Bible translation - Ways of Communication in regard to Inspiration, Inkarnation, Condescence and Kenosis
Biblical revelation - Bottleneck of Divine Communication
An overview of the trinitarian-communicative foundations in relation to the science of Bible translation
Eberhard Werner (werner(a)forschungsinstitut.net)
Scriptures teach us different ways of how the divine transcendence was revealed to man in pre-biblical, pre-Christian, pre-canonical and canonical times. The revealed concept of the Three-Unity or Trinity of the Judeo-Christian God plays an important role. However, this theological theoretical concept as biblical truth must not deceive the basic fact that it presents a purely relational structure. This relation-relevant category of the revealed nature of God is explained inter alia by the forms of communication and because of it. The event of incarnation, condescension and de-utterance or emptying (kenosis) of the divine counterpart in persona and will, as well as the formation of the canon with the entire salvation history represents a temporary climax of divine revelation, which one one must consider as a communicative bottleneck. The "before" and the "after" of the communication channels forms the basis for the science of Bible translation. The biblical canon in its present form, as well as the writings accompanying and describing it, form the basis of our image of God. This canon as a base text (German Grundtext) is formed by textual criticism. He narrows the divine patterns of communication to the implicit and explicit communicative content of the Bible text. For this reason, Bible translation scholarship is required to become aware of the variety of ways in which communicative sacred-divine content is transmitted and received by the receptor / receiver, considering both the ways of transmission and the meaning of the biblical texts ( s). The nature of God in so far as accessible to us is described in these ways of transmission and communication.
This article is based on my work "Bible Translation in Theory and Practice" (Kovac Verlag, 2011), as well as the preparation of an interactive workshop for the AfeM Conference 2012.
In the first part, ways of communication in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are considered, with which the transcendence approached mankind, subgroups, or individuals in oral trajectory or written manner. In the second part, the function is seen as a bottleneck / narrowing of these pathways to the canonization and writing of the Scriptures, as well as the importance of this process for the Church.
The third part deals with the resulting missiological consequences.
Introductory thoughts - communication channels
The Trinity, Three-Oneness, or Three-Unity is a theoretical concept derived from Biblical narratives, but not logically understandable. It remains a mystery manifested in faith (πίστις, pistis) and understanding (σύνεσις, synesis) by the believer(s). It attests a relational aspect in which God's inner love-relationship between the formats of revelation (hypostasis or persona) are shown (ad intra), as well as the external love-relationship with man (ad extra). The latter is symbolized in the relationship with his Messenger (Messiah, Christ). The communicative forms and ways that this trinitarian revelation takes in the biblical testimony point to the outwardly revealing, self-evident-being of God. In these communication ways it can be examined which communicative attitude to the person God has and how he wants to bring him close to the Bible. The unrevealed traits of the transcendental remain hidden and form the irresolvable mystery or the mystery of the Creator.
Communication paths, which are described in the Bible from the divine-transcendental sphere into the human-physical realm of man, include:
Written revelations, such as for example, the first words: I tell you, I am ... (for example, Exodus 4:23, Isa 46:10, Mark 14:62, John 6:35).
The addressees were individuals (eg Moses, Abraham), subgroups (eg families, tribes etc.) or entire peoples (eg Israel, Babylonians). A distinction is in:
in the form of the voice of God (for example, Genesis 3:16 in the bush against Moses),
through dreams (Genesis 40:16) or visions (Ezk 8: 4).
indirect speech (partial disclosure),
in scriptures (Exodus 32:16),
by messengers (Gen.
prophets (Is 38,1; Hebr 1,1-2),
appointed disciples (1Petr 1,1) and
ordinary people (John 4:39).
The term direct revelation must not hide the fact that in the Scriptures the God of Israel never appeared in its entirety. Jacob and Moses had the most generous revelatory experience, as God approached them in persona (Latin for 'mask'; Genesis 32:31 and Exodus 33:23). However, the phrase "face-to-face" פָּ נִ֣ים אֶל-פָּנִ֔ ים should not be overused. The overall biblical context makes it clear that no one can perceive God in its entirety (eg, John 1:18, 1Cor 2, 11, 1 John 4:12). This seems to have been an extraordinary form of revelation that enabled Jacob and Moses to cross the line between sanctity and profanity. Whether this border crossing was meta-physical or physical remains open. In other words, whether people approached the state of God or whether the transcendent entered the state of men is not described.
communication on a horizontal (human-human; community) and vertical (human-God) level,
social relation of the community to the outside (sociological orientation),
religiously conditioned psychological-cognitive level.
All examples of divine revelation enter human consciousness or world knowledge (sometimes world consciousness) through their verbal or written tradition (fixation). In the context of the history of tradition, even inexplicable events become communicative experiences, which in the future are an integral part of global experience in the communicative field. In other words, although some processes of communication from biblical revelation are unique, e.g. For example, the burning thorn-bush from which a voice speaks (Exodus 3: 2), this event enters into man's general consciousness through its appearance in the Scriptures. Revelation contains a conservative component that addresses the critical examination of truth and relevance in human testing. This is theologically and missiologically significant, since in apologetic treatises the communicative background of the interlocutor must be considered, such as: For example, knowledge of Islamic communicative experience in dialogue with Muslims and vice versa. The process of revelation is narrowed today by the scriptural revelation of the biblical testimony. Before we enter, it is necessary to examine the historically meaningful self-revelation of the God of Israel (Hebrew Bible) and the world (Hebrew Bible and New Testament). The knowledge of the ways of communication and the content of the revelations arises from the revelation itself. In this sense, Scripture forms both the means of communication itself and the source of information about the communication revealed therein. This inherent circularity results from every religious revelation that calls for a cross-sphere source. From a communicative point of view, man thus becomes a passive recipient, target recipient and object of the communication of revelation, but an active partner in communication in prayer and Bible reading (see below).
