Leland Ryken defends a "word by word" translation here.
- One of the clichés of the dynamic equivalent movement is “meaning based translation,” rather than “word-based translation.” But the dichotomy is a false one. Essentially literal translators believe that the meaning that the biblical authors intended us to grasp is embodied in the words that they used. The implication of “meaning-based” advocates is that essentially literal translations lack meaning!
- All translation is lexical interpretation, and that is all that can be accurately said about “all” translation. All translation is the translator’s interpretation of what English word or phrase best captures the meaning of the equivalent word in the original text.
The other kind of interpretation is what we call exegesis and commentary. It offers an interpretation of the meaning of a text—not usually an individual word, as in lexical interpretation, but meaning of the broader content of an utterance. For example, to render Psalm 23:5a as “you anoint my head with oil” is a lexical decision as to what English words are the verbal equivalent of the words of the original. But when a dynamic equivalent translation renders that verse as “you welcome me as an honored guest,” we have moved beyond lexical interpretation to commentary.
What happens if we apply this principle to 1 Tim. 2:12. Andy Naselli writes in the JBMW journal,
- After exhaustively studying authenteo in extrabiblical literature, he [Henry Baldwin] concludes that four meanings are possible: (1) to control, to dominate; (2) to compel, to influence; (3) to assume authority over; and (4) to flout the authority of.
But lower down Naselli writes, with reference to Köstenberger,
- His thesis is that didaskein and authentein (two infinitives joined by oude,) both denote either positive or negative activities; since didaskein must be positive, authentein is a positive activity and thus must mean "to have or exercise authority" and not "to flout the authority of " or "to domineer."
Why does Köstenberger so strongly disagree with translating the word authentein according to its lexical meaning? (While I agree with his analysis of oude, my understanding is that didaskein does not necessarily have to denote a positive activity, but authentein is found with a uniquely negative connotation, so both verbs must be negative in this verse.)
Grudem also strongly disagrees with any attempt to translate the word authenteo according to its recognized lexical meaning,
in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man”
Ryken seems to be saying that altering the word due to an exegetical analysis or an appeal to context, would be commentary rather than translation. I wonder if either John Starke or Andy Naselli would care to clarify why authentein should not be translated with a "verbal equivalent" in this passage.