Linguistic Bias of Bible Translations

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There is a linguistic bias to nearly all Bible translations that tend to favor literary rather than scientific terminology. James Strong, who wrote the classic dictionary of the meaning of Greek and Hebrew words in the Bible, had a background in literature rather than in math and science. Strong's work was in the 1800s, before all of the 20th century intellectual breakthroughs and language development that can better capture the powerful original meaning of ancient terms like "logos".

The impact of the linguistic background of Bible scholars is to fail to convey the full scientific or logical power of some verses, and to lose students whose interests are more on the quantitative than literary side.

For example, even though logos is a Greek word developed to express concepts like "reason", "explanation", "computation", and "speech" that were highly valued in ancient Greece, it tends to be translated using the relatively weak term "word" by the humanities-trained biblical scholars.

Here is a growing number of examples of terms in modern science, math, logic, and politics, mostly unknown to James Strong, which are overlooked by the linguistic-educated translators of the Bible:

term Biblical example
perfection (in a logical sense) where "logos" has its original meaning of "divine reason," logical perfection (or simply perfection) is a better translation than "word"
logic
reversible
chaos[1]
efficiency
entropy
energy the loss in "power" by Jesus when the sick woman touched him to be healed should probably be translated as a loss in personal "energy", a term unknown in ancient Greek.[2]
accountability
verification
addiction
falsifiability
proactive
congruent
probability
asymptotic
asynchronous
intensity
cardinality What is the cardinality of the remnant?
pollinate
prioritize

(add to list)

References

  1. But see Isaiah 14:10 (NASB): "The city of chaos is broken down; Every house is shut up so that none may enter."
  2. http://www.eoht.info/page/Energy