Understanding Bible Translation: Bringing God's Word into New Contexts

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Understanding Bible Translation

Author: William D. Barrick

Understand the process of translating the Bible into a new language

In Understanding Bible Translation, William Barrick surveys the fascinating work of Bible translation worldwide. Drawing on decades of experience translating the Bible, Barrick explains best practices for Bible translation and walks the reader through the translation process. In addition, he provides insight for evaluating English translations and highlights resources for understanding difficult passages of Scripture.

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Preface

  1. BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND
    • Communicating in the People’s Vernacular
    • A Greek Old Testament for Greek-Speaking Jews
    • A Bible for English Ploughmen
    • German Bibles for German
    • Obedience Proportionate to Understanding
    • How Can They Understand?
    • Ezra and the Books of Moses
    • Jesus and the Parable of the Sower
    • Philip, the Ethiopian Eunuch, and Isaiah
  2. COMMON LANGUAGE FOR COMMON PEOPLE
    • The Same Vocabulary
    • Tyndale’s New English Translation
    • God Created Male and Female
    • The Same Forms
  3. SEMANTICS AND CONTEXT IN BIBLE TRANSLATION
    • Translational Additions
    • Words and Their Meanings
    • Cultural or Theological Confusion
  4. SIMPLICITY AND CLARITY IN BIBLE TRANSLATION
    • Same Statement, Different Styles
    • Common Idea, Different Words
    • Proverbial Brevity
  5. THEOLOGY AND BIBLE TRANSLATION
    • Who Blesses Whom? (Gen. 12:3)
    • Where the Fathers Are (Gen. 15:15)
    • More Than One (Gen. 19:24)
    • Conclusion
  6. TRANSLATING THE SHEPHERD PSALM’S FIRST VERSE
    • Unmodified Literal Translation of the Hebrew
    • Literal English Translation
    • Literal with Modified Divine Title
    • Modified Literal (Divine Title and Verb Tense)
    • Modified Literal (Divine Title, Participle as Verb, and Verb Tense)
    • Modified Literal (Divine Title, Participle as Verb, Idiomatic Verb)
    • Semi-literal with Negative Restructured as Positive
    • Restructured Free Translation
    • Free Translation with Cultural Substitution
    • Free Translation = Expanded Paraphrase
    • Free Translation = Shortened Paraphrase
    • One Word Makes a Difference
    • A Capital Matter
    • Was That Tomorrow or Yesterday?
  7. THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE OF BIBLE TRANSLATION
    • Translational Examination of Proverbs 8:1–11
    • Translators’ Lessons Learned
  8. WHICH ENGLISH BIBLE VERSION IS BEST?
    • Differentiating Translations
    • Evaluation of Selected Versions of Psalm 23
    • Concluding Statistics and Observations for Versions of Psalm 23
    • Evaluation of Versions of Romans 6:8–14
    • Concluding Statistics and Observations for Versions of Romans 6:8–14
    • The Issue of Gender-inclusive Language
    • Conclusion
  9. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A BIBLE TRANSLATOR
    • Calling and Conviction
    • Clues to a Calling
    • Learning a Second Language
    • Academic Training
    • Determination and Dedication
  10. PREPARING FOR THE PROJECT: ESTABLISH TRANSLATION PRINCIPLES
    • Oops, How Did That Happen?
    • Translation Teams and Local Churches
    • Bible Translators among the Sheep
    • Additional Translation Principles
  11. A FINAL REQUEST
    • How Can You Pray?
    • The Lasting Legacy

ENDNOTES

Endorsements:

"Understanding Bible Translation is an engagingly written, hands-on study of the art and science of Bible translation by a veteran translator and long-time professor of Old Testament. If you are looking for a treatment of the theory and practice of Bible translation that is balanced, up-to-date, and linguistically informed, this is the book for you."
R. Bruce Compton, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

"Bill Barrick has labored for decades in training translators, theologians, and pastors. Add his work on translation committees and his expertise in the biblical languages and theology, and you get a sure guide to better understand the challenges translators face."
Kyle Davis, Bible Translation Fellowship

"Barrick takes us on an engaging tour of the social and linguistic challenges facing Bible translators, as they move between language systems to make the Bible accessible to common people in their heart language."
George Athas, Moore Theological College

"Dr. Barrick shows how to preserve the authorial intent of Scripture, while at the same time produce an understandable rendering of the biblical text in a target language. . . .Barrick is a scholar, missionary, and Bible translator. I cannot think of a more qualified author to write this book."
John MacArthur, Grace Community Church

"Barrick has provided a helpful and accessible guide. His practical wisdom and insight is conveyed on every page. Anyone who is interested in Bible translation should read this book!"
Benjamin L. Merkle, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Barrick balances insights into translation and biblical languages with a pastoral concern that the reader take the next step toward being more engaged in this strategic ministry. Dr. Barrick shares a wealth of practical wisdom and accounts of his own life on the mission field in Bangladesh. Any student of Scripture will benefit from this volume."
Aaron Shryock, Tyndale Center for Bible Translation

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