Friday we looked at the arguments in favor of formal equivalent (word-for-word) translations over functional equivalent (thought-for-thought) translations. By way of reminder, popular formal translations include the New King James Version (NKJV), English Standard Version (ESV), and New American Standard (NASB). Popular functional translations include the New International Version (NIV) and New Living Translation (NLT).
Today I want to share some powerful arguments made in favor of the functional equivalent approach.
Arguments for Preferring Functional Equivalent Translations:
1. Functional translations are more easily understood by the reader.
2. Functional translations reflect a missionary approach to a culture, a fact which American Christians need to accept and then make necessary adjustments.
3. Functional translations are more effective in sharing with unchurched people.
4. Functional translations are more effective with children.
5. Functional translations are more faithful to the goal of the Bible writers…to communicate in the common language of the people.
6. Functional translations are easier for new Christians to understand.
7. Functional translations relate better to the lesser educated.
8. Functional translations are more effective with people who speak/read English as a second language.
Can you think of arguments in favor of this position that I have neglected to mention?
In your opinion, how forceful are these arguments compared to those made by the formal equivalence proponents? If you have not already, take a look at my previous post on the subject to compare arguments.
Which side are you on? Why? Have you given it much thought before? How important is it for Christians to be educated on these issues? I’d love to get your feedback.
Tomorrow I will share my opinion on these matters.