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:
- Why is the King James Version (“KJV”) so important for understanding Bible translation today?
- What are the three most common ways of understanding ancient languages?
- Why don’t those ways work? How do we know? And what are some consequences?
- What is a better approach? Again, how do we know?
- Why are the Ten Commandments still uniquely relevant?
- 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.
I’m thrilled to announce the beta version of my latest project: Exploring the Bible videos. The site is a growing collection of short text-based videos about the Bible, frequently focusing on translation issues.
The first three videos (also available on YouTube) are:
- John 3:16 – What does “God so loved the world” really mean?
- Quiz: Do you speak KJV?
- Thou Shalt Not Covet – Why “covet” is a mistranslation in the Ten Commandments.
Longer than a soundbite and (much) shorter than a lecture, each video presents a single idea in two or three minutes.
My hope is that these videos will be an effective way of discussing the text of the Bible, because the medium of video makes it possible to display the text as I talk about it.
Please let me know what you think.
I’ll also be grateful if you can ask a few friends or colleagues to take a look — particularly if they don’t follow this blog — so I can get a sense of what these videos are like for people who encounter the material for the first time.
A short excerpt from a lecture I gave a while back. (A little off topic, but still….)
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman on Bible Translation:
With some reluctance — and with renewed appreciation for people who spend their professional lives in front of a camera — I’m posting this short video excerpt in which I discuss what can go wrong in Bible translation.