Religious Text Translation

The most important question about translating the religious texts comprises the level of literalness. This was the main issue among the scholars in the classical world, and it was a major problem in the Latin-speaking churches.  Most liking for literal Bible translation may comprise a number of factors. To begin with, individuals may not just be up to date with more or less of the translation. Hence, these symbolize implicit norm. The other factor would be, the experience of learning a different language in the school may show that just  literal  representation are translations and the rendering that are free are paraphrases. Due to having to translate different texts in school, several people assume that a translation like those are not just preferable, but in reality closer in what it means according to the original (Steiner, 1975).

Some of the other people like literal translations that are specifically hard to comprehend since a preference for such expression are an evidence of their extra evaluation of faith in believing what is not believable. The very ambiguity of such type of anglicized Latin terms as an expiation, predestination, sanctification, justification, and propitiation tends to improve the eternal truth of the oral message hugely. At some point, translation can be hazardously misleading. For instance, the idiom of the Bible “Give God the Glory” found in John 9: 24 which mean “Swear to tell the truth”. It is quite vivid to several individuals that the future is in front, and the past is at the back. However, some Quechua says that the past is in front, and the future is at the back. They maintain that what a person can view in the mind’s eye is the past, of which should be ahead, and what cannot get seen, which is the future should be behind (Frawley, 1984).

At times, ordinary words get so changed in meaning such that they cannot get utilized in translations, even if they maybe rather known with particular believers. The English term justify usually implies trying to make something seem right even though it is essentially wrong, and even though it was at one moment less or more suitable translation of the term Geek dikaioo, it surely is misinforming today. Even the depiction of the Greek word logos as the term is critically confusing in English, as well as in several other languages since this usage tends to make The Bible the words of God. One leader from Africa got very disappointed with the New Testament translation into his language that he said that obviously God was not aware of the local language. The language of the Greek has two more terms rhema and epos, which both can be suitably translated as speech or word. However, logos primarily refer to the message content and not to be an oral channel (Aland, Matthew, Carlo, Bruce & Allen, 1983).

In some circumstances, it is the grammar literalness that is very misleading. The phrase in the letter to the Romans 1:17, God’s righteousness is portrayed from faith to faith” is not understood fully by practically all lay individuals and by several priests. They do not know that the statement “ God righteousness” is not an indication of personal character of God, but to his work in making what is wrong right or placing individual right with himself, that is making people acceptable. Additionally, the statement of faith to faith is not an indication of levels of faith, but to what is known that the faith is the basic for what God carries out. Compare the representation in the English version of today… the manner in which God places individuals right with himself: it by faith from the start to the end (Snell-Hornby, 1988). However, some individuals object to such a depiction since it seems to obstruct the work of the priest, who with such comprehendible text would not have the need to translate the texts of the Greek during the sermon.

Unluckily, some trials to the translation of literal do not work out in nearly every way. They are confusing, and they add a component that not fit into the context. Note, for instance, two short tales in Chouraqui”s depicting of the Matthew 4: 10 and 5:3, which are an extract from the Hebrew Bible.

A specifically subtle confusing portion of the texts of the Bible is the common use of the numbers having a figurative meaning. The digits forty, twelve, and seven are specifically confusing. The digit seven portray perfection in a number of contexts, whereas the digit twelve normally refers to something that is full, and often forty is used to signify a relatively a lengthy period.  The figurative meanings of twelve and seven are normally significant in the book of revelation with seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls of wrath, and seven churches, as well as twelve stars, twelve kinds of fruits, twelve foundations of stones and twelve apostles. In the life of Moses, the three periods of forty years, get translated by several scholars as meaning to a relatively lengthy stretch of the period and not normally to the exact forty years. In some of the contexts, the digit 1000 is specifically confusing since the Hebrew word may mean a herd of cows or to relatively huge group of biologically related individuals, namely a tribe or clan. Therefore, some scholars have recommended that in some contexts the Hebrew term eleph must be comprehended in the more sense of generic of a considerable number instead than particularly one thousand (Felstiner, 1990).

When figurative numbers get changed into a different system, much of the importance of a passage may get lost. For instance, the “ twelve thousand stadia” of the text of Greek in Revelation 21: 16 turn to “one thousand five hundred miles” as the evaluation of the new Jerusalem coming down from up above, whether a pyramid or a cube, it is not indicated in the text.


Several individuals mistakenly presuppose that if God inspired the writing of the Bible, then it should not sound like it is an ordinary language. In some sense, this response is not far detached from the belief of the early Hebrews, who put high importance on the prophet’s poetic language.  Some individuals prefer literal translation since they believe that in any text that is inspired there will be likely to be a number of various meanings which are hidden lurking being words. For that reason, a literal translation would seemingly safeguard all the possible meanings; whereas a translation that is free would be more probably to hold back some of the interpretations which are possible.


Aland, K., Matthew B., Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. & Allen W.(1983). The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (Corrected). Stuttgart, United Bible Societies.

Felstiner, J. (1980). Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu. Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press.

Frawley, W. (1984). Translation: Literary, Linguistic, and Philosophical Perspectives. Newark, University of Delaware Press.

Snell-Hornby, M.  (1988). Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam and Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

Steiner, G.(1975). After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation. London, Oxford University Press.

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