Translators have to read the Bible

9 dec 2011 | ora 17.47 Society | Vasile Filat

I have recently read the book “Public speaking and Influencing Men in Business” by Dale Carnegie. Because I had it at hand in Romanian, I chose to read it in this language, but I concluded that if I wanted to read a book in the future and I knew the original language, you must read it in the original. Dale Carnegie’s book translation seemed good until I reached the passages where the author quotes the Bible. Since then, I became very suspicious on the quality of the translation of the entire book and here is why. Dale Carnegie refers to the following text of the prophet Isaiah:

Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)(NASB)

Here’s how this text appears in the Romanian translation of the book …

“Though your sins should be red like fire, they will become white as snow.”

The meaning has been distorted. Here is another example. The translation of the book says:

When the apostles asked Jesus why He taught people speaking to them in parables, He replied: “Because they can see without seeing and hear without hearing, and so they also can not understand.”

Here is the English translation of this biblical text:

Therefore I speak to them in parables; because whileseeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matthew 13:13)(NASB)

Every Christian should read the Bible in a systematic way, but even if you are not a Christian, every educated person should read this book which has influenced the culture and art of all mankind.

I hope the above examples have convinced everyone who is involved in translation how important it is to read and know the Bible.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru

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I am the pastor of the ”Good News” Church in Chisinau, Moldova, I teach God's Word at the Inductive Bible Study Institute of Eurasia, and I also lead the "Precept Ministries in Moldova” Association. With God's help I founded the Taekwon-Do club " Stolas Leukas ""English for a New Life" School, the Computer School "ScripTehInfo", the International Sports Coaching School and the International Media School. I am married to Anastasia, and we have three children. Since April 2007 we have provided answers from the Bible on this website to 1201 questions submitted by readers. To learn more about me, please read here.
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