While reading Ryken’s excellent The Word of God in English, something occurred to me about the dynamic translation model. This is the model that seeks to present the Scriptures in language which is in tune with the people it’s being presented to. So, figures of speech and cultural references are often either changed into equivalents in the target culture, or simply dropped altogether. This is the model of translation that versions such as the NIV, TNIV, Good News Bible, the Living Translation (and New Living Translation), and the Message all use.
But it occurs to me that this results in what are essentially disposable translations. It will present itself in terms that are very specific to a particular period, with the result that the Bible will become obsolete. A Bible that is written in the ’70’s will seem very dated by the ’90’s.
At first, I thought that this was a very foolish thing for the translators to do. But then I realized what a lucrative revenue stream this will create for the publishers, as everyone needs to get brand new re-translated copyrighted Bibles every decade or so.
I really hope that’s not the motivation.