Tag Archive for 'translation'

Literal Greek Translation Does Not Work

…in this case.

The translation of the Greek participle is often idiomatic. You must look at what the Greek means, and then figure out how to say the same thing in English. Going word for word will usually not work.

–Bill Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek (emphasis added by me)

In this quote, purposely taken wildly out of context (I really am using the book though, as an addition to Black’s grammar)–taking out the first sentence, and changing usually to often explains how I feel about translation.

I’m just spouting off here. Just take it as rantings from a maniac who doesn’t know what he’s talking or writing about.

I’m extremely thankful for all of the translations we have. One of the best exercises in doing exegesis for me (which is somewhat laughable, but bear with me) is printing out at least six translations of a passage and comparing them. That alone shows how valuable they can be. Various people have various reasons to like certain types of translations.

I disagree when people say that the very formal equivalent (literal end) translations are the best and only ones that should be used as a primary translation, and the dynamic (previous called thought for thought, or paraphrase for those who aren’t familiar with what a paraphrase is) should only be used for comparison. I have to think that they are very educated in Biblish, Scripture and are very used to the language used, which is certainly fine.

I think that translation should be into English English, not Greek English or Hebrew English.

Although I have no problem with literal translations and certainly not with anyone who prefers them, in my mind it seems that literal translations aren’t translated ‘all the way’ into English. They try to use original language grammar and word order and fit it into English, except when they can’t, which is much more of the time than many people think. Some of the language in the ESV for example would get red marks by an English teacher. Bad word order, bad sentence structure, repetitive. I think that translation should be into English English, not Greek English or Hebrew English. That’s an extremely general statement of course, fraught with issues that books have been written about.

Bill Mounce used to be staunchly in the literal camp, but softened a bit when he sat in on updating the NIV (correct me if I’m wrong on the details), although that translation is more on the literal end than many would think. Even though I’ve had detractors, I still love the God’s Word translation. Many translations have been done ‘from the ground up’, like the NIV, but then they still borrow so many phrases from the KJV that you would think it’s a revision of a revision. Even the NLT does that in many places, John 3:16 NLT being the most notable. GW finally breaks out of that pretty well. Koine Greek (as far as that smaller portion of Scripture goes) was the common language of the time, unless that’s been revised. Not that it’s slang or plain, but I see it as a well written novel that nearly everyone could basically understand. Devices like alliteration, idioms and word plays were often used. I see the GW as one that’s just a bit more formal than the NLT in spots, but reads like it was written by someone who knows how to write for a good publication (as opposed to “how they speak on your favorite sit-com”). Unfortunately, it shies away from some traditional theological terms, but you can’t have everything. It still leaves many Hebrew idioms in place, like in Ecclesiastes and other poetry, instead of trying to explain them, which I appreciate.

I’m very thankful for the effort translators have put into what they do, and I pray that more will be done in other languages. I’m glad that after getting tired of reading the NIV for over two decades, as wonderful as it is, and then bouncing from NRSV for three years, to HCSB to REB, the latter of which I think is pretty fantastic, I’ve finally found my home. I can read the Bible for the most part without feeling like I’m reading a translation, but just reading the Bible in our English, if that makes sense.

The thoughts above are completely my own. I just looked at their Translation Philosophy page, which I haven’t seen in a few years, and am reminded how much I like what they have to say there.

Addendum: The one thing I strongly disagree with as mentioned above is not using theological terms. People need to learn them. One advantage to not using them is they can translate the nuances in the original language. Grace can mean different things in different contexts. But convenant is so fundamental. They explain why they don’t use this if you go to the Word Choice page and scroll down to Eliminating Technical Theological Language. I can kind of see their point with covenant, but with justify and righteous, I think it’s better if everyone is on the same page. Learning those terms is part of education. I even think propitiation should be used, even though 1% of Christians (guessing) actually know what it means. But that’s like the most righteous word in the whole English Bible. Word.

Interesting insight into translation and exegesis

Many of you have seen the “parody of exegetical maximalism” by Moisés Silva. I don’t believe I have so you can see how I found it by going through the trail of interesting articles, mainly dealing with translation and the NIV 2011.

I was reading a rare post at The Voice of Stefan titled The NIV and the Messiah in the Old Testament. He mentioned a post by Rod Decker titled English Bible translation reviews: NIV-11 and ESV. After seeing that, I saw a link to another post of his titled Another exegetical “grump” on grammatical maximalism. From there a commenter named Evan May mentioned that you are able to look at pages 11-13 in God, Language and Scripture by Moisés Silva (Click to LOOK INSIDE! and find the pages), the parody which Decker mentions.

