Translating John’s Gospel
“Translating Johns Gospel: Opportunities and Challenges,” in The Challenge of Bible Translation. In Honor of Ronald Youngblood (ed. Glen G. Scorgie, Mark L. Strauss, and Steven Voth; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 347-64.
New translations continue to proliferate at an astonishing pace, and there is a growing need for translators to develop both linguistic and exegetical sophistication in order to be adequate to their task. The present essay focuses on particular challenges—and opportunities—in translating John’s Gospel. This includes textual issues, questions of background or chronology, and ideological, exegetical, and stylistic matters.
The following discussion may serve as a survey and brief for the translator of a biblical book that in terms of influence and significance is second to few. To make things a bit more interesting, the essay will conclude with an attempt at rating the quality and accuracy of nine major English translations of the Gospel of John.