Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Should translations be easy to read?

Mike at BBB has teased that blog back into dialogue with a post or two on idiom.

There is a little note re 'effort'.
So, the comprehension of the text was a two step process for you, and not simply the normal, one step, reading effort.
It seems to me that the easy yoke is a great effort. I think our reading should not be easy, but disciplined. It is far more than one or two steps. How do we learn that?

One thing I remember from my youth was my certainty that I could wrap up 'the truth' on every verse, turn the word into a coat of many colours, clothe myself with the word, and rejoice in the word made flesh that reflected every turn of phrase in the Bible, that I could learn to reduce or conform my readings to the new words I was learning every day about this or that doctrine, and my (poorly learned) doctrine to my (all to quick) readings filled (unknown to me) with the uncritical assumptions of culture. (Don't let new converts be teachers, someone said.) I can scarcely wrap my hand around a pencil these days let alone say anything useful about doctrine! I know - I've been asked to read about it.

Yet I still leave comments - not to be complete in a word, but as part of that long conversation that develops relationship. Just as a marriage partnership requires work, so also we, in the Holy One, are in a long-term disciplined relationship. Without losing anything, I could have exercised a little more caution about what was natural to me in my youth.  Some of my speed, of course, arose from fear. Perhaps the flight impulse was of some use.

How then do we unlearn the speed reading and speedier misunderstanding that we absorbed in our youth?