for a Literal Translation
Frank Neil Pohorlak, D.D. Litt.D.
In this series of studies, we shall be testing the CONCORDANT LITERAL NEW TESTAMENT (CV) by standards proposed by recognized scholars in the field of translational problems. We shall make an investigation to see if the CV anticipates available versions, or improves on suggested renderings, or points the way toward possible solutions of problems connected with difficult words or verses or passages.
The Word of God is revealed by means of words. If the words we use to translate the Word conceal rather than reveal, then the thoughts of God cannot be known or acted upon.
Words are the clothes in which thoughts are dressed. The words should not masquerade the thoughts. Instead, they should make them manifest. This calls for careful rather than capricious choice. It calls for a method which screens out prejudice and guards against bias. It requires a system which will serve to corral the intrusion of religious cant and cancel theological jargon. God’s straight words do not need man’s crooked crutches.
Careful writing calls for the careful choice of words, since “To write badly is to lie.” Careful writing requires careful readers. Therefore it follows that to read badly is to falsify the writing which tells the truth, and is as reprehensible as to write badly and to translate badly.
God’s Word, which transforms by renewing the mind and motivates all truly meaningful activity, is laid down for us in a pattern of sound words. These words are accurate, reliable, authentic, and inspired. If we will not go beyond what is written in the Word we cannot be accused of being fanatics or obscurantists. If we will go as far as what is written in the Word in any of the fields of which the Scriptures teach and treat, we are always abreast, if not ahead, of man.
“With what words” plunges us into the world of words and their meanings and purposes. Do words primarily produce thoughts or deeds? Are words only to be meditated upon or are they also to be acted upon? Are words only to instruct or are they to motivate? Are words to remain insubstantial and immaterial or are they to become substantial and material?
The answer lies in recovering, not re-covering, the truth. The remedy lies in unquestioned submission to the Word which is God-breathed. The solution lies in following a system which permits His words to come through to us without the machinations of man contaminating what is pure and clean. The Concordant principles of translation seek to attain this goal: the sinner’s conviction and conversion, the believer’s solace and edification, as well as Christ’s honor and the glorification of God.
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