Eddie Arthur picks up and criticises a ridiculous misstatement about Bible translation. The idea that word-for-word translation is in any sense more accurate than any other (indeed that in any pure form it actually exists!) is a linguistic fallacy.
Indeed, I could make a case that for any theologian who believes in mission participating in the pattern of God’s mission revealed in the incarnation, it also represents a theological fallacy.
But by coincidence, I was on the receiving end of a bible-study this morning which included this verse:
David said, "The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine." So Saul said to David, "Go, and may the LORD be with you!" (1Sa 17:37 NRSV)
Now, I’ve checked a number of translations, including those word-for-word ones “conservatives” seem to prefer like Holman Christian Standard, English Standard and of course King James versions. All of those also speak of the “paws” of bear and lion and the “hand” of the Philistine.
However, a word-for-word translation would speak of either the hand of bear and lion as well as Philistine, or the paw of Philistine as well as bear and lion. It is the same word “yad”.
A word-for-word translation simply doesn’t work in English, which has no word for “bottom part of the forelimb” which is common to both human and animal. Sadly for Wayne Grudem and his linguistically deluded fellows / followers, there are numerous other examples which prove word-for-word is not merely inaccurate, but dysfunctional.