What is striking about Challies’ Review

And I say “striking” in a positive sense.

Now Challies is definitely not trained in linguistics or Bible translation, but he is a smart guy and he slight discomfort with Ryken’s book is significant. In all of his praise of the book, there’s an underlying issue that appears to nag at him.

He writes:

I must say, though, that a weakness remains that, in my mind, threatens to undo his argument and it is this: his definition of an essentially literal translation remains just a little bit too nebulous, a little too subjective.

This is good. Because it is the point. Most of what Ryken give his readers tends to be rhetorical attacks against the other side with much ink spilled over how subjective and inaccurate meaning based translations are. But when he moves to his own “theory.” We simply don’t find much theory.

I would encourage Challies to read a few more books on translation from other perspectives. What is unfortunate is that there are not many accessible books on translation for the layperson, though perhaps Willis Barnestone’s The Poetics of Translation would be a decent start, though that’s on my wife’s recommendation, not my own…since I haven’t read it yet.

And I also need to write more myself about what I actually think regarding translation. I’ve been challenged a few posts back to write positively about translation for a bit rather than always being negative & critical. Perhaps I’ll see about filling up that gap in the next couple weeks…