This diagram illustrates how we get “The Bible”. The process starts (lower left) with competing versions of Christianity (“competing schools”) and flows clockwise with bias entering in throughout the various steps. The process is similar for many traditions. Bias is inevitable in all traditions, religious or otherwise. But it is important to understand bias which many believers try to ignore. Below the diagram I explain a few details.
Bias is inevitable. And most transmissions of the Biblical texts where done by those with strong religious preferences. These preferences often influence the transmission: intentionally or accidentally.
A political process where competing schools of thought are limited or eliminated to establish a Canon.
We don’t have the Original texts, just scraps, much later texts and translations. With recent discoveries in the 1900’s our knowledge drastically improved.
Textual Criticism & “Original” Text
Textual criticism is the methods developed to try to improve the probability of approximating the actual original texts.
Hermeneutics is the story of interpretation. This happens after Textual Criticism in order to get a text to translate. Hermeneutics can happen moving a text into another language (Translation Hermeneutics) or can be at the simple level of making sense of something in your native language — done by specialists or the lay reader. “Exegesis” is sometimes used similarly, but Hermeneutics is rather broader and contains the theory of translation. (wiki , Sanford)
Translations privileges taken by the translator who feels they understand the intent of the writers.
Word-for Word vs. Dynamic Equivalence
Two methods of approaching translations. (see wiki article here)
More in coming posts.