Sunday, June 14, 2009
Book review: Gordon D. Fee and Mark L Strauss- How to choose a translation for all its worth
Gordon D. Fee and Mark L Strauss
Published by Zondervan, 2007
Choosing a bible can be a complicated thing. Walk into a Christian bookstore and you will likely be confronted by a barrage of English language translations. Maybe you have encountered people who are very insistent about the use of a particular translation or people who get so excited about a new bible translation or format release that you’d think they were schoolgirls who just got given tickets to a Jonas Brothers concert. In “How to choose a translation for all its worth” Gordon D Fee and Mark L Strauss attempt to throw some light on this topic by explaining some of the issues translators face in bringing the ancient languages of the original bible texts to readable modern English and some of the misunderstandings that surface in debates about bible translations. They also provide a summary of the history, strengths and weaknesses of a large variety of translations. While I did learn from the book, i occasionally got lost in some of the discussions of problematic linguistic aspects. The authors were involved in the translation of the TNIV translation of the bible, so there is probably a bit of bias involved in their conclusions. The book might be a bit over the top if you are just trying to decide on which bible to buy for general reading, but if you are trying to pick a bible for more in-depth study or are interested in how the English bible came to be, you’ll probably find it a worthwhile read.