The Results: Part Two – My Turn

I put up five translations last night of 1 Tim 6.10, asking which one sounded the most natural. Here they are again with their respective abbreviations:

A) New International Version – “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. #Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”

B) King James Version – “#For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

C) New Century Version – “For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. #Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.”

D) Good News – “The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow.”

E) NET – “For the love of money is the root of all evils. #Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.”

When a sentence is ungrammatical we put a * beside it. When a sentence is ill-formed, we give it a #. All of these, expect the GNB (which uses “get”) deserve a pound sign which, as you can see, I’ve placed at the beginning of those sentences above. Thus, we either need to find an English verse that is comfortable with sorrow as an instrument or remove the instrumental nuance completely as the GNB has done. I prefer the first option. I want to maintain some kind of idiom, but it must be an English idiom, not a Greek idiom – it must be meaningful.So I propose the following translation:

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: some people have been misled by their greed away from the faith and found their hearts crushed by the painful consequences.

Explanation: The first part is pretty typical. I’ve taken a cue from John in keeping this as one whole sentence. He retained the relative pronoun. I thought about that, but in the end, went for the colon. Paul wants to to connect these clauses a lot more: statement: example – cause and effect. The and between greed and found in my translation is important too. This is not simple coordination. This is chronology and causation. The greed caused some people to be mislead (yes, its much more negative than wander, check your lexicons), which in turn causes painful. I struggled over the last two words. Pain result, grief, sorrow. I had settled on regret for a bit. But I’m not sure if these people Paul describes actually do regret. Result is such a very bland word, but I’m not sure if the consequence that chose is that much better. Sorrow and grief are so much better, but don’t communicate the causation of it all.

Alternate translation:

The love of money is a source of all kinds of evil: some people have been misled by their greed away from the faith and found themselves stabbed in the heart by thorns of grief.

here I’ve also borrowed John’s thorns too, which make an excellent stabbing instrument in English. I’ve also successfully(?) maintained the grief of it all in a prepositional phrase. This way, its a descriptive element rather than an active one in the verb, which as I’ve said, I think is terrible English.

8 thoughts on “The Results: Part Two – My Turn

  1. Sorry, Mike, but I award you a star for being ungrammatical. As the past participle of “lead” is “led”, so the past participle of “mislead” is “misled”, and you should use this form after “have been”. More seriously, this doesn’t seem to me a natural use of the verb “mislead”, which I am used to only in a metaphorical sense “deceive”, not in this more literal sense and not followed by “away from”. I would drop “mis-” as well and go for “some people have been led away …”

    I would also look again at the initial “For”, because as discussed not long ago at Better Bibles Blog this is not in general use in contemporary English.

  2. Error corrected (What can I say? I’m a native speaker) – But I’m glad I got a star instead of an asterisk!😉

    More seriously, this doesn’t seem to me a natural use of the verb “mislead”, which I am used to only in a metaphorical sense “deceive”, not in this more literal sense and not followed by “away from”.

    I was going to a play on words here. The greed of these people has deceived them and caused them to leave the faith. Thus, they are both misled and led away.

    the “for,” well, its habit. Greek professors generally expect you to maintain those particles in translation and after a couple years your English gets skewed. Oh dear…

  3. I’ve changed the order the phrases, “by their greed” and “away from the faith.” Does that at all help with what you see as a problem with “misled” at all? I’m hoping that it points more to the deceived part more than the “away from part.”

  4. Yes, Mike, that looks quite a lot better. And yes, I use the conjunction “for” as well, as I discovered to my chagrin on my own blog after a consensus was reached on Better Bibles Blog that it is Biblish.

  5. Hmm, I guess I forgot to post my comment yesterday. Can’t remember exactly what it was either. Between your and John’s translations I can’t really decide how I best prefer this passage to be rendered in English. Not sure if it’s the idiom at the end or what.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s