Bible Review 5:2, April 1989

Coarse Language In The Bible?

It’s culture shocking!

By Harvey Minkoff

In an article I recently wrote in Bible Reviewa on the problems of Bible translating, I distinguished two styles of translation: reader-centered (covert) and text-centered (overt). The first style of translation tries to convey to the reader the impression of an original author in the language of the translation. The second style of translation retains linguistic and cultural elements of the original; therefore, the reader in the new language may feel like a stranger looking in from the outside. A reader’s letter to the editor of BR picks up on this distinction to raise some other interesting issues. Here is the letter:

“‘Overt’ and ‘covert,’ as Harvey Minkoff uses them, are well chosen when applied to the changes made by Oxford University Press in the Oxford Study Edition of the New English Bible with Apocrypha.

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