“Time won’t leave me as I am, but time won’t take the boy out of this man”--”City of Blinding Lights”, U2

Monday, August 08, 2005

Wiki Project for Bible Translation

My experience in Biblical translation experience is limited to the six semesters of New Testament Greek (4 semesters at Mississippi College and 2 semesters at Candler School of Theology) and no Hebrew (wasn't required). Given that, I can't imagine what I could contribute. But what was a throw away question at the close of this post seems like a good idea.


Tim, I think a wiki project for Bible translation would be great. The more information that can become accessible to people about Bible translation the better.
Peter Kirby from Christian Origins Blog has been thinking about this a bit longer:

There are many different uses of wiki software, as well as many different wiki software packages. It would be a good idea to create software that is specifically tailored to "open access"/"open scholarship" collaborative and participatory translation efforts than, say, MediaWiki. That is precisely what I plan to do (see my recent blog entries and comments on Wayne's blog), and I'm glad to see more support for the idea.
One disadvantage that I see is that a lot of contentiousness could result on this. If a wikipedia entry about Glenn Reynolds can be controversial (see the whole puppy blender joke thread in the history) imagine for example, what a discussion of the shorter ending for Mark would be like with people who are invested in the Textus Recepticus and are involved in the wiki project. Of course there would be further disagreements produced in terms of English style.

But I see some real advantages to this as well. First, would be the copyrights or lack of. This would would truly be the people's version in a way that William Tyndale never could have imagined. Secondly, collaboration is almost always a good thing (at least I can't think of a good thing). Translators operate with an assumption as to what will communicate to the widest number of people. As more people are involved in the translation, a consensus as to what communicates well would naturally come together. Thirdly, I see translational bias mitigated by the sheer number of people involved in the translation. Throw in the Holy Spirit and it could make for a very interesting and rewarding project.

No comments: