English Bible Translations Part 05 - DE Confuses Translation with Interpretation

Part 5 - Deficiencies of Dynamic Equivalence - DE Confuses Translation with Interpretation.

Dynamic Equivalent is a ruse forinterpretation rather than translation. The only legitimate role of the translator is to convert the words of Scripture into a receptor language as accurately as possible. It is then up to the preacher and teacher to proclaim these words, explain their meaning, and apply them—in the power of the Holy Spirit—to meet present needs. In the following example from Luke 10:42, the Dynamic Equivalent translators alter the Greek wordagathos ("good") into comparative or even superlative forms in order to bolster their interpretation of the passage:

• KJV: Mary hath chosen that good part.

• NIV: Mary has chosen what is better.

• NLT: There is only one thing worth being concerned about.

• CEV: Mary has chosen what is best.

The NIV, NLT, and CEV all have the Lord pitting one of His servants against another—something He never did. This interpretation seems to miss the point. Martha’s error was not in preparing the meal, but in blaming Mary for not helping her. There is no contest here. Christ told Martha that what Mary chose—being occupied with Him and hearing His words—was good, and that it would not be taken away from her. Even if we accept that there is an implied comparison between the sisters, it is still noteworthy that the Lord Jesus said "good"—not "better" or "best."