I love commentaries. Sometimes I have to wonder though, if what I’m reading is anything similar to this.

Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men

This is part of the Exegetical Insight of Chapter 7, each written by a different author, from William Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar, this one written by Verlyn Verbrugge. I’m going to do a bit of explanation to make it more understandable to those who know nothing about Greek (which is practically me), to try to put it into my own words, which is very risky, and expand on it. So let me know where I get it wrong.

The typical Christmas card greeting is, “Peace on earth, good will toward men” taken from, Luke 2:14b KJV “on earth peace, good will toward men.” This is what the angels sing to the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem.

Since the 1600s when the KJV was written and revised, many more older transcripts (closer to the originals, which isn’t necessarily better but in this case they are numerous) have been found. Because a letter was dropped in the manuscripts used to translate the King James/Authorized Version, the word for ‘good will’ or ‘favor’ changes from the nominative (subject), to the genitive (generally, possessive).

Verbrugge says, on pg. 43 of the 2nd Edition:

[T]he peace that the angels sang that belonged to the earth as a result of the birth of Christ is not a generic, worldwide peace for all humankind, but a peace limited to those who obtain favor with God by believing in his Son Jesus (see Romans 5:1). What a difference a single letter can make in the meaning of the text!

ESV “on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

NIV “on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

NLT “peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

NRSV “on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

I thank God it’s not like computer programming where one wrong character will bring the whole thing down! I’ve had my share of those experiences. These improvements made in translations don’t change any major doctrine (teaching) of the Bible and in fact goes directly against the arguments of those think the Bible is handed down and changed by each generation. Scholars and archeologists are actually going the other way and getting closer to the original manuscripts. We can be confident that the Bible contains God’s Word which is comprised of accurate truth which brings salvation to those who hear or read it, believe what it says and trust Jesus Christ for their salvation as opposed to being a good enough person or whatever ideas of their own one may have.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 NLT
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

For more context of the original verse:

Matthew 10:34-42 NLT
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. 35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ 37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. 40 “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. 41 If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. 42 And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.”

Matthew 24:6
And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.

Jesus came to bring us peace with God.

Acts 10:36
This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel– that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Romans 2:9-11
There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil– for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good– for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Romans 14:17-18
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. (emphasis added to keep you awake)

Changes of Style Within a Bible Translation

When I have the time and energy, I have some posts coming of my own on the more substantial side.

Here is something from Dave Black Online on Sunday, January 23. This topic of different English styles (or register as I’ve read it) has been floating around. After that I have a question of my own regarding the REB.

8:24 AM Is the style of a New Testament document inspired? If so, do different styles in the Greek New Testament require different styles of translation into English? For example, as I translate through Mark I find certain passages to be anything but lackluster in terms of rhetorical style. Any account of poetic effectiveness or literariness must, I should think, influence the way we translate the Gospel in terms of impact and appeal on the audience. After all, style is information.

In the ISV New Testament an attempt was made to produce in sonorous and poetic English at least certain portions of the New Testament (the Christ hymns or the 5 “faithful sayings,” for example) — that is, passages whose literary quality is unquestioned. (Liars ever/men of Crete/savage brutes/that live to eat.) In doing so, I discovered that producing a literary translation is not simple. It will be interesting to see whether there is a ready and willing receptor constituency that will appreciative such an approach when the ISV is published later this year.

But back to my question: Admitting that there is always some loss in translating from language to another, should Bible translators pay greater attention to the rhetorical techniques in Hebrew and Greek? After all, in poetic language, all of the possibilities of language are exploited to communicate meaning.

I think this is one of the things that makes the REB so impressive.
My question: Is the REB static as far as its literary quality and style or does it change with the original language(s)?

As to Dave Black’s question, from a complete amateur, I would love to see translators pay more attention to rhetorical techniques. But I think in order for it to be worth it, it would have to be pretty noticeable to most readers.

God’s Word translation does a good job as far as form with poetry by using a single column format so that parallel lines can be lined up, for lack of a better term, which helps in visualizing that aspect. I don’t know if that’s something that has anything to do with what the original writer would have done if the language permitted it, but it’s helpful for me. It will be interesting to see how the ISV handles this in the Old Testament. A Microsoft Office version of the ISV can be found on their Downloads page.

I’ve done my best to replicate the form of two of the translations mentioned above except for verse numbers, which would have complicated it with GW. Hopefully the CSS will render the same in all browsers. It looks fine in FF, MSIE and Opera on my system.

Proverbs 2:1-5 ISV
My son, if you accept my words,
and treasure my instructions1—
making your ear attentive to wisdom,
and turning your heart to understanding—
if, indeed, you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and learn to know God.

