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Acta Theologica

versión On-line ISSN 2309-9089
versión impresa ISSN 1015-8758

Acta theol. vol.29  supl.12 Bloemfontein  2009

 

Where have all the bishops gone?

 

 

J.E. Wehrmeyer

Department of Linguistics, University of South Africa. E-mail: wehrmje@unisa.ac.za

 

 


ABSTRACT

This paper investigates how the Greek term and its related variants are translated in English Bible translations. From early translations to the middle of the 20th century, "bishop" was the preferred translation equivalent. However, translations done in the latter half of the 20th century prefer the more generic term "overseer' or a functional equivalent. This apparent neutrality in selecting a more general term has, however, theological implications and may actually violate the principle of sola scriptura. The paper shows that the New Testament functions as a term with meanings similar to its secular use in ancient times as well as its use in the Septuagint. It is suggested that the term boldly declares the colonisation of the kingdoms of men by the kingdom of God. Therefore the translation equivalent also needs to be a term with equivalent semantic content.

Keywords: Bible translation, Corpus translation studies, Septuagint, Episkopos/Bishop


Trefwoorde: Bybelvertaling, Korpusvertaalkunde, Septuagint, Episkopos/Biskop


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

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APPENDIX 1: CORPUS OF BIBLE TRANSLATIONS

A Literal Translation of the Old Testament (1890) and the New Testament (1884) by John Nelson Darby. 1890. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

A Literal Translation of the Holy Bible. 2000. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

Analytical-literal translation of the Holy Bible (2nd edition). 2001. Bloomington: Author-House. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 June].

A translation of the Peshito Syriac New Testament into English. Translated by J. Murdock, 1851. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

Bishops Bible. The Holie Bible conteynyng the olde Testament and the newe. 1568. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

Contemporary English Version. NY: American Bible Society. 1995. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

Douay-Rheims Bible. (1609. Douay New Testament. Douay: English College; 1582. Rheims New Testament. Rheims: English College). The Whole Revised & Diligently Compared with the Latin Vulgate by Bishop Richard Challoner. [Online.] 1899. Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

English Majority Text Version of the Holy Bible, New Testament. 2003. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

Geneva Bible. The Bible: That is, the Holy Scriptures conteined in the olde and newe Testament. Translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages. 1587. London: Christopher Barker. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

God's Word. NY: GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society. 1995. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 February].

Good News Bible (2nd ed). 1992. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

Holman Christian Standard Bible. NY: American Bible Society. 2003. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

International Standard Version. 2001. NY: Davidson Press. v1.2.1. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

King James Version. The Holy Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament and the New: Newly Translated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Translations diligently compared and revised: by his Maiesties speciall Commandement Appointed to be read in Churches. 1611. London: Robert Barker. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

New American Bible. 1970. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

New American Standard Bible. 1995. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

New Jerusalem Bible. 1985. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

New Living Translation. 1996. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

New Revised Standard Version. 1990. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

Rahlfs, A. (Ed.) [s.a.] The Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

Revised Standard Version. 1952. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

Revised Version. 1885. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

The Amplified Bible. 1953. NY: American Bible Society. 1953. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

The Bible in basic English. 1965. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

The Holy Bible. American Standard Version. 1901. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. 2001. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

The Holy Bible. Translated by N. Webster. 1833. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

The Modern King James Version. 1998. NY: American Bible Society. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

The Jewish Publication Society Bible. 1917. CA: Cathedral City. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 15 February].

The New Testament in modern speech. Translated by R.F. Weymouth. 1912. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 June].

Thompson, F.C. (Ed.) 1983. The Thompson Chain-reference Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Twenty-First century King James Version. 1994. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 17 February].

World English Bible. 1980. [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.esword.net [2005, 12 June].

Wycliffe's Bible. 2006 [Online.] Retrieved from: http://www.wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/Wycliffe/html [2006, 4 April].

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