Monday, March 27, 2017
Another Bible translation?
The list of biblical scholars who participated in the CSB comes from 17 denominations -- a variety of conservative, evangelical denominations, including Southern Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, conservative Anglican and non-denominational Bible churches. Lutherans include Andrew Das (ELS) and Andrew Steinmann (LCMS). Holman itself is a division of Lifeway, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.
According to their own PR, the translation uses the method Optimal Equivalence, which balances contemporary English readability with linguistic precision to the original languages. This process assures that both the words and thoughts contained in the original text are conveyed as accurately as possible for today’s readers. You can read some verse comparisons here.
You have already heard of the Lutheran translation project begun by the Wisconsin Synod. I must admit that while I understand the desire for a new translation (I have often thought that the Peters Perfect Paraphrase would solve all the problems!), I am not sure that anyone needs or wants a new translation. Further, I am not at all sure that another translation would add anything to the versions already available. In fact, I fear it would only further divide the readers of the Bible and contribute even more to the idea that a translation is a denominational effort or one guided by presuppositions that determine the outcome -- both of which undermine the idea of objective truth. In addition, I have often spent a goodly portion of our Bible study time discussing the differences in the translations used by the people there -- time that could have been spent more directly addressing the text and what it means. I am not at all sure having one more translation in the hands of the people will help and fear it would only further distract us. That said, I am not ready to condemn something before I have had a chance to review it.
I would love to hear your own opinions. Tell me if you have looked over the CSB and what you think of this addition to the marketplace. Unfortunately, that is what it is. A marketplace. Not a small measure of the decision to produce a new translation is the desire to make money. Given the number of editions which accompany every translation, I expect we will see some stir from all of this.