Newsletter   Secure Checkout   Shopping Cart (0 Items)  
Search:    Welcome Guest! Save up to 30-40% on most items with our awesome everyday discounts!

The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation [Paperback]

By Leland Ryken (Author) & C. John Collins (Contribution by)
Our Price $ 13.99  
Retail Value $ 19.99  
You Save $ 6.00  (30%)  
Item Number 41730  
Buy New $13.99
Out Of Stock!
Currently Out Of Stock
Currently unavailable...

Item description for The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation by Leland Ryken & C. John Collins...

Ryken describes the translation principles that make for reliable English Bible translation, looks at common translation fallacies, and offers principles for good translation. He probes the theological, ethical, and hermeneutical issues involved and surveys difficulties with modern translations.

Publishers Description

With so many Bible translations available, how do you make a choice between them? How do you even know what the criteria should be for making a choice?

As an expert in English literature and literary theory, Leland Ryken approaches the translation debate from a practical artistic viewpoint. He believes that many modern translations take liberties with the biblical text that would not be allowed with any other type of literary work. Also, what readers are presented with as biblical text is actually far from the original text. In literature, a simplified version of Milton's work is not Milton, and neither is an edition written in contemporary English. Anyone who is interested in Milton would find any version that changes his words unacceptable for serious study. Ryken argues that the same dedication to reproducing literature texts as closely as possible needs to be present in biblical translation. To do so it is necessary to take into account the difficulty of working with original languages. Only an essentially literal, "word for word" translation of the Bible can achieve sufficiently high standards in terms of literary criteria and fidelity to the original text.

Ryken does not contest that many modern translations have been used for good, and believes that there is a place for a range of Bible translations, including children's Bibles and Bible paraphrases. His purpose is not to say that the only Bible available should be one that is essentially literal. Instead, he defines the translation theory and principles that would result in the best Bible for English-speaking people and serious students of the Bible, and also for the English-speaking church as a whole. He believes that an essentially literal translation is the natural result of following these principles.

Along with a short history of translation, Ryken evaluates presuppositions that impact translation theory. He also examines fallacies about the Bible, translations in general, and Bible readers that influence what translation decisions are made. Believing that those who undertake the serious work of translating God's Word have an obligation both to God and to others, he assesses the theological, ethical, and hermeneutical issues involved and surveys difficulties with modern translations. Ryken's literary expertise gives him the perspective needed to provide Christians with a standard for comparing contemporary Bible translations, as well as an understanding of why some translations may not convey the very words of God.

Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at!

Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.68" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 12, 2002
ISBN  1581344643  
ISBN13  9781581344646  

Availability  0 units.

More About Leland Ryken & C. John Collins

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo!

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for over 43 years. He has authored or edited over three dozen books, including "The Word of God in English" and "The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible." He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller "Knowing God." Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the "ESV Study Bible.""

Leland Ryken currently resides in the state of Illinois.

Leland Ryken has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Christian Guides to the Classics
  2. Writers' Palette Book

Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Language Studies

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > Language Tools

Similar Products

Reviews - What do customers think about The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation?

A Must (or at least A Should) Read  Nov 24, 2008
Ryken often seems a bit angry in this book, but once you get beyond that, this is a wonderful book. Christians seem to be afraid of the bluntness that characterized the works of people such as Baxter and Bonnhoeffer (did I spell that right? I never do), and in the past 50 years we have entered into a mushy, undefined period of Christian thought and understanding, and this is most unfortunate. This mushy and anything-goes, human-centered version of our faith has even penatrated how we translate and understand the Bible, which is the foundational document of our faith. One of Ryken's central aspects of this book is that Biblical translation should be God-centered, not human-centered, because our faith should be God-centered, and it is up to God what His Word says, not humans.

Ryken's point in this book is a necessary one: what many of our modern Bibles are telling Christians is NOT what the Bible actually says. He labors this point from time to time, but his reasoning and Scriptural basis is solid.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new Bible, for church leaders considering a Bible for teaching, for exegetes, for Bible historians, for seminary students (such as myself), and for anyone with an interest in knowing from where their Bible comes.

