Saturday, September 11, 2004

Evangelicals & Dynamic Equivalency

Dear Fr Kim,

Thank you so much for circulating the last-minute submission of the Evangelicals to the Eames Commission (September l, 2004). I hope to send you later today, after I have conducted a funeral, my evaluation of this document entitled “Drawing the Line.”

At this stage I send to you my observation on the opening 20 words which state they are the words of Psalm 25:21-22. But are they?

Here is what appears at the head of the document:

May integrity and uprightness protect us, because our hope is in you.Redeem
Israel, O God from all their troubles (Psa. 25:21-22).

I ask, From which published paraphrase of the Psalter is this taken?

It is not taken from such versions of the KJV, RV, RSV,ESV, NRSV, REB, NAB, JB, NJB and not even from the Psalter in the 1979 Prayer Book of ECUSA.

All these versions agree that we are dealing with the singular in the Hebrew and so the translation should be something like this as we listen in to the Psalmist praying to YHWH, the LORD:

“Let integrity and uprightness safeguard me, for I wait for Thee. Ransom Israel,
O God, out of all his/its troubles.”

Notice that this evangelical document begins with an inclusivist paraphrase of two verses of Holy Scripture, a paraphrase based on a theory of dynamic equivalency, making plurals out of singulars ---- me/us ; I/we ; his/its – their. The original text is interpreted and the interpretation offered as the translation.

Do you not find this a little worrying? That a group of men, bishops and theologians who claim to be speaking for Biblical Religion and Patristic Orthodoxy, should begin by using such a rendering of the sacred text of the Hebrew Scriptures? What is wrong with the rendering in the usually favored NSRV or RSV or ESV or even KJV?

The way that the sacred text is manipulated in their paraphrase is like unto the way in which the LesBiGay lobby uses the theory of dynamic equivalency to make the Bible speak the kind of message with which it is comfortable – i.e., reducing the wickedness of the sin of sodomy!

Once the principle of dynamic equivalency is conceded then it is like elastic than can be stretched and stretched to allow any meaning that clever people can devise.

Yours truly,

The Rev’d Dr Peter Toon September 10th 2004

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