literature, and transcends man's written words as it is the very Word of God. Pretentious theologizing done, here's my answers.

1. One book that changed your life: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Yes Scott, I know exactly what you're talking about, as Goodnight Moon was easily my favorite book for quite some time.)

3. One book I’d want on a desert island: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (and of course, the Bible.)

4. One book that made me laugh: Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (What an amazing writer. The laughter was basically a "it's funny because its true" kind of thing. It could easily go under #5 and #6 for me, and #7 for a few people I know. Oh well, liberty in Christ, etc.)

5. One book that made me cry: The Complete English Works by George Herbert (If you can read "The Sacrifice" and not be moved, you may not be saved... or human.)

6. One book that you wish you had written: Dune by Frank Herbert (No relation to George. This is the pinnacle of all science-fiction.)

7. One book you wish had never been written: Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications by D.A. Carson. (I do not support the group Emergent, but a blanket dismissal of methodologies via straw man arguments is ridiculous. Not to mention, it uses the TNIV, which should have never been "translated.")

8. One book that you are currently reading: Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graeme Goldsworthy

9. One book that you’ve been meaning to read: The Muslims of Thailand by Michel Gilquin, trans. by Michael Smithies.

Okie doke. Michael Butterworth and Cassie Puskar, you are tagged. So, do this. Now.


At 1:22 AM , Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Why do you say the TNIV should have never been translated? What version do you use?

At 8:36 AM , Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Paul, I don't know why you came on my blog to answer my friendly question that I posted here on your site. I'm coming back here to respond because your posting was completely off topic with the entry where you wrote it.

You said,"I feel that the gender-neutral thing is a pretty shoddy treatment of biblical theology, i.e., that it is best to translate "sons of God" instead of "sons and daughters," in most cases.

Until the other day, I used the HCSB for everything, and I am a big fan of the translation, but I've started up with the ESV and like it too."

For what it's worth, Paul, I'm a big fan of the HCSB, too. I teach out of it on Sundays. But I'm also a fan of the TNIV. And I find most people who say something negative about it (as you did) usually don't actually know much about it OR have misguided perceptions.

When you refer to "the gender-neutral thing," you reveal your first understanding. The TNIV does not attempt to be "gender neutral." That would be like changing a "him" or "her" to an "it." Rather, the TNIV translators tried their best to translate into English the full range of genders meant in the original texts, something that many traditional translations have neglected.

And there's much more to the TNIV than gender issues. The TNIV corrects a number of errors in the original NIV and in some places you'll find the TNIV to be a bit more literal than its predecessor.

Another place where you seem to reveal your misunderstanding of the issues is when you refer to biblical theology. Although a Bible translation can help inform our theology, ultimately these are primarily issues of biblical translation. Theology will be a secondary issue. And there's really nothing in the TNIV that should change anyone's theology.

You said that you thought it was best to translate the phrase "sons of God" instead of "sons and daughters." Well, I can tell you straightaway that the TNIV never substitutes "sons and daughters" or even "sons and daughters of God" for "sons of God."

I wonder if you've actually even looked at this translation that you dismiss so easily. There are some works that I'm willing to dismiss, but only after I've examined them and the related issues for myself. I encourage you to do likewise, brother.

At 1:08 PM , Blogger Ecygtheow said...

My brother, I meant no offense. I started blogging on Xanga, and the custom there (at least, as I understood it) was that you answer a question someone asked on their own blog. It was not an attack by any means. I don't like commenting on my own blog; I feel narcisistic doing so.

Anyway, when the HCSB released, its advertisements directly attacked the TNIV, saying that they (HCSB) didn't use "'thee and thou' but kept the 'he and she.'"

Translation is not done in a vacuum, and one's personal theology will inevitably influence how they translate, especially in hard texts. That is what I meant by a "biblical theology."

Anyway, I am sorry that I offended you. I'm pleased to know that people actually read my blog.

At 2:44 PM , Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Paul, no real offence taken, just mild bewilderment :-) but thanks for your explanation.

And, of course, one difficulty with messages on the interenet is that tone and voice cannot be communicated as easily as in person.

So please take my next comments in a friendly tone, because I honestly mean them in that manner... just continuing the conversation a bit.

I want to take issue with your statement that when the HCSB was released that its advertisments attacked the TNIV (which was actually released after the HCSB). I remember well when the HCSB was released, and I don't remember any such advertisements. Nor can I imagine Broadman & Holman publishers stooping to the level to promote their translation at the expense of another. You might have heard someone make those comments, but I really don't think that was official PR from the HCSB publishers. In fact, the official press releases are still online at http://theologicalyouthworker.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/08/getting_the_mes.html#comment-21789550 and while at least one of them references the TNIV, it doesn't say what you describe there, and I wouldn't call the staemetn they made a direct attack.

And as for the phrase "kept the 'he and she,'" what exactly does that mean?

I agree that one's theology will influence a translation, but that's been the case from the days of Wycliffe on up to today with EVERY translation. I don't see the TNIV as anymore biased than any other translation out there.

The gender accuracy issue is not a theological issue as much as an issue that depends on one's translational philosophy and method. But, there are complementarians on the TNIV translation committee including Douglas Moo and Bruce Waltke.

Again, I use the HCSB (took it with me to chapel today) and the TNIV (used it last night in a devotion I led), and I find them both to be good renderings of God's Word.

At 3:17 PM , Blogger Ecygtheow said...

The add was a double page spread in SBC Life - it was how I first learned of the HCSB. They said further in the advertisement was that they used theological language when warranted (i.e. "propitiation" in 1 John 1). I think the issue was in May, June, or July of 2003. I remember, because I learned about it slightly before the SBC 2003 meeting.

I laughed alot after watching the video of Dr. Mohler's "abilities."

At 4:41 PM , Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Paul, I don't doubt that you remember seeing that ad before you went to the convention, but nothing that you've described is in it. I practically "live" in the library during the week. So a minute ago I walked downstairs to the second floor and pulled a big box full of past issues of SBC life looking for the two-page spread you were talking about. I started with March 2003 just to be sure, but a two-page spread didn't appear until the June/July issue which would have been released right before the convention. In fact, I double-checked the August issue, too, just to be sure, and it had stories about the convention, so the June/July issue is the correct one.

I'm sorry to say that none of the content you refer to--neither the "they (HCSB) didn't use "'thee and thou' but kept the 'he and she" nor any references to proptitation--appear in that ad.

My guess is that you either heard these items at the convention or read about them elsewhere and the memories blended in your mind--happens to all of us.

But I'm glad to know that your original quote didn't appear in B&H advertising copy. That would have been very tacky and below their usual standards of promotion.

I do like the HCSB's use of propitation, but was disappointed that they didn't have a bullet note for it since without an explanation the word doesn't mean anything to the reader unfamiliar with the concept. I emailed B&H a few months back to ask about this and they said they were adding bullet notes for "propitiation" and "redemption." These are two good additions in my opinion. However, I would have been just as satisfied with "atoning sacrifice" for ἱλαστήριον since either phrase will ultimately require explanation.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home