Another way looking at a language
1. New Academic Year = New books
Every new academic year we go over to use another Bible translation in our ecclesia, to keep the minds going and to give opportunities to hear another voice or see another angle of lightning. It is a way of broadening the horizon.
Serious Bible Students should always try to find out how something is written in a certain language and what is meant by it. They should like, it seems, most American Bible readers prefer, look for word-for-word translations of the original Greek and Hebrew. Paraphrased bibles can be interesting for youngsters or when people start by getting to know the Word of God. The literal or word-for-word translations should by all means gain the first position on the table when no original language is known. That is for most of us a problem that we do not know Hebrew, Aramaic and Ancient Greek. Though to get into depth reading of the Old Scriptures and Holy Scriptures we could use some knowledge of the old languages.
For the Biblical Canon, the Greek word κανών, meaning primarily a straight rod, and derivatively a norm or law, was first applied by the church fathers (not earlier than 360) to the collection of Holy Scriptures, and primarily to those of the so-called Old Testament (Credner, “Zur Gesch. des Canons,” pp. 58-68). But although the older Jewish literature has no such designation for the Biblical books, and it is doubtful whether the word was ever included in the rabbinical vocabulary, it is quite certain that the idea expressed by the designation “canonical writings” (γραΦαὶ κανονικαί), both as including and as excluding certain books, is of Jewish origin. The designation “Apocrypha” affords a parallel instance: the word is Greek; the conception is Jewish (compare the words “Genuzim,” “Genizah”). (Jewish Encyclopedia)
When not enough knowledge of the ancient or semitic languages is available we should use the most accurate literal translation and make use of the Strong’s number indications with a further comparison of stricter and more free translations and value accuracy over readability.
2. Translation Survey
When in a recent survey by Life Way Research study of a total of 2,000 Bible readers the volunteers where asked whether they prefer “word-for-word translations, where the original words are translated as exactly as possible” or “thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words,” 61 percent chose word-for-word. But strangely enough at the same time 63 percent believe it should be simple for anyone to understand while 14 percent say the language should be meant more for people who have a lot of experience with the Bible. But the Bible should be able to reach people who do not read much or do not have any knowledge of Bible reading.
3. Formal language
When we do find 40 percent preferring more formal language while 26 percent say that the language should be more informal we can wonder if it is not possible to let them understand that we have to take the language of the Bible as it was written in that time, taking in consideration that we do have to hear and see the phrases as they were spoken and used at that time. Often bible translators want it to place it in the language form which is popular at the time of the publication of the translation.