Proverbs 2:1-5 GW
My son,
if you take my words to heart
and treasure my commands within you,
if you pay close attention to wisdom,
and let your mind reach for understanding,
if indeed you call out for insight,
if you ask aloud for understanding,
if you search for wisdom as if it were money
and hunt for it as if it were hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and you will find the knowledge of God.

Switching to the REB?

I just switched to the HCSB! I read the NIV for over 20 years. I got tired of it and found others I liked better. I used the NRSV for three years which I felt was more “accurate” and “literal” which were both extremely important to me. I got tired of the antiquated language. I didn’t know about the HCSB when I chose the NRSV. Either that or I didn’t pay attention to it unfortunately. I read the HCSB on and off for a year to really make sure I wanted to switch to it because I don’t want to switch often.

But now I’m really getting to like the REB. It can be difficult because some of the language is British in nature (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and it uses some big words. But they aren’t afraid to use a wide vocabulary to express the meaning of the languages. At the same time it’s not difficult to read and doesn’t contain as much Biblish as many others, and it’s unique.

One problem I’ve found with trying to find a translation that’s close to how I speak is I’m always coming across things where I think, “I would never say it like that.” Even the NLT has a little annoyance for me where they use the word for instead of because which isn’t how hardly any of us speak nowadays. We don’t say, “I’m going to the store, for I am hungry.” Although ironically, even though I’m waffling about my primary translation, there is no question that the NLT remains my secondary translation that I use in a specific way.

So how about reading a translation that doesn’t sound how you speak, but at the same time isn’t KJV tradition Biblish? That way I wouldn’t constantly be thinking, “I wouldn’t say it like that.” Our friend who used to blog, and uses the REB, ElShaddai Edwards made a great comment on Facebook. He said something to the effect of we might write differently than we speak, and we may want to read a Bible that’s in a somewhat different ‘register’ than we speak too. (This doesn’t include Esteban). I’m not saying the REB is anything at all like my writing, at third grade reading level in my estimation, I’m just saying.

In my estimation, the REB is the best literary translation of the popular ones out there but it’s not difficult to read except for some words that need to be looked up and it makes some passages exceptionally clear.

One thing I have to say about waffling though is, I wonder how much of it is just liking something that’s different. I don’t know if that’s the case here. So I will spend a lot of time with it like I did the HCSB. It may be a phase. I may end up preferring the HCSB with its correct rendering of John 3:16, slaves instead of servants where appropriate, because instead of for in many instances (like Matt 5:3ff), more familiar language etc. Can’t go wrong either way.

In looking at many of the memorized passages, I was very impressed this time around. I also read through Proverbs and had a great time with it.

Here are some passages that I thought I’d point out:

Romans 8:5-6 REB
Those who live on the level of the old nature have their outlook formed by it, and that spells death; but those who live on the level of the spirit have the spiritual outlook, and that is life and peace.

Romans 8:5-6 TNIV
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind controlled by the sinful nature is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Read Louis’ post On Having a “Controlled Mind”.

From what I have read in commentaries, this verse in 2 Corinthians expresses the meaning much better or makes it easier for me to understand:

2 Cor 5:17 REB
For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: the old order has gone; a new order has already begun.

2 Cor 5:17 TNIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The NIV says, “The old has gone, the new has come!” I think the TNIV is an improvement, but I always though this meant the old man has gone and the new has come. The REB is explicit about what has gone and come.

Those are just a couple of examples and I’m sure people could come up with examples where they think the REB falls short. I just wanted to post a couple of examples to illustrate what much of this translation does for me.

I’d love to hear thoughts on what was written above about reading a Bible that’s different than what you speak, which was always the opposite of my aim, but also very understandable (while expanding one’s vocabulary in the case of the REB) and not filled with Biblish that’s just a revision of what came before and before and before…

I leave you with my favorite passage that I’ve read so far. Compare it with any other modern translation.

2 Cor 4:7 REB
But we have only earthenware jars to hold this treasure, and this proves that such transcendent power does not come from us; it is God’s alone. We are hard pressed, but never cornered; bewildered, but never at our wits’ end; hunted, but never abandoned to our fate; struck down, but never killed. Wherever we go we carry with us in our body the death that Jesus died, so that in this body also the life that Jesus lives may be revealed.

Also see:
The Revised English Bible (Top Ten Bible Versions #6)

A thought on the new NIV

I used the NIV for a couple of decades, got tired of it, switched to the NRSV for three years and am now using the HCSB as my primary translation and NLT as my secondary, which is the first time I’ve had a secondary translation that’s always close by in addition to using many others for comparison. (These are the same as Rick Mansfield who is quoted below but this is just coincidence.)