At the turn of the Western world, the God of Israel, who calls himself "אֶֶֽהְיֶֶ֖ה" (Exodus 3:14) revealed himself in Jesus of Nazareth. This "I AM" leads back to the Tetragrammaton (484a) יהוה (yhwh; TWOT1). The attributes indicative of one-person division in the Hebrew Bible are:
"us" (Genesis 1:26 and 11: 7);
"Spirit of God" (Genesis 1: 2, 1 Samuel 10:10, 12x)
"the angel of the Lord" (Genesis 16: 7, Exodus 22:23, 164x).
This multiple orientation, or rather a tripartite division of the person יהוה into several areas of activity or revelation, indicated in the Hebrew Bible, is realized in the New Testament in concrete terms.
There is a threefold orientation for the person of God in the New Testament. The three persona (see above) of the NT are mainly indicated in the image of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here, the (Jewish) image of the nuclear family and the associated closest interpersonal relationship of the father to the son is taken up. Since God was mostly thought of as male, the mother's closer relationship with the child in favor of the father (parenting or family image) receded. Other pictures of the relation are expressed in the relation of judge, pardoned and support (legal image) or teacher, pupil and master (image from education) or commander, soldier and commander-in-chief (military image). Within these relational images, the communication paths remain the same.
The revelation is realized in the transition from the Hebrew Bible to the New Testament, or rather from the relationship with the people of Israel to the global church in the hitherto unprecedented appearance of the proclaimed Messiah. Specifically, this is expressed by:
Substance The substantial physical Incarnation of the Jesus of Nazareth. It points to a rapprochement offered by the hitherto unapproachable transcendant creator. (1 TWOT  1980 and 2010. Harris, Laird R., Archer, Gleason L. Jr. & Waltke, Bruce K. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press of Chicago. So on BibleWorks 10.0. [DVD]).
Physical The physical emptying (kenosis) of Jesus of Nazareth into the will of transcendence points to the necessity and urgency of human reaction to the offer of salvation at a time determined by God (ἐκένωσεν ekénōsen Phil 2,7). Jesus gave the example, because he subordinated himself to God completely by emptying his will to the father completely available.
In sum, these processes mean that the revelation process moves from the openable (יהוה, θεος, κυριος) to the revealed. God is responsible for revealing Himself. But what about the communication channels? Are they-se accessible to man, or is he completely exposed to the revelatory will of divine transcendence, as z. Eg in dreams or visions? How can human beings act or respond responsively? These communication questions will now be discussed.
In order to answer the question, a small detour to the origin of the revelation is needed. Revelation is an interplay between divine and human action. Two scenarios are intended to make this clear:
Far more extensive divine revelation.
Let us suppose - and this is quite realistic - that the scriptural proofs of salvation history presented to us are only a fraction of what was actually revealed by this God about his person and was also written down.
It can also be assumed that the writings before us present themselves as curtailments - perhaps even during the lifetime of the authors.
a. the Inlibration of the Qur'an, which is derived from a primitive revelation, which is reflected in the present Koranic text and therefore, according to the thesis, transported no human, but only divine information content.
b. The Book of Mormon as a breath is also suitable for such divinity.
c. Of course, a global direct revelation to all human beings would also be conceivable, as in the chiseling of the commandments in stone (Deuteronomy 4, 13 and 5:22) and the writing on the wall for Belzhazzar (Dan 5: 5).
However, all these approaches (a.-c.) are so far outside the human sphere of access and are speculative, since neither disposal over
a divine revelation (a below, product of divine thought), open up the revealing party (b below, process of revelation),
still insists on its global power (c below, God remains inaccessible). The human authors were aware of their responsibilities, and yet they had to get out
personal (eg consideration of their environment, health),
economic (eg written material, finances, reputation in society) or
time-related (eg lack of imagination for the future, educational system),
But there is a new challenge, namely the meaning of this text as divine origin and its transformation into a communicative-informative revelation.
To date, it has been found that the transmission of communicative content is based both on the transcendent author, who used human communication channels, and on the human author. With the manifestation of the (biblical) canon, which was definitively constituted in the course of the Reformation for the Western Church, but was relatively stable as early as the fourth century, man is given full responsibility for the administration of the revelation. Since then, the Holy Scripture / canon has acted like a needle eye or filter for the worldwide church.
Graphic 1: Needle eye / filter Holy Scripture
- Pre-canonical revelation of the Hebrew Bible and New Tetsaments
- Prophecy, dreams, visions, direct and written revelation
- Post-canonical revelations of church history in application of the canon
- Prophecy, dreams, visions, direct and written revelations
Books of Wisdom: Wisdom, Sirach.
Great Prophets: Baruch, BrJer = Letter of Jeremiah, Ez, Dan (with additions)
Apocrypha or additions: Oratio Manasse, 3Esra, 4Esra, Psalm 151
In addition to the 27 books of the New Testament Protestant canon, these churches offer the following canonical books:
1 st and 2