The latest issue of Christianity Today arrived in the mail yesterday, and I was interested to note an editorial about the Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution concerning the 2011 NIV. The article represents the editorial opinion of CT, and predictably it disagrees with Southern Baptists about the new NIV.
Readers of this blog will not be surprised that by and large I disagree with CT’s editorial (see my previous posts: reviews of NIV, SBC Resolution, response to translators, response to Bock). But there was at least one item in the article that I do agree with. Here it is:
“The only criterion for a good translation is this: Does it accurately convey what the authors said and what the original listeners heard?” (p. 55)
Assuming that what the “original listeners heard” and what “authors said” are the same thing, I certainly agree. The supposition of the essay, however, seems to be that dynamic equivalence is interested in what the text “means” while formal equivalence is only interested in what the text “literally says.” This kind of language confuses the issue. Both translation philosophies seek to render the text according to what it really means. The difference is that dynamic equivalentists and formal equivalentists disagree with one another about how best to do this.
Anyway, you can read the rest here.