Whether you decide you agree with Ryken or not, this book will definitely change your perception of what you are reading when you open your Bible.

And by the way, if you want to check what your prefered Bible version says against what the best original language documents say, I recommend any of the wonderful Greek/English or Greek/Hebrew/English Interlinear Bibles.

Oh, and I only gave this book 4 Stars simply because he tends to labor his points too much (although they remain valid and well-presented), and because there does tend to be an overly harsh tone from time-to-time. But that doesn't really diminish the overall message of this wonderful and timely book.
Good overview!  Nov 5, 2008
Good overview of a great Bible Ryken deals very well with the balance of English Style and Accuracy as found in the ESV Bible.
Word of God in English  Jan 25, 2008
This book made me think about my Bible translation and the interpretation that goes into the translation process. The writing was easy to read and understand and well presented. I heartily recommend this to anyone that is serious about Bible study and is interested in knowing what is behind the words they are reading.
Selecting a Study Bible  Oct 31, 2007
I thank Dr. Ryken for his excellent book and meticulous analysis. He carefully explains all the reasons why a serious Bible student needs an "essentially literal" translation of the Bible for detailed study (e.g. ESV, NASB, RSV).

Dynamic equivalence produces translations (e.g. NIV, NLT, NET) that differ greatly from one another, and I have personally been involved in Bible studies taking detours around the biblical author's meaning because of creative translation into English. I could provide examples, but the reader will have more fun seeing the ones that Dr. Ryken presents.

In an age that goes for dumbed-down translations with figures of speech removed, ambiguities "clarified," and relative pronouns made into personal names, give me a Bible translation that is essentially transparent to the Greek or Hebrew text. My thanks to Dr. Ryken for fighting the battle!
A good attempt at being balanced.  Jul 10, 2007
In general, the author tries to be fair in his descriptions of those that he disagrees with. He takes issue with some of the more aggressive "dynamic equivalent" Bible translations. He does not entirely reject "dynamic equivalence" because it is used in literal translations as well (such as the ESV which he worked on). At times, the author seems apologetic for taking issue with his "dynamic equivalent" friends.

This book is not just for those that are involved in translation work. The author does provide a number of good principles to use in choosing a translation to use.

Towards the end of the book, he gets a little subjective when he deals with issues such as "exaltation and beauty". He also makes issue of areas tht only English experts (such as himself) would even notice. I am not sure that most normal English readers would really understand if rhythem is effective or not. Most of us would not realize if a "principle of poetry" had been violated.

There are some spots that the author would have benefited from a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. His experience with translation work seems to be more about polishing up what is already translated. There are a couple of times that I read something that he would not have written had he known some Hebrew.

Overall, this is a good book to have for those interested in translation work or those watching the debate among translators. This book is more balanced than most and a lot less hostile.

Write your own review about The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation

Ask A Question or Provide Feedback regarding The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation

Item Feedback and Product Questions
For immediate assistance call 888.395.0572 during the hours of 10am thru 8pm EST Monday thru Friday and a customer care representative will be happy to help you!

Help us continuously improve our service by reporting your feedback or questions below:

I have a question regarding this product
The information above is incorrect or conflicting
The page has misspellings or incorrect grammar
The page did not load correctly in my browser or created an error.

Email Address:
Anti Spam Question. To combat spammers we require that you answer a simple question.
What color is the sky?
Leave This Blank :
Do Not Change This Text :

Add This Product Widget To Your Website

Looking to add this information to your own website? Then use our Product Widget to allow you to display product information in a frame that is 120 pixels wide by 240 pixels high.

    Copy and paste the following HTML into your website and enjoy!

Order toll-free weekdays 10am thru 10pm EST by phone: 1-888-395-0572 (Lines are closed on holidays & weekends.)
Customer Service | My Account | Track My Orders | Return Policy | Request Free Catalog | Email Newsletter

Gift Certificates
RSS Feeds
About Us
Contact Us
Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy