Friday, July 29, 2011

Dan Wallace on 1 Tim. 2:12

Dan Wallace has finished his four part review of the NIV 2011. Overall it has been a positive review of the NIV 2011, giving the NIV as a tradition top marks for readability and 8 out of 10 for accuracy. My major disagreement with his review is the remarkable fact that he assigns a 10 out of 10 for accuracy to the NET Bible, when it contains certain interpretations of verses referring to women that do not have scholarly consensus.

The question of accuracy is crucial here. Is accuracy something attained by a revelation from the Holy Spirit to an individual translator? Is accuracy a hypothesis put forward in the hopes that other scholars will recognize it? Or is accuracy the consensus of scholars in the international biblical studies community?

I would appreciate any contributions on this especially if possible also from those in the scholarly community.

Accuracy in Bible translation seems like a modernist notion that is in reality unattainable. I can say that both tradition and scholarly consensus lead us to believe that several choices made in the NET Bible, either in the text or in the notes, were not made according to either tradition or consensus. How, in this case, does Dan Wallace measure the accuracy of a Bible?

If you notice the thread on this post, you will see that Dr. Wallace declines to discuss 1 Tim. 2:12. This was a passage that I attempted to debate with him on his blog. But that is not allowed according to the rules of his blog. I was blocked not long after that.

I wonder if Dan Wallace is aware that the word in 1 Tim. 2:12 is best translated as either "dominate" or "usurp/assume authority" but for some reason, he has decided not to share this on his blog.

However, that is conjecture. I wish I knew what was really happening. I think you can see that some people feel that the phrase "assume authority" instead of "exercise authority" is reason enough to reject the NIV 2011. I wonder if that means that the same people will also reject Luther, Calvin and the King James Bible, which use "be the lord of" "assume authority" and "usurp authority" in that order.


Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, I think Wallace was very wise in his rhetorical question to Marv:

You want to throw out the whole NIV because you think that “assume authority” in 1 Tim 2.12 is incorrect?

Wallace isn't saying what his personal position is here, although I think we can guess from the NET Bible note quoting the definition “to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to”. But he clearly considers such issues not important enough to reject an otherwise good translation. Thus he clearly separates himself from people like Denny Burk.

Suzanne said...

Dr. Wallace needs to revise the note on Junia in order to clarify matters there. This is a responsibility in the direction of accuracy.