The Benefits of Even A Bad Translation

This was a very helpful statement to me personally and I trust it will be for any other mediocre skill-level language users out there. Mike Gilbart-Smith over at the Church Matters blog was describing his regular preparation for preaching in which he made this remark (emphasis mine).

“[I]n 3 days I plan to preach on just 14 verses from Matthew. I’ve been reading it already a few times this week. Tomorrow I plan to translate (not because I think my Greek is nearly as good as those who provided the good translations, but because it is bad enough that it will force me to take a good bit of time thinking about every word that is in the text).”

Time spent wrestling with the original languages of Scripture is never wasted time, especially for a teacher or preacher of God’s Word. A bad translation can at least be evaluated and then learned from, but a failure to translate has no benefits at all.


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