Saturday, April 14, 2012

John F. Hobbins on Bible Translations and Christian Unity

John F. Hobbins on Bible Translations and Christian Unity

The above article is an interview with John Hobbins of the Ancient Hebrew Poetry blog. It is definitely worth a look.


rolf said...

I am glad to see that he recognizes the NABRE as one of the three translations (NABRE, ESV,& NRSV) that he wishes all English speaking Christians would choose from as the translation for all.

Chrysostom said...

My vote's for the ESV if we have to choose one of those. The NRSV is better than the NABRE, without exception, where I have compared them, except for in gender-language, where it is inferior. English has lost a good deal of precision, as well, with the dropping of the T-V distinction and second-person plurals. (Ideally, they should be resurrected across the length and breadth of the language, out of their last stronghold in the True Bibles(R) of Christendom).
The NRSV, though, is not truly suited for faithful Christian use, but for academic study in the climate of to-day, with the 1980s' Crusade of Feminists for "Inclusive Language" hot on the feet of the discredited Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

I think I figured out, while doing a comparative (English) study of the aesthetics of the first chapter of Genesis, why the NABRE reads so poorly: it uses too many short sentences, and, even in short sentences, uses too many "long" punctuation marks (dashes, etc.), which severely breaks the flow of the text. (I know not why they do this, whether to attempt for a "modern" spoken style, where sentences of idiots bloviating often are no more than three words in length,) but I'm considering typing it up and re-punctuating it properly (albeit with my penchant for extremely long, Ciceronian or Germanic-style sentences,) and seeing if it reads decently.

My aesthetic sense says, on the whole, there is more to the cacophony of the NABRE spoken aloud than mere poor punctuation, but we shall see.