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Authors and Friends Newsletter
Winds of Change
The winds of change are blowing around the world, affecting all of us, and Warner House Press is no exception. In the next couple of months, we will be changing focus and limiting some of our services, at least temporarily. Robert has accepted a position as an editor with the US State Department and will be moving to Virginia in November. What this means for Warner House Press:
Our focus will shift to supporting our existing authors and books.
No new authors will be solicited, either for editing or publication.
We will continue to review new manuscripts from our existing authors for both editing and publication.
Services other than editing, formatting, and publication will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We’ll keep you posted during this time of transition.
When Word-for-Word Equivalency Goes Too Far
Editing devotions has been a chief joy of mine the past several months. During the process, I’ve been getting reacquainted with several English translations of the Bible that I haven’t used in years. The quality and spiritual force of these translations has been refreshing to my spirit.
When I came across comments (almost uniformly positive) about a new translation called the Legacy Standard Bible (LSB), I had to check it out, especially since it is based on my go-to translation for Bible study, the 1995 edition of the New American Standard Bible. The team of translators are faculty at John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary, so there is a strong conservative slant: LORD in the Old Testament represented by Yahweh, retention of conjunctions usually omitted, rejection of gender neutral language, etc. A key aim is prominently displayed on the LSB website:
“By translating individual words as consistently as possible within their various nuances, [the LSB] allows the reader to discern what God originally wrote and know the author's intent.”
This is marketing-speak for word-for-word equivalency, of which the NASB is king of English translations. However, word-for-word equivalency is a goal never reached, given the natural differences between languages. What’s more, taking it too far can give awkward (and at times misleading) results. A particularly striking example is in the LSB’s translation of Jeremiah 31:31. One of my favorite verses (so full of promise and so theologically rich!) is translated by the NASB as:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah."
Here is the verse in the LSB:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah."
“Cut” sounds jarring in this context, as it does throughout the LSB when the underlying Hebrew word, in connection with covenants or agreements, is translated the same way. Although correct in business situations (e.g. cutting a deal), using “cut” here obscures the relational and personal aspects of covenants.
All is not in vain, however. The origin of the Hebrew word in question stems from the practice of memorializing covenants by cutting, either animals or foreskins. But is that insight worth the awkwardness of translating it as “cut,” when “make” is more natural and doesn’t bring up visions of cigar-smoking businessmen in boardrooms?
What’s your opinion? Do you plan to purchase the LSB?
The DOJ and the Big Five (Or Four?)
Here’s a great summary of the issues surrounding the anti-trust suit brought against Penguin Random House’s proposed purchase of Simon & Schuster. The post correctly concludes it is all a tempest in a teapot, but the story is fascinating and the revelations regarding book sales are sobering (for the details, see this New York Times article).
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