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John Howard Reid

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Translation v. Paraphrase in the Bible
by John Howard Reid   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, September 17, 2010
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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"You don't want to read that! It's not God's word! It's only a paraphrase," my pastor exclaimed when "The Living New Testament Paraphrased" was first published back in 1967.

Translation versus Paraphrase in the Bible

 

So what exactly is a paraphrase? The Word Power Dictionary defines a paraphrase as "a rewording of a passage."

To translate, on the other hand, is defined as "to express the sense of words or text in another language."

I'm sorry, pastor, but I don't see any difference between the two. If the dictionary had described the art of translation as "to render the exact equivalent of words or phrases in another language", there would be some point to your disavowal of "The Living New Testament".

I would agree that a translation is ALWAYS A PARAPHRASE, but that a paraphrase is not always a translation.

I have attempted to illustrate this admittedly subtle difference in my new translation of "Psalms". In the first section of my book, I provide a literal translation of each of my selected psalms. Here, for example, is the opening of the famous Psalm 22 or 23, which is exactly the same in both "translation" and "paraphrase".

"I have everything I want and need,

because you, Lord God, look after me,

and care for me like a good shepherd."

 

Here is the opening for Psalm 41 or 42 in my literal translation:

"As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,

so I long for you, Lord God! I thirst for you!

I ache for the living God. I beg for you!

When can I go and worship in your presence?"

 

And here is my paraphrase: 

"As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,

so I long for you, Lord God! I thirst for you!

My mind aches for the living God. I beg for you!

When can I be free to worship in your presence?"

 

PSALMS is now available in a Kindle edition for only $5 (including Amazon's delivery fee).

 

Please click on my website below for my latest book giveaway, "A SALUTE TO SPANISH POETRY."

Web Site: John Howard Reid


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Reviewed by m j hollingshead
well done
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