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Question About Translations

Dear Mr. Harvey,

In Teaching the Trivium you say that some of the Bible quotes are your own very literal translation, or even some corrections or alternate translations. Why is that so? Was the translation not so good? Have you encountered many of those verses that needed a different translation?


A different translation may bring out a particular nuance in the original language which better serves one’s purpose in writing.

Even the Greek New Testament uses different Greek translations of the same Hebrew Old Testament passages. The Greek New Testament frequently quotes the Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament because that was adequate to serve the purpose of the writer. But the New Testament also uses other translations, including apparently the author’s own translations, when that serves the author’s purpose better.

I am forever working on and refining my own translation, trying as much as is reasonable to work the nuance of the original into the English. There is plenty in the original which does not often come across in the English.


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