About the Book
The subtitle of this volume reflects the idea that quality in translation entails a multi-dimensionality, a multi-threaded fabric of sorts. Just as strong fabric consists in the warp and weft of opposing threads, so in Bible translation the multiple facets of translation should be brought together in a holism. This holism entails balancing the tension of the objective details of the Biblical text and the languages into which we translate, and the subjective framing of our aspirations for its Christian use among the peoples of the world.
The volume practices frontier science in the sense that the authors put forward ideas that are new, or ideas that are hypotheses that are not supported by years of scientific experience or theoretical reflection. This is in contrast to consensus science that refers to data, models, ideas, and laws that are widely accepted. Rather, authors employ ideas emerging out of the changing cultural contexts of the Global North and South and adapt them for use in pursuing quality in translation. They also engage with the issues around changing technology and how this will affect ways of measuring quality.
The need to adapt to changing cultural complexes has been a perennial challenge for Christianity beginning with its spread across the countries around the Mediterranean and into the countries of Europe. As it has engaged with the cultural complexes of its day, it has required much thought, writing, and scholarship. This is no less true in our day as we engage around the issue of quality in translation in the context of the interaction of the Christian faith and the emerging cultural turns in the Global North and South. This involves risk in part because we, as authors, do not have prescribed answers, and in part because the proposed solutions may invite disagreement. Nevertheless, we believe that engaging with the difficulty of the tension is part of the role of scholarship, and that by engaging with this tension we may extend the boundaries of our knowledge about quality in translation.
About the Editors
Stephen Watters is Research Director in the Corporate Research Office of SIL Int’l, and is Associate Director at the Pike Center for Integrative Scholarship. He has an adjunct teaching position at Baylor University, and is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University where he is involved in research on the relationship between language and human flourishing. He holds an MA in linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington and a PhD in linguistics from Rice University. He has done fieldwork throughout South Asia and the Himalaya with interest in many aspects of sociolinguistics, linguistics, and translation.
Reinier de Blois is director of the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society. He has a PhD in Linguistics from the Free University of Amsterdam. Before his current role, he served as exegete with the Izi/Ikwo/Ezaa dialect cluster in Nigeria. After that he joined UBS and worked as translation consultant in Guinea (West-Africa) and Tanzania. From 2011-2019 he was director of the Institute for Computer-Assisted Publishing (ICAP). He also is the editor of the Semantic Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew.