English Bible Translations Part 07 - DE Discards Vital Theological Terms

Part 7 - Deficiencies of Dynamic Equivalence-  DE Discards Vital Theological Terms.

Dynamic Equivalent translations have generally obliterated such "churchy" terms as justification, sanctification, redemption, and propitiation, reducing these vital words to simplistic phrases. These substituted explanations are at best weakened and incomplete, and at worst misleading and false. A doctrinally impoverished text will produce defective theology, and faulty preaching. Look at Romans 3:24-25:

• KJV: Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood. (ESV is similar.)

• NLT: Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, Who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us.

• MSG: God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity He put us in right standing with Himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. And He did it by means of Jesus Christ. God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in Him sets us in the clear.

The terms chosen by Dynamic Equivalent translators do not properly communicate the full and exact meaning of the original words:

• "Grace" is more than "gracious kindness" or "sheer generosity."

• "Justification" is more than "declares us not guilty" or "put us in a right standing."

• "Redemption" is more than "freed us by taking away our sins" or "got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where God always wanted us to be."

• "Propitiation" cannot be reduced to these statements: "God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us" or "God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin."

No translator has the right to truncate these vital words. It is rather the preacher’s task to mine the riches of their meaning from an unadulterated text. Look also at Ephesians 1:18:

• KJV: That ye may know what is the hope of His calling.

• ESV: That you may know what is the hope to which He has called you.

• GW: You will know the confidence that He calls you to have.

• NLT: That you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He called.

The alterations from hope in the Dynamic Equivalent translations are seriously misleading, because their substituted expressions capture only part of the original meaning - and add extraneous material not found in the original. In GW, confidence misses the fact that hope points to the future. And confidence is purely subjective - a feeling - whereas hope in the NT carries both subjective and objective meanings. Objectively, hope includes the return of Christ (Titus 2:13), our resurrection (Acts 26: 6-7), and our glorious future in heaven (Colossians 1:27). The NLT’sexpression "the wonderful future He has promised" does provide an objective definition for hope, but it loses the subjective meaning.

The Dynamic Equivalent translations also break the connections between Ephesians 1:18 and other passages where Paul uses the term hope. Part of the meaning of a passage comes from its connection to other verses that employ the same words. Dynamic Equivalent translations make word study in English impossible. When they discard important terms like hope, the reader loses all connection with other verses that contain the same word in the original text.