Translation as Mission: Bible Translation in the Modern Missionary Movement

Front Cover
Mercer University Press, 1991 - Religion - 287 pages
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For Christians from New Testament times on, the Bible has almost everywhere been a translated Bible. For eighteen centuries it was normally translated into new languages by native speakers, but with the beginning of the nineteenth century and the modern missionary movement came a burst of missionary translation around the world. As missionary churches were established and as societies worldwide were affected by the gospel, people studied the translations, preached from them, and recounted stories to their children. In many societies these translations were the foundation for Christian communities, for theology (including indigenous theologies), and a powerful stimulus to modernization and even secularization reaching beyond the Christian community.Smalley contends that the theological presuppositions of these missionary translators varied widely. He argues that some missionary translators were insightful scholars who probed deeply into the languages and cultures in which they were working; others were unable to transcend the perspective their own culture prescribed for them. Earlier missionaries did not always have a clearly formulated theory of translation or an understanding of what they were doing and why. Eventually, however, a theoretical model was developed, a model that the majority of translators (both missionary and nonmissionary) now use. Smalley maintains that the task of Bible translation is now passing out of the hands of missionaries and back into the hands of native speakers, casting the missionary translator into significantly changed roles in the translation process.
 

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Contents

Translation and the Bible
1
Accessibility and Distortion
2
Translation as Communication
6
Eavesdropper or Direct Receptor
10
The Bible Translator in the Communication Process
15
Translation and the Spread of the Church
21
Epochs in the Development of Bible Translation
22
The Accelerating Spread into New Languages
33
Priorities in Dynamic Equivalence Translation
131
Translation Strategy under Language Diversity
133
Selecting a Vernacular for Translation
136
Common Language Translation
149
Translation and Christian Community
153
Particularity and Universality through Translation
154
Unity and Division through Translation
165
Translation and Indigenous Theology
173

Missionaries Translators Scholars
39
William Carey and His Associates
40
Maurice Leenhardt
52
The Contrast
58
The Translating Institutions
61
The Bible Societies
62
The Summer Institute of Linguistics
73
Complementary Visions
80
Theology in Translation
83
Theological Assumptions about Language
87
Theological Assumptions about Communication
91
Theological Assumptions about Translation
93
Theological Assumptions about the Bible
97
Theological Distortion in Translation
101
Dynamic Equivalence Translation
105
Formative Developments Leading toward Dynamic Equivalence
107
Some Fundamentals of Dynamic Equivalence Translation
110
Problems in Dynamic Equivalence Translation
123
Kinds of Meaning to be Translated
124
Translation Difficulties and Theological Development
175
Dynamics of Indigenous Theology
178
The Bible and Kitchen Theology
182
The Bible and LivingRoom Theology
186
The Bible and Written Indigenous Theology
190
Translation and Modernization
193
Modernizing Influences on Language
194
Nonlinguistic Modernization
202
The Translated Book
215
Christians without the Translated Book
216
Distribution of the Translated Book
221
Use of the Translated Book
224
Translation Mission Past and Mission Future
235
Translation and Missionary SelfUnderstanding
237
The Future in NonMissionary Translation
247
Babel and Pentecost
252
References
257
Index
281
Copyright

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