Thursday, July 05, 2007

On Translations & Paraphrases: John Owen


I do confess that though some translations may and do render the words of the original more properly, and better represent and insinuate the native genius, beauty, life, and power, of the sacred style, than some others do, yet none of them can or do express the whole excellency, elegancy, and marvelous efficacy of it, for the conveyance of its sense to the understandings and minds of men. Neither is this any reflection upon the translators, their abilities, diligence, or faithfulness, but that which the nature of the thing itself produceth. There is in the sacred Scripture, in the words wherein by the Holy Ghost it was given out, a proper, peculiar virtue and secret efficacy, inflaming the minds of the readers and hearers, which no diligence or wisdom of man can fully and absolutely transfer into and impress upon any other language. And those who have designed to do it by substituting the wordy elegancies of another tongue, to express the quickening, affecting idiotisms of them (which was the design of Castalio), have, of all others, most failed in their intention.
Taken from John Owen's commentary on the book of Hebrews.

Above: Taken on a hike last week with Gloria and my dad.

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