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Crossway Books & Bibles Understanding English Bible Translation: The Case for an Essentially Literal Approach

The controversy over Bible translations has cooled in recent years. Items such as the "KJV only" dispute and other issues have, for the most past, settled as the Bible reading public has been educated. But within that refinement, another controversy has been born.

With all the sophistication and difficulty that attends the translator's task, it remains a reality that the proponents of dynamic equivalence and essentially literal translations are bound to clash. This book Understanding English Translation: A Case for An Essentially Literal Approach written by English professor, translation stylist, and biblical scholar, Leland Ryken, argues that Christians need to adhere to an essentially literal approach in translating the Scriptures and in choosing their Bible.

Ryken believes that to do otherwise is to imbed too much interpretation into the text, and in fact if we do accept dynamic equivalence, we are changing the text from the Bible to one's own interpretation of it. Would not one's theological beliefs inappropriately influence the construction of a "dynamic equivalence" translation? Especially in those passages most problematic to a translator's theology? Ryken's argument is strong, insightful and penetrating and "exposes the dynamic equivalence theory of the Bible translation as not only insufficient but counterproductive in that it of necessity moves its practitioners from being translators of the Bible to interpreters, commentators, and even editor's." of the Bible."
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