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Mistake not familiarity for naturalness

Wayne Leman at the Better Bibles blog has written a helpful article showing how familiar wordings in the Bible may actually be unnatural and why this is a problem. Here's a short extract to encourage you to read the whole article:

Overuse of unnatural wordings for rhetorical effect desensitizes us and
a desired effect is lost. If English Bibles are filled with unnatural
wordings, readers get from those Bibles the wrong sense about the
messages they are reading. Instead of being intellectually or
emotionally or volitionally challenged by the unnatural, the unusual,
the unique turn of phrase, we become too familiar with them if they are
overused. And familiarity can not only breed the proverbial contempt,
but it can also create within readers a sense that God is distant, he
doesn't talk our language, he isn't really interested in incarnation.
And that is exactly the wrong message we want to have connoted by Bible
translations. God not only incarnated himself to bring salvation to
mankind, but he also incarnated messages he wanted communicated to
mankind through normal human languages.

 

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