So I don’t have much interest in the new NIV. It’s nearly the same as the 1984 NIV and the TNIV. I’m sure it has some improvements and compromises here and there. I’m neutral on the gender neutral (or gender accurate) issues and aside from that I liked every change I saw in the TNIV. But one thing that bugs me is they still have a need to stick to the 400 year old English with John 3:16. They are just scaredy cats when it comes to that verse–no two ways about it. I try to keep things positive here but this just irks me. Will that many people not buy this Bible because this well-known verse is finally changed to modern language?

Rick Mansfield explains it very well and I too look at this verse when a new translation comes out for the same reason.

I look at John 3:16 in a new version, too, but not for the same reason. I always hope that it corrects traditional wording and communicates to a modern audience what the words that the gospel writer originally intended. When William Tyndale translated οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον as “For God so loveth the world…” (adapted by the KJV translators as “For God so loved the world…), his rendering was perfectly acceptable for his time. But for today’s audience, the meaning is wholly misunderstood.

People tend to read this verse as “God SOOOOOO loved the world…” but that’s not what it means. The word οὕτως, which is translated as the so in John 3:16 does not mean the understanding I described in the previous sentence. It means “referring to what precedes, in this manner, thus, so” (BDAG). Therefore, it’s not that the traditional rendering is incorrect. Tyndale intended his use of so to be understood in this regard, but today it’s almost always misread.

Every time a new revision of the NIV is released (and remember the 2011 edition is not the first revision; there have been two before it), I always hope that John 3:16 will be corrected from it’s potential to be misread. However, it remains untouched in this new version. Incidentally, the HCSB and NET Bible get it right, while the NLT actually reinforces the misreading!

Rick Mansfield, This Lamp

Here is the NIV (which even kept the antiquated word shall) and two that get it right:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (HCSB)

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NET)

At what point can people let go of this? The HCSB and NET are not freer, thought for thought, dynamic equivalent, or whatever term you’d like to use. They aren’t as formal (equivalent) as some, but they are more on the literal end, or between the two philosophies which I suppose would be median translations, but don’t quote me on that and just ignore it if it’s gibberish.

The same goes for softening certain words like servants vs. slaves, which I won’t go into but is another reason I like the HCSB. (We are slaves of Christ, bought at a price.)

Sorry for the negativity. I most likely won’t be posting about the new NIV again because of lack of interest, although it’s a great translation and is very interesting and exciting to those who are considering switching. I also don’t think this issue is leading people astray or changes any important doctrine. I would just like to get into the 21st century as far as the language our Bibles use. We are so blessed to have so many to choose from and nobody is making me read it, but I do have to hear it and read it when it’s quoted. Then take some deep breaths.

Marketing Slogans for the TNIV Translation

TNIV – the bad boy Bible. Hated by Piper, Sproul and MacArthur enough for them to mention it in their sermons!

TNIV – not your father’s Bible

TNIV – we like chicks

TNIV – the best Bible you’ve never heard of

TNIV – Christianity’s best kept secret

TNIV – we catch the flack so the NLT doesn’t have to

The NIV is yesterday’s Bible; use the TNIV

TNIV marketing: work smarter, not harder

Any others?

Blind Translation Comparisons 1 – Romans 3:25a

This is Romans 3:25(a). As mentioned many times before, I like retaining the word propitiation, and the translation of the underlying Greek word is the subject of the comparisons. It’s a tricky subject in many ways. Here are wide variety of examples.

Interestingly, mercy seat is used in a recent translation shown below.

1. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,

2. God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

3. whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.

4. whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.

5. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith.

6. whom God offered as a place where atonement by the Messiah’s blood would occur through faith.

7. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us.

8. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.

Neuter of a derivative of G2433; an expiatory (place or thing), that is, (concretely) an atoning victim, or (specifically) the lid of the Ark (in the Temple): – mercyseat, propitiation.

1) relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation

1a) used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory
1b) an expiatory sacrifice
1c) a expiatory victim

Other Blogs: Bible Translation Posts

Demystifying Bible Translation and Where Our Culture Is with Inclusive Language — by Craig Blomberg

Bible Translation Matters — by Esteban Vázquez

Bible Translation by Committee — by Keith Williams on the NLT Blog

Neglect by design: the Hebrew Scriptures in modern Christian translations — Iyov

The last three mention the first.

