NIV -- apology

Daniel J. Berger (
Sun, 31 Aug 1997 13:21:14 -0400

I apologize to those who corrected me about the NIV. In general (having
translated literature myself) I would tend to describe something
self-described as a "thought-for-thought" translation as a paraphrase --
because a "thought-for-thought" translation is not often really possible
and can distort meaning even more than a literal translation. Bible
scholars of my acquaintance have also described the NIV to me as a
paraphrase. Granted, the Living Bible is even more of a paraphrase.

This is not to say that the NIV is valueless; my wife is quite fond of it,
and it's the version I chose for my daughter's first Bible over the NRSV.
I also rather like the Jerusalem Bible, which is a "translation" similar in
purpose to the NIV. What I am saying is that a careful word-by-word
translation may be more useful for study. The NRSV is also quite readable
(unlike Young's? Literal Translation), and again it's the only readable one
I know of which takes care to translate the same word with the same word,
even when (as I have pointed out) this leads to odd-sounding English.

Daniel J. Berger | PH: (419) 358-3379
Bluffton College | FAX:(419) 358-3323
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