Friday, January 12, 2007

A whole WEEK!?!

Wow--been a whole week since I posted. This week I learned about: sarcomeres, probability, Taylor series, actin, myosin, Na/K pumps. This week it snowed, and stuck, and all the side roads are still slick and icy in Seattle, and it's *very* cold. This week I *almost* completed a big secret project. Yay! This week I read part of Stephen King's Insomnia. This week I made 4 contacts about getting into the psych honors program at UW.

Can I also say that I strenuously disagree with Mark Driscoll's recent article on Bible Translation? Not that it really matters, since I mostly can't read the Bible anymore anyway. But "word-for-word translation" is very near (equal to, if you take the limit as n goes to infinity) a, well, (hehe), an oxymoron. Can't be done with any grace/beauty/joy ... most of all, can't be done with any trace of postmodernism/emergent churchishness. It's just a very bad idea all 'round. Translation isn't so much chemistry (in the post-enlightenment sense)--it's more alchemy, and this can't be done from an annoying modernistic point of view. Translation can't be done with pure science. It's got to involve a rather largish proportion of art, or it just sucks, like the mother of all vacuums. Furthermore, I think pastors should be barred from writing papers or speaching sermons on bible translation until they have become at least little "f" fluent in some living language besides their first language. And if it's Hebrew, it has to be more than just using the language to interact with texts. It has to include using the language to interact with people. BICBW.

Here's the Friday Video, Silent Star Wars, stolen from Siamang at eBay Atheist. If you've never been to see a silent movie in a theatre with live organ music, you should see if you can find a chance to sometime. It's fun.


me said...

i had noticed you not posting for a while! i am intrigued about your secret project - but i guess as it is secret ... ha ha! You sound like you had a very much exciting, productive and 'learned' week!

BTW: Where do you get your objective stuff about god from if you don't dig the bible?

ps: ...'and nobody knows, Tiddley-pom, how cold my TOES Tiddley-pom, How cold my TOES tiddley pom, are growing.' Pooh sang it like that, which is much the best way of singing it, and when he had finsihed, he waited for Piglet to say that, of all the Outdoor Hums for Snowy Weather he had ever heard, this was the best. And after thinking the matter out very carefully, Piglet said: 'Pooh, he said solemly, ' it isnlt the toes so much as the ears' ... random story i think about when i think about snow!

Benjamin Ady said...

Re: your BTW. There is no objective stuff about God (or much of anything else for that matter--it's all grey--all that stuff taht appears to be black and white.) BICBW

Helen said...

Hmmmm...secret project...are you getting ready to run for President? ;-)

I'm in a similar situation to you regarding reading the Bible. I look up passages in it which are being discussed; otherwise I don't read it.

However, the switch from NIV to ESV by Mark Driscoll is one I like. I actually prefer word-for-word translations because they don't have so much 'spin' put on them by the translators. (When they say word-for-word they still do their best to make the sentences read well, etc)

I got frustrated by the way that the NIV was 'what the NIV translators think the Bible means' - rather than simply what the Bible text was. Because when they made the translation, of course they made their concept-by-concept translation agree with what concepts they believed the Bible taught/meant...

Benjamin Ady said...


My god, NO, I'm not running for president, or for any other political office. Can you imagine how many *more* people I would be responsible for hurting and offending? Yikesola.
The thing is, a translation by it's very nature *cannot* be, to use your phrase, "what the orininal text was". Just can't be. It's like magic. One is attempting a magical task--to move all that is implied in language out of body one into body two--like brain transplants. The brain has got to operate in the new body, and therefore it will no longer be the old brain--it's going to take on characteristics which are endemic to the new body. I'd rather read the translation of translators who understand and embrace this idea. Just like I'd rather listen to ... say, a translated speach being translated into my own language by someone who not only wants to make sure that I mostly hear the speach that is being given in the original language, but also wants to make sure it's a good speach, a speach that is engaging and funny and heartwrenching and so forth in the appropriate place, in my *own* language as well.
...How do I put this? I think I would argue that language is more inherently about ideas or concepts than about words, just like matter, from our perspective, is more about, say, things at much higher levels than quarks or electrons or even molecules. Matter from our perspective is more about actual stuff we can touch.

Helen said...

benjamin, ok, I guessed wrong about President :-)

I do see what you're saying - that's why my choice of version these days is often The Message.

I don't like the NIV because there's nothing really great about it. The English isn't particularly impressive, the creative rendering is mediocre, it's annoyingly inconsistent so it doesn't come across where the original uses the same words/phrases and it's disingenuous in how the theology of the translators is incorporated in the translation (this maybe is inadvertent).

I'm not very familiar with the ESV. I know that the REB (not used much over here, I think) has much better English than the NIV.

If I'm looking at a verse in detail I get out my word study Bible and look at the individual words and wonder what they mean, so I suppose I don't rely on an English translation anyway. It's doing that which led me to mistrust the NIV.

Benjamin Ady said...

Hear hear for the Message. In fact, I think I recently saw online that it's now available in an audio version with Mark Lowry reading. Megan and I got to hear Eugene Peterson speak on Valentine's Day about