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Old 08-15-2007, 07:02 PM   #31
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They do seem to keep the fonts too small, don't they? My pet theory is that the publishers are mandating the sizes, and haven't really 'gotten' that the Reader's display is actually smaller than a 'book' page.

Your point about the e-vailability is well taken, but I was trying to answer the question in general terms rather than in terms of e-vailability, since that's the way I took the question to be meant.

But, yes, e-vailability is still rather a significantly limiting factor.
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:20 AM   #32
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Allow me to expand a little on Nat's excellent post about Bible translation. It's not really about "accuracy" - one can reasonably assume that every worthwhile Bible translator is familiar with Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek - but more about the compromise between "word for word" translation and paraphrase which exists with every translation.

There's basically a spectrum of methods of translation.

At one end of the scale you have what are called "formal" translations, which attempt a "word for word" rendering of the original language into English (or whatever the "target" language is). These attempt to translate, as literally as possible, the original language into English, with word for word equivalence. Formal translations of the Bible include the KJV, NKJV, RSV, and NASB.

The problem with formal translation is the language is full of idioms, and they don't translate at all well in this method. For example, if you look at the KJV, at 1 Samuel, 24:3 you'll find:

"And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave."

What on earth is this "cover his feet" stuff all about? It is in fact a Hebrew idiom meaning "to relieve yourself", but I suspect that the typical reader of the KJV wouldn't have a clue. Formal translations are linguistically accurate, but not at all good for actually understanding what's being said.

At the other end of the scale you have what are called "paraphrase" translations, which take whole sentences, or even paragraphs, and rewrite them in modern, idiomatic, language. These versions generally don't have the traditional "verse" markings; they are laid out like a modern book, in continuous text. They can be very readable, but many people dislike them because you aren't reading the "original language" in any sense. There are lots of paraphrase translations, such as "The Living Bible" and "The Message".

The best translations - IMHO - are those which take the "middle ground"; these are called "dynamic translations". They start off by translating "formally", but then replace idiomatic and culture-specific words or phrases by their modern equivalents. Such translations include the NRSV, NIV, and NEB. Eg, if we look again at 1 Sam 24:3 the NRSV has:

"He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave."

Which I think most people would agree is much more "understandable" to a modern reader than the KJV version quoted above.

Different "dynamic" translations, though, differ in what they actually change. Eg, both old and new testament society was male-dominated, hence the Bible uses "male" language even when the meaning obviously applies both both men and women. Some translations such as the NRSV replace "brothers" by "brothers and sisters", "he" by "he or she" (or "they"), etc, to make this clear; others leave in the "male" words. This is an area in which the more "conservative" churches tend to differ from more "liberal" ones in terms of what translations they prefer to use.

I could go on ad nausiam about this, but that's enough to be going on with, and gives an impression as to why many people feel that there is a real need for better translations than the KJV, and why there are such a range of different translations available.

For the record, my personal favourite translation is the NRSV - a "liberal dynamic" translation.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:07 AM   #33
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Harry,

Where would you say the WEV falls in the spectrum of formal to paraphrase? I've been reading the KJV most of my life and I found the posted WEV quite refreshing.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:26 AM   #34
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The WEB Bible is a "dynamic" translation, rather than a "formal" one, so it is a lot more readable than the KJV, and converts all the idioms into modern English (unlike the KJV). As someone else said, however, it has been criticised for the sources it uses. As a freebie, though, it's pretty good.
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Old 08-17-2007, 04:47 PM   #35
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The WEB Bible is a "dynamic" translation, rather than a "formal" one, so it is a lot more readable than the KJV, and converts all the idioms into modern English (unlike the KJV). As someone else said, however, it has been criticised for the sources it uses. As a freebie, though, it's pretty good.
I went to the fountain of all knowledge (except for the vandalism), Wikipedia, looking for criticism on the various translations. Although Wikipedia didn't have much in the way of WEB criticism, it did have links to NIV criticism. The jist of one link was that the NSRV is the cleanest translation and the NIV was translated by Protestant (only), Evangelical scholars with an agenda. The link then proceeded to show the same passages from NIV, KJV, and NSRV and how translations were manipulated to further said agenda.

I then pulled up the WEB in a neighboring tab and compared each passage to the passages shown in the link. By this standard of criticism, the WEB faired very well. Not quite as clean as the NSRV, but in the ballpark.

I'll keep looking for Fair and Balanced assessments of the various translations but for now I'm off the NIV. I'll stick with my WEB and stay away from the "size" button until I have time to format it the way I want it. Maybe we'll get a NSRV at the Connect store.

I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of others on the various translations, especially fans of the NIV.
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:31 PM   #36
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I'll stick with my WEB and stay away from the "size" button until I have time to format it the way I want it.
I meant to ask you about that before: have you done the firmware updates? I had trouble with that file crashing my Reader when I went to the L size, but the first firmware update took care of it. Thought it might be worth mentioning.
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:02 PM   #37
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I meant to ask you about that before: have you done the firmware updates? I had trouble with that file crashing my Reader when I went to the L size, but the first firmware update took care of it. Thought it might be worth mentioning.
Natch,

I have done the only firmware update I know of 1.0.03.07170: I just checked, the first <size> press, going from Small to Medium font goes ok. The second press locks it up.
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