God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Why Most Bible Translations are So Bad (And Why the Next Generation Should Care)

This past July I had the pleasure of presenting at a TEDx conference in East Hampton, the broad theme of which was “The Next Generation.”

So I offered an 18-minute segment on Bible translation, on what so often goes wrong with translations, and on how to avoid the common mistakes. I couched these topics in the broader theme of why the Bible is important for the next generation.

The edited version of my presentation is available here and on YouTube:

After watching it, you’ll be able to answer these questions:

  1. Why is the King James Version (“KJV”) so important for understanding Bible translation today?
  2. What are the three most common ways of understanding ancient languages?
  3. Why don’t those ways work? How do we know? And what are some consequences?
  4. What is a better approach? Again, how do we know?
  5. Why are the Ten Commandments still uniquely relevant?
  6. What does all of this have to do with supermarkets?

I’ve touched on many of these themes in individual blog posts here, and I go through all of them (except for the supermarkets) in And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, but here’s a compact and relatively complete introduction. Enjoy!

And then take a look at the other presentations.

I also want to express my thanks to Left of Frame Pictures for producing the videos.


September 14, 2011 Posted by | translation theory, Translation Traps, video | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Almost Back

If I had to choose a name for an alternating series of good and bad unexpected events, I might go with “Summer 2011.”

There were combined lecture/pleasure trips to London, Amsterdam, and East Hampton on one hand. And on the other hand was an earthquake (which I didn’t feel), a hurricane (which left me without power for four days and without phone or Internet for a week), flooding, and more.

All of this left little time for writing, and now my traveling has already begun.

But barring any new surprises, I hope I’ll be able to return to this blog very soon.

In the meantime, one of my lectures over the summer was taped, and the edited version has just been released, as I describe next.

September 14, 2011 Posted by | meta | , , | 1 Comment