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#1 Julie Falling

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:58 AM

Hey - In a hard copy of a Bible version, there is usually some stuff at the beginning that gives the reader information concerning translational philosophy, tells us whether the version is a revision of an earlier version or a brand new work, etc. Is there some place or some resource in Accordance that will give me this info?

It is information associated with a particular text, and it can be very useful in tracking a version's lineage.

I went to Wikipedia this morning to learn that the RSV is not a revision of the KJV, but of the ASV. I knew the ESV is a revision of the RSV = a revision of a revision. I should be able to find this out in Accordance, right? Wrong?

Thanks.

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#2 Ken Simpson

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

Hi Julie,the preface can be found in the Notes file - eg the ESV notes seems to me to have the full preface. I haven't checked all the other Notss modules.

I disagree though with your characterisation of the ESV as a revision of a revision. It is true that Crossway see themselves as having started with the RSV 1971 as their basic translation, but about.esvbible.org has the following to say


TRANSLATION LEGACY
The English Standard Version (2011 ESV) stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526; marking its course were the King James Version of 1611 (KJV), the English Revised Version of 1885 (RV), the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV), and the Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 (RSV). In that stream, faithfulness to the text and vigorous pursuit of accuracy were combined with simplicity, beauty, and dignity of expression. Our goal has been to carry forward this legacy for a new century.

To this end each word and phrase in the ESV has been carefully weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, to ensure the fullest accuracy and clarity and to avoid under-translating or overlooking any nuance of the original text. The words and phrases themselves grow out of the Tyndale–King James legacy, and most recently out of the RSV, with the 1971 RSV text providing the starting point for our work. Archaic language has been brought to current usage and significant corrections have been made in the translation of key texts. But throughout, our goal has been to retain the depth of meaning and enduring language that have made their indelible mark on the English-speaking world and have defined the life and doctrine of the church over the last four centuries.

and the a little later...

TEXTUAL BASIS
The ESV is based on the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible as found in Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (2nd ed., 1983), and on the Greek text in the 1993 editions of the Greek New Testament (4th corrected ed.), published by the United Bible Societies (UBS), and Novum Testamentum Graece (27th ed.), edited by Nestle and Aland. The currently renewed respect among Old Testament scholars for the Masoretic text is reflected in the ESV’s attempt, wherever possible, to translate difficult Hebrew passages as they stand in the Masoretic text rather than resorting to emendations or to finding an alternative reading in the ancient versions. In exceptional, difficult cases, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac Peshitta, the Latin Vulgate, and other sources were consulted to shed possible light on the text, or, if necessary, to support a divergence from the Masoretic text

So, it really is a new translation that sees itself in the RSV tradition, rather than a revision of another text.

Hope that hasn't come across too heavy handed, but I have a great respect for the ESV as a translation.

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Ken
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#3 Julie Falling

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

Thanks, Ken. Your were not heavy-handed, and I appreciate the help. I was just going with what I read concerning the ESV in Wikipedia. I don't actually own a hard copy of it, and, obviously, didn't know where to find the stuff you copied.

I, too, have respect for the ESV, and generally have it open all the time. My beef with the it, however, and with several other versions, is that it rarely translates the imperfect tense as an imperfect, but as a simple past. I realize that sometimes the imperfect can be clumsy, but it is also frequently clumsy or confusing when NOT translated as an imperfect - compare the ESV and NASB @ Acts 18:4-5. The whole idea is that Paul was tent-making while preaching in the synagogue mostly on the Sabbaths (v4). When Silas and Timothy came, probably with a gift from the church at Philippi, Paul was able to give up the tent-making and preach full-time. The ESV makes it sound like that is already what he was doing. Not clear in the ESV. Very clear in the NASB/NAS95.

Another example: I also think the use of offsprings Gal 3:16 is distracting and a bit clumsy, but that is only my opinion. Even though offsprings can be found in some dictionaries, it is more likely to fall in the moose/deer category, with the same word referring to singular or plural. Not a big deal, just not the choice many of us would have made.

Having spent a lot of time comparing versions, I have come to the conclusion that they all fall down somewhere, they all "have warts." Sometimes the ESV reading is clearer and closer to the original; sometimes the NASB does better. This is why I always keep at least two English versions (usually the NASB and the ESV) open in every window when I am studying in English. When those two, my most trusted versions, read very differently, I dig into the Greek (don't know any Hebrew yet). Then I will usually look up the passage in my workspace titled "Eighteen Bible Search" - it has almost all my modern versions plus the KJV. When the ESV and NASB differ, usually the versions are split, sometimes right down the middle! Good thing there really aren't any doctrinal issues that hinge on those differences.

I am now going to explore my Notes modules more thoroughly. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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#4 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

There is a module called Accordance Module Info that contain the associated Read Me text for several, not all modules (texts and tools). It has copyright info, but not the introductory comments made by the translators.

I agree that it would be useful information.

Perhaps the good folk at Accordance could consider adding that data to the notes file of a given text or as expanded form of Accordance Module Info.

