Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God

You are here

11. Digging deeper

In the previous chapter, I discussed the fact that there is not a one-to-one correspondence in both vocabulary and grammar between languages, which means that all translations require interpretation. Because different translation committees have different translation philosophies and different varieties of English style, we find differences among the translations. In this chapter, we’ll look into the specific types of decisions we make on translation committees, and you’ll see why translations are different yet still trustworthy.

Download the video

Discussion questions

  1. What does it mean to be “literal”? What is the only literal Bible?
  2. Before reading this chapter, did you think that “literal” meant word-for-word which in turn meant “accurate”? Do you still think that way?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of erring on the side of words, and on the side of meaning?
  4. What does it mean that “translation demands interpretation”?
  5. Why is it important to consider the audience when translating the Bible? In what ways is this affected when using metaphors?
  6. If the Greek is ambiguous, what do you think the translation should do, and why?
  7. How far should a translation go away from the Greek and Hebvrew words in order to avoid misunderstanding?
  8. Why can it be beneficial to look at different translations when determining the meaning of a text?
  9. What is the difference between “gender neutral,” “gender inclusive,” and “gender accurate”?
  10. How should the Bible refer to a member of your faith community, or to a group of people as a whole?
  11. What did you learn about how the Bible is translated from this chapter?