Obviously I can't settle the debate in one blog, and I am in process of thinking about it myself; but I would like to encourage all of us to start thinking about this.I, of course, recognize Mounce's expertise as a linguist, but I'll tell you what I think: dynamic equivalence typically raises more problems than it solves. Even if perhaps often "wooden", I prefer a translation that is as literal as possible. In fact, "into the ages or ages" is just fine with me. Is it really that difficult to explain such a rendering as an idiom for "forever"?
I think most of our gut reactions would be: "word for word." An accurate translation is one that is as least interpretive as possible, one that reflects the grammar of the Greek and Hebrew. The basis of this claim is structural. We have been trained to think that if we stick as close to the form of the foreign language as possible, then we are being more accurate.
But I have been wondering if accuracy is really a matter of structure. I have long held that accuracy mandates the distinction between dependent and independent constructions, and I still hold to that. But beyond that, I wonder if a "literal" translation that makes no real sense in English can accurately be called "literal," or even a translation that makes a biblical writer sound almost illiterate. We know this is not true in the case of idioms; we rarely translate the idiom "into the ages or ages" word for word. We translate the meaning as "forever." But what about other Greek and Hebrew constructions that when translated make no sense?
I am not talking about natural language, translating into the modern English idiom of our own subculture the way the NLT does. I am simply wondering if a "word of word" translation that makes no real sense can in any way be called "accurate."
I am wondering if "accuracy" is also about accurately conveying the authorial meaning? What do you think?
Give people credit.