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Musings -- A Continuing Series of Comments on Specific Translation Issues within the International Standard Version New Testament

by Dr. David Alan Black

"So great is the force of established usage that even acknowledged corruptions please the greater part, for they prefer to have their copies pretty rather than accurate."


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Dr. David Alan Black
Associate Editor

When is Poetry Poetry?

In Titus 1:12, Paul quotes a line from the Cretan poet Epimenides. The NRSV rendering, "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons," is accurate enough, but it is definitely not poetry. The translators of the ISV believe there is a real difference between prose and poetry, and that, insofar as possible, poetry should be poetry:

Liars ever, men of Crete,
Savage brutes that live to eat.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Introduction Poetry Lettuce? Press on? Good Giving Good Citizens Can Faith Save? On Poets & Liars An Ode to Love The Disciple Teachable? Sloppy Agape Mustering Mystery Alliteration Whom Sweet Whom Conclusion

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