Understanding English Bible Translation: The Case for an Essentially Literal Approach
“Leland Ryken, in this scholarly yet understandable volume, exposes the dynamic equivalence theory of Bible translation as not only insuf- ?cient but counterproductive in that it of necessity moves its practitio- ners from being translators of the Bible to interpreters, commentators, and even editors of the Bible. In staking out a return to literal equiva- lence, he not only reclaims the translator’s priority commitment of faithfulness to the divine Author’s words but simultaneously af?rms a high view of Scripture and an invigorating encouragement to Bible study as well as expositional preaching.”See All
Harry L. Reeder III
Minister of Preaching and Leadership, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama
“This is an important book for anyone who reads the Bible in English. Ryken clari?es recent dramatic evolutions in translation theory, offer- ing a distinct contrast between the centuries-old stream of essentially literal translation and the decades-old stream of dynamic equivalency. Ryken does not ignore nuances, but with clarity and wit he offers every person the chance and the responsibility to grasp the issues at stake at a crucial time in the history of these issues. Not only does Ryken urge respect for the biblical text, with its original words intended by the authors and inspired by God the author; he also encourages respect for the Bible’s readers, who deserve the privilege of reading and studying this God-given text, loving and penetrating its literary beauty, and being enlarged by words and worlds outside of their own knowledge and experience. Ryken helpfully debunks many current myths-like the one that mistakes essentially literal translation for transliteration or the one that claims all translation is essentially interpretation. Most of all, Ryken’s call to is to guard and treasure a stable biblical text, which has for centuries clearly spoken God’s truth into his world, so that we will hear no our own voices but God’s.”See All
Kathleen B. Nielson
author and speaker
An expert, up-to-date clarification of the issues underlying modern Bible translation, combined with sound argument for an essentially literal translation philosophy.
From the KJV to the NIV, NLT, ESV, and beyond, English Bible translations have never been as plentiful as they are today. This proliferation has also brought confusion regarding translation differences and reliability. This book brings clarity to the issues and makes a strong case for an essentially literal approach.
Taking into account the latest developments in Bible translation, Leland Ryken expertly clarifies the issues that underlie modern Bible translation by defining the terms that govern this discipline and offering a helpful Q&A.; He then contrasts the two main translation traditions-essentially literal and dynamic equivalence-and concludes with sound reasons for choosing the former, with suggestions for using such a translation in the church.
This book will appeal to thoughtful readers who have questions about Bible translation; individuals, churches, and ministries in the process of choosing a translation; and college and seminary students and faculty.