“The Source” Bible Translation

This is a new one for me. I found out about it at Theo Geek which is a blog I do not endorse. But for those of you who like to collect translations and didn’t know about this one, I thought I would mention it. You can find the NT as a PDF file here. I notice it has a lot of exclamation marks!

I thought I’d post a quick sample:

Romans 12:9-21 The Source
9-13 Your love must not be overly critical. Strongly detest evil! Cling to good! Your love for the fellow believers is to be affectionate and warm. Honor one another above yourselves. Do not hesitate to be eager. Be spiritually boiling hot as a slave servant to the Lord!

Be joyful when you hope, have endurance when you are oppressed,
persist obstinately when you pray! Be in partnership with the needs of the
people devoted to God! Go after opportunities to be hospitable!

14-21 Bless those who persecute you! Bless them and do not call down
curses upon them! Rejoice with those who rejoice, and cry with those who
cry! Think along the same lines as each other! Do not be high minded!

Rather, associate with those of low social standing. Do not become

Do not repay bad with bad. Have a concern beforehand about what is
favorable in the sight of all people.

If possible on your part, live at peace with all people.

Do not take revenge, my dearly loved ones, but leave room for God’s
anger, as the Scriptures say: “’Vengeance is mine, I indeed will repay,’
says the Lord.”

On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed them! If they’re
hungry, give them a drink! For by doing this, you will heap coals of fire
on their head!”

Do not conquer by doing bad things, but conquer bad things by doing
good things!

Blogs Devoted to Bible Translations – New NLT Blog

Various people have been letting us know about the new NLT Blog (New Living Translation). Editor and contributor Keith Williams has posted on other blogs when translation issues come up and also has a blog called the NLT Study Bible Blog.

Other blogs that I know of are the ESV Bible Blog and TNIV Truth, an independent blog.

NLT Study Bible Blog
NET Bible Revolution

Any others?

HCSB Bible Translation Web Sites

If you are interested in this translation here are some links for you:

Updated: 11/16/10

What’s so great about the ESV

There is plenty to be found on the Web about the ESV translation itself. This post is about all the other things that Crossway does with the translation. I can’t think of a Bible translation/publisher that offers anywhere near what’s available with the ESV.

I wish this blog had a wider readership and all Bible publishers would read it and follow suit to some degree.

If you’re unfamiliar with all it has to offer…

  • Audio by Max Mclean which can also help with memorization as illustrated here by the Irish Calvinist
  • A variety of Bible Reading Plans
  • Clean, fast, easy to read Bible web site – Genesis 1
  • Devotions
  • All sorts of RSS Feeds
  • Blog – which let’s you know when new editions are out
  • Complete list of Bible editions with all kinds of information on each one and includes a PDF file of sample pages for each edition. This lets you see the typeface, size and how the pages are laid out. I’m assuming that if you print out these PDF files they will look just as they would in the Bible itself.
  • Metal Bibles, Rubber Bibles and they used to have a glow-in-the-dark Bible (this is to say they have a wide variety of editions)
  • API for web developers
  • Best of all, it’s available for free in many Bible software packages including the free e-Sword program

Regarding that last point–I know other Bible publishers probably have good reasons for doing what they do but I’m very thankful to have a good, modern translation of the whole Bible available without having to pay for it, especially when I already bought one that’s in book form and when it’s freely available on the Web. I think this model helps the publisher much more than hurts.

Psalm 119:92 with a surprise ending

Most translations of Psalm 119:92 go something like this:

If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction. (TNIV)

To me the word perish means to pass away, die a physical death, be destroyed etc.

Matthew Henry says:

He was in affliction, and ready to perish in his affliction, not likely to die, so much as likely to despair; he was ready to give up all for gone, and to look upon himself as cut off from God’s sight; he therefore admires the goodness of God to him, that he had not perished, that he kept the possession of his own soul, and was not driven out of his wits by his troubles, but especially that he was enabled to keep close to his God and was not driven off from his religion by them.

John Gill says:

must have perished, not eternally, but as to his comforts: his heart would have fainted in him, and he would have sunk under the weight of the affliction, had it not been for the relief he had from the word of God, the doctrines and promises of it;

So what is the only translation I found that conveys the meaning of this verse to me?

If your revelation hadn’t delighted me so,
I would have given up when the hard times came.
Psalm 119:92 The Message

I’ll just say that I don’t like The Message a lot, to put it in my vernacular. I’ve never seen a single verse or passage quoted that I liked until now. This is the only translation I found that conveys the meaning to me. Let’s just keep this between you and me. I know as of now there are about 6.7 trillion people who don’t read this blog.

For more reading:
C.H. Spurgeons’s The Treasury of David