My parents put forth an interesting question on their blog. How would you approach Bible translation? Here is a snippet:
In over 60 years of translation work, SIL has sought to turn out the most accurate translation possible for the indigenous peoples of the world, keeping in mind the culture, the readability and flow of the text. Consequently, it has taken many years to translate the Scriptures in most cases.
But is this the best approach? One of the partner organizations we work with recently challenged us with another view. Would it be better if we took a back seat from the beginning, guiding and consulting with indigenous translators to empower them to do their own work? If we did this, Scriptures would be done more quickly â€“ perhaps it would be possible to produce some portions in as little as five years â€“ albeit less perfectly on the first go-round. Would it be better for the readers of the language to discover, in time, where the â€œless perfectâ€ parts are, and produce a revision a few years later? And perhaps another revision even later as more changes are found? Would it be better for those people to have an integral part in the translation of their own Bible? Would they learn more about what God is really saying to them in His Word?
What do you think? Would it be better to get the Scriptures to the people faster at the cost of accuracy? Would it be better for the people group to do all the translating themselves, thereby making it even more personal for them? Go leave a comment on my parents’ blog with your thoughts.