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Is there a danger in too many translations?


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Thought this was the best section to post this but Is anyone aware of any research in this area? Particularly as many are called to minister to an ageing population and we have a new generations coming through who do not have the same ingrained material that the previous generations did.


Because i can easily check translations and follow links in accordance, i can research a passage much more deeply and much more quickly than i ever could with dead tree commentaries and concordance. (And i am sooooo grateful for having this.)


However, I am aware that my mind is a lot more RAM like these days. 


Back in the 70s i attended a lecture where the speaker shared his experiences of the second world war and how prisoners could hold services without books because of their common memory of bcp and the kjv. (Yes it made an impression and i can still remember some of the talk!)


For many years i took services at a couple of sheltered accommodations where the elderly residents were familiar with the bcp and were not bothered by failing eyesight or hearing loss as the text had become ingrained through many years of repetition. Talking to people who work with the very frail, they frequently share how they are reading something out loud and they see the person they are with mouthing the words as well.


In my teens there was a movement that encouraged us to memorise scripture and we recently had the film 'the book of Eli'.


With the plethora of new translations, modern songs and the ease in accordance for searching i am reminded by the lectures final words:


How would we cope in a concentration camp? 

How would members of our congregations cope?


Where we are totally reliant on memory be it through physical or mental limitations.

Edited by ukfraser
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From your post it's possible it's not the plethora of translations but the paucity of depth of a person's study that may be the problem. I may succumb to the temptation to allow Accordance to do my memory work for me. Your post is a good reminder, to keep working even through we have great riches in resources, or maybe because we do. 

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  • 1 month later...

This also highlights the need to understand the spirit of the verse in the text as given by the author - God. If we understand and live it, we can easily paraphrase the verse into languages or contexts without losing or compromising God's intended meaning.


I find some translations lose sight of this in NT verses that remove OT references - i.e. 2Tim 3:16 being "throughly furnished" immediately references the tabernacle of Moses and the application in our lives to furnish each of the truths of the pieces of furniture in our lives.  

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