Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Good Response to Zane Hodges on Bible Translation

     Recently I came across a statement by the late Zane C. Hodges from a July 1964 Bibliotheca Sacra article in which he's reviewing William F. Beck's New Testament in the Language of Today.[1] In the review, Hodges writes,
"If in Solomon's day it could be affirmed that 'of making many books there is no end,' in our own day it might equally be said that of making many translations there is no end. Indeed, the proliferation of English versions of the Bible in modern times is so bewildering that each additional one ought to be required to furnish compelling justification for its existence."[2]

     While there is, of course, a point to be made there; in response to Hodges I would quote a statement from the NIV's Committee on Bible Translation from June 1978 (revised August 1983), when they say: "There is a sense in which the work of translation is never wholly finished. This applies to all great literature and uniquely so to the Bible."[3]


[1] This is a Lutheran translation of the Bible called The Holy Bible: An American Translation.

[2] Bibliotheca Sacra 121 (July 1964), pp. 268-269.

[3] From the Preface to The Holy Bible, New International Version (Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, 1973, 1978, 1984).

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