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Friday, May 20, 2011

liberating the translator …

Anyone who doesn’t think the doctrine of scripture is undergoing major revision should take a close look at what one bible translation [super]-consultant[1] is saying:
… freeing translators from the conceptual shackles imposed by the twin legacies of an Aristotelian philosophy of language and an enlightenment era rationality frees them from being slavishly bound to the wording of the SL text.[2][3]
I am sure there will be much rejoicing in heaven over the liberation of translators from being slavishly bound to the wording of the biblical text.

[1] Kenneth McElhanon was graduated with a B.A. from Wheaton College (IL) in 1961 with two majors: anthropology and Greek. By 1970 he had completed seven years in Papua New Guinea with SIL and was graduated with a Ph.D. in linguistics from the Australian National University. From 1971 to 1986 he served in various consultative and administrative roles in SIL/PNG. After he and his wife completed a translation project for the Selepet people (PNG) in 1986, he joined the faculty of the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary (KY). Since 1991 he has taught in the TXSIL, and its successor, the GIAL. He currently serves as an SIL International Anthropology consultant.

[2] SL text: source language text, in this case I am assuming the referent is the protestant bible, ideally the greek NT and Hebrew OT, but more realistically a translation since the translator is normally a native speaker of the target language often not proficient in biblical languages.

[3] Kenneth A. McElhanon, When Quality Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Paradigm communities and the certification of standards for judging quality, Journal of Translation, Volume 3, Number 1 (2007) 25


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