This is a suggestion based on Julie's original post.
Michael

#5 Julie Falling

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

Michael (and Ken) - I checked and found the introductory stuff you would find with a particular Bible version for some, but not for others. It's there for the ESV, HCSB, NKJV, & NIV11, but not for the NASB/NAS95, NRSV, AMP, or NIV. Some of the versions don't have any notes at all. It would certainly be nice to not only have some consistency, but also to have the info supplied by the translators in the hard copies without having to resort to their websites.

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#6 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:35 PM

I suspect that different folks prepared the text modules and accompanying note modules. The ones you mention having the translation introduction are newer translations. The others are older. Just as Accordance itself has matured and improved, so has the preparation of newer text modules.

The folks at Accordance have much on their plate (and users have an insatiable appetite for new titles), so the request for updated note modules must be balanced against the clamor for new tool modules, new texts, and the like. I agree that the data you ask for is valid, but realistically, some folks never read the translation's preface (I like you look at such material, but realistically, many people never read the preface to books they read, whether it is the Bible or some other book).
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#7 Julie Falling

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:20 PM

They don't? I always read that stuff, too. It tells you why the the author felt the book needed to be written, or why the translators thought we needed another version. I agree with you, though, that this is not the highest priority.

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#8 Ken Simpson

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

Love the way you think Julie. Wish I had a reason to visit Tennessee and have an iced tea with you and your husband!

Regards
Ken
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#9 James Tucker

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:35 PM

Indeed! The intro matter offers a perspective to the Sitz Im Leben of the author(s), but what is just as important—what I read first of every book—is the bibliography. Perhaps it is my research nature, but the thoughts with whom one is interacting is adumbrated in the preface, and made explicit in the bibliography.

Edited by James Tucker, 06 October 2012 - 10:36 PM.


#10 Michael J. Bolesta

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:46 PM

Indeed! The intro matter offers a perspective to the Sitz Im Leben of the author(s), but what is just as important—what I read first of every book—is the bibliography. Perhaps it is my research nature, but the thoughts with whom one is interacting is adumbrated in the preface, and made explicit in the bibliography.


Agreed! I do read the whole book: preface, intro, notes, appendices; I will check the biblio too, especially when the text or notes reference them. I just think some folks do not bother. And I do not mean that in a pejorative sense. I have my own quirks.

Edited by Michael J. Bolesta, 07 October 2012 - 02:46 PM.

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#11 Julie Falling

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:35 PM

Well, Ken, if you ever get to Tennessee, you'll have to come over for dinner. We live in the upper NE corner, 20 minutes from Virginia and about 35-40 from North Carolina, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Yes, we do wear shoes. No, we don't have a still in the back yard (don't know anyone who does). We have an AussieDoodle, not a coonhound (don't know anyone who does). We're not natives, but we've been here nearly 34 years and love the area, love the people, love the culture, love our church. We have a friend who calls our little corner of the world, "The Shire" - like Lord of the Rings. We're closer, as the crow flies, to Canada than to Memphis. Wonderful place to visit if you like the outdoors. Terrible if you like to shop (we don't). The big downside is no Apple Store, but we do have a couple resellers now.

James, is Sitz Im Leben German? I know it's not Latin (had some in high school). You guys just left me in the dust. I don't have a PhD in ANYTHING! OK, I don't know any German, but I do know Google, and it is German meaning "setting in life," right?

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#12 James Tucker

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:55 PM

Julie:

Yes, you are correct. Sitz im Leben is a German expression that was germane to the research of Herman Gunkel, especially as it relates to Gattung.

Auf Wiedersehen

#13 Ken Simpson

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:30 AM

Hi Julie, I have been to Asheville NC. (actually stayed a week in Flatrock). Loved it very much.

Sitz im Leben is a term widely used in academic circles to basically mean "Life circumstances" it helps delineate it from the more ambiguous term "context".

Maybe Tennessee will be on a trip one day, God willing, and I look forward to a good Falling dinner!

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#14 Tony Lawrence

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:19 AM

Hey, Ken, there are several of us in Tennessee. If you come maybe we could have an Accordance get together. I live in Middle Tennessee about half way between Chattanooga and Nashville.

And, by the way, I appreciate your insightful comments along with your oversight of the Accordance Exchange. I would like to see the Exchange blossom with numerous resources.
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#15 Rick Bennett

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

I suspect that different folks prepared the text modules and accompanying note modules. The ones you mention having the translation introduction are newer translations. The others are older. Just as Accordance itself has matured and improved, so has the preparation of newer text modules.

The folks at Accordance have much on their plate (and users have an insatiable appetite for new titles), so the request for updated note modules must be balanced against the clamor for new tool modules, new texts, and the like. I agree that the data you ask for is valid, but realistically, some folks never read the translation's preface (I like you look at such material, but realistically, many people never read the preface to books they read, whether it is the Bible or some other book).


Yes, this is probably the reason. Also, I understand that older e-texts often did not include this information. In the case of the NRSV I have found this webpage, and note from Metzger helpful. If we have permission we can include this in the Notes module very easily; but it will probably need to wait. As for the others we can look into this down the road. I agree that it is helpful, and more representative of the print edition to include it.

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#16 Ken Simpson

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

Sound fantastic. And I would love to come to Tennessee....just have to get tot he US!!!

I too am hoping the Exchange becomes a more "living" resource that is helpful on a broad front.

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Ken
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