Yesterday’s Post on Translation and Why I Blog

I got majorly flamed on Facebook regarding yesterday’s post on Bible translation. They thought I was starting another mini-translation war and… well it was so wild I can’t even remember it all. I also wish people would man up and post those things here on the blog. My Facebook world is even smaller than my micro space in the blogosphere.

That post wasn’t to denigrate anyone or any translation style. When I dish something out, I make sure I can take it. But I wasn’t dishing anything out, and I had to unexpectedly take something major that I wasn’t ready for by a friend on Facebook. So if any of you misunderstood what I was trying to say, it was basically that I don’t believe that translations that are on the literal (formal equivalent) end are necessarily ‘better’ than other less literal translations, but I wasn’t denigrating them either, if you read the post with an open mind. (I used to be in the ‘literal is better’ camp myself.) I can’t say that I have an English degree, know the original languages and went to seminary (as many are more than willing to point out), but translation philosophy is a big interest of mine, and I have opinions. I ain’t got nothin’ I’m gonna brag about. I was expressing thankfulness for the fact that there are so many translations. I was thankful that I found one that’s different and that I enjoy so much. The subject line was also for shock value. It’s what many of us bloggers like to do to bring a reader in.

This is the third time this has happened and I get really upset when people misunderstand me, especially if it’s my fault and I wasn’t clear. Sometimes I just write things in my own little head and don’t think about how others may be viewing it. I’m not apologizing for my opinions or even if I offended anyone, only if I was misunderstood and could have written things more clearly.

Here is a quote by David Black:

Someone once asked me why I blog. I told him that my blog is nothing more than a personal interpretation of my world.

That’s partly what I was doing in that post. Writing about how I view Bible translation and where I have arrived for now, or hopefully a long time. This could change again in a few years, just like it did a few years ago.

David Black asks: “Why do you blog?”

I started out mainly to write about what I’ve been learning and to learn from others. Unfortunately I don’t get many commenters. Early on I spent more time on what I was learning from what I was reading. I’m not spending as much time doing that, but still do. I also like to pass on things that interest me and hopefully like-minded readers. I often end up searching my own blog for a resource.

As I’ve grown to learn more about suffering, I like to write about that subject a fair amount. It’s one of the things I can write about that I have some experience with and knowledge to write about. I have to be careful not to look like I’m trying to get attention or act like I’m special.

Someone I respect (Dr. G) once called my blog a ministry. This really was kind of a shock. I never thought of it that way. It makes me take it more seriously. At the same time, I’m trying to be more myself and let a sense of humor come out. But in doing that and expressing myself more, I can get misunderstood, which makes me want to just stop blogging altogether. I lately have been wondering if it is worth the time. I don’t enjoy writing, but often feel it’s worth it. I feel like I’m at a crossroads right now. Why do I blog now?

I’m gearing up for the posts on Christian sayings. (I even wrote the first post, so I’m not just endlessly writing about it anymore.) That will be dishing some stuff out. I’ll see how that goes. I think it will be beneficial for some, offensive to others, and cathartic for me. If everything goes snap, then who knows, maybe I’ll spend more time reading.

5 Responses to “Yesterday’s Post on Translation and Why I Blog”

  1. 1 Drewe

    As someone who didn’t flame yesterday, I agree with you. All translations – are nothing more than translations, and are to some level useful. As long as we understand they are translations, and partly the reasons behind them (eg, some translations take more liberties and ‘interpret’ the verses much more – say, NLT in some places), then they can all be useful.

    And whilst we may disagree (though on this topic we agree, I think), we can still be sensible and loving about it. I know Jeff there are things we don’t agree on, but none of them are central doctrines – and so we can disagree on the rest but remain brothers 😀

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you for commenting. I’m exhausted after a difficult two weeks and probably making more out of it than it is. When someone really doesn’t get me, and I think it’s because I messed up in how I wrote something, I get bothered for some reason.

    Sometimes I also wonder if I try to evaluate too much why I blog. I have my topics that I stick to, and stay to my objectives on the About page, and then I write and quote some stuff.

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    Forgot to say, thanks for being sensible, and for using what God has given you to pass on to others, whether it’s photography or Bible study.

  4. 4 Dave Black

    So glad you’re blogging, Jeff. I am a daily reader.

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I’m glad you can comment now.

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