METM19 presentation 

Translating the Bible – it could cost you your life!

John Hynd, Eindhoven, Netherlands

In this session, we will look at translations of the Bible from the earliest times to the present day, focusing in particular on English Bible translations.

By providing a broad chronological sweep and highlighting particular areas along with a few slides as illustrations, this talk will provide members with an insight into this specialized field of translation.

The story is one of a gradual increase in people’s ability to read and write; from language skills available to a select few to one that most people in the West and in many other places around the world now have. The story traces a political change too, from one of royal patronage and consent, from church authority and sanctions and even from autocratic rule and empire to the democratic systems of the West and those of other independent sovereign states today.

As editors and translators, we need to be aware of this fundamental change in attitude that led gradually to the spread of a standardized form of English throughout the world.

And as change normally does, it all came at a cost – in Reformation times, translating the Bible became a matter of life and death. Even today, importing the Bible into certain countries is forbidden.
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About the presenter

John Hynd was born in England in 1955 and moved to the Netherlands, where he looked after his Dutch mother for six years before she had to go to a nursing home due to Alzheimer. John started life as an Anglican choirboy and during his studies for the priesthood converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Having studied at Loughborough, Leiden, Cambridge and Rome, he became fascinated by canon law and obtained his Magister der Theologie in church history at Leopold-Franzens Universität, Innsbruck in 1989 with a Diplomarbeit on St John of Damascus. He now works as an official court interpreter and translator.