Is Hobbins Going the Way of the Bible Cage-Match?

John Hobbin’s recent posts on translation have been quite excellent and they’ve developed some great dialogue about translation and translation theory, but I cannot help but wonder if a number of his posts are beginning to look more like the scam we saw in the Bible Cage-Match Posts almost two years ago at David Ker’s Blog simply with different goals in mind – David Ker wanted to show the superiority of translations such as the NLT & CEV, while John wants to show their lack.

1. Picked a passage from a version I don’t like.

2. Showed the same passage in a version I did like.

3. Proved how my preferred version is superior.

I honestly hope this isn’t what he’s doing, but it sure feels like it in these two posts: HERE and HERE.

4 thoughts on “Is Hobbins Going the Way of the Bible Cage-Match?

  1. Name any translation, and I will be happy to pick it apart.

    Any exegete worth their salt is going to read the texts in the original languages.

    Comparison with existing translations is a great way to get an idea of major interpretive options.

  2. Oh I know you can. Absolutely.

    But failures in poetic metaphor aren’t limited to DE translation as you’ve been saying. Read Psalm 1.1 in any translation in the KJV translation. This is a place where the TNIV does better retaining the metaphor and making it clear, contra KJV Bibles and the NLT, though I think a better rendering still would be something like, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand on (along?) the sinner’s path. . .”

    Its one thing to say that translations don’t do well with metaphor. Its another things to say that a specific type of translation doesn’t do well with metaphor. Translations like the REB or NEB are exception to the rule – and while they may not subscribe to “DE,” they definitely are not “formal.”

  3. John and I throw tomatoes about once a year and then retreat to our prospective ghettos.

    If we carefully defined our points of difference we’re probably fighting the same battle but on different fronts. Let me put it this way: In translation I feel that clarity is best as a starting point. The more we try to stuff all the intricacies of the original into our translation the more we will find ourselves with a hodge-podge of gibberish at the end. I’m very much a relevance theory guy on this point. Let the text speak clearly in the receptor language and then stuff the margins with as much information as possible to help make the text make sense in its original context and also highlight the places where the English text conceals alternative meanings, wordplay, allusions, etc.

    In other words, I have a pocket knife and a big tool chest. John wants a really big Swiss army knife.

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