Significant Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 02:2 (Summer 1959)
Article: Significant Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Significant Reviews

THE AMPLIFIED NEW TESTAMENT translated by Frances E. Siewert, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1958, 989 pages, $3.95).

“Of making many books there is no end”—thus wrote the author of Ecclesiastes. Had the writer of Ecclesiastes been writing in the Mid-twentieth century he might have been almost equally impressed with the number of translations, revisions, versions, paraphrases, expanded translations and the like which have been produced in our century. All of this is good and perhaps should even be encouraged. It is well to remind ourselves that before the King James Version was made in England in the early part of the 17th century there were many other translations which preceded it.

While these various translations, versions, paraphrases, etc. may be of some help in furnishing insights that may be quite striking and even spiritually satisfying, a word of warning is needed. There is always danger that the student of the Bible who is not equipped to investigate the translation or paraphrase independently, will take the expanded translation as an exact reproduction of the original language and equate it with the intention of the Holy Spirit in the production of the Scripture text. The problem, as this writer sees it, is that in the minds of many, the text which should be the basis of interpretation is not the critical text nor even a careful translation of that text, but the expanded translation which often may represent a considerable departure from the critical text.

Every translator is faced with this problem; it is by no means confined to those who attempt to render the New Testament in modern speech. The Septuagint or Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, which, incidentally, was perhaps the first translation of any book, was not infrequently more of a paraphrase than a translation. The writer is aware that an effort has been made to indicate by parentheses additional words contained in the meaning of the Greek words, and by brackets, words or comments not actually expressed in the immediate Greek text, but it is doubtful if the average reader will take cognizance of these devices.

This reviewer agrees with the translator of the Amplified New Testament that “There never has been, nor can be, an entirely adequate translation of the New Testament from the original Greek.” It is probably true that many students of the New Testament will be profited by the use of this or any one of a dozen or more translations that are available in English or in some other language with which they may be familiar. All of this should be regarded as supplementary to, and not a substitute for, the careful exegesis of the text in the original language. If the student is unable to use the original langu...

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