Friday, September 17

Common English Bible

On a whole I'm liking the newly released New Testament of the Common English Bible. It's quite readable and an accurate enough dynamic equivalence translation. Of course, no single translation can capture all the nuances of the original text and remain readable. That's why having multiple translations available is important.

Here is a sample -- John 1:11-14:
The light came to his own people,
and his own people didn’t welcome him.
But those who did welcome him,
those who believed in his name,
he authorized to become God’s children,
born not from blood
nor from human desire or passion,
but born from God.
The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
For comparison, here is the same passage from the New Living Translation, which has a somewhat similar approach to translation:
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.
But to all who believed him and accepted him,
he gave the right to become children of God.
They are reborn—not with a physical birth
resulting from human passion or plan,
but a birth that comes from God.
So the Word became human
and made his home among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen his glory,
the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
The NLT is more conversational in tone and a little more loose -- or interprative, except in the last line where the CEB potentially shifts the meaning of the original by saying that his glory is "like" that of a father's only son... That is a little different than saying that it is the glory of the Father's one and only Son. I'm thinking that the CEB is spinning the ὡς there in a slightly different direction -- a direction which no other translations seem to take -- although the NRSV moves that direction.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"he authorized" is an interesting choice since most translations use "gave the right..."

To me anyway, authorized has a more formal nuance, as if it were an official action. The latter carries more of a sense of gift or offering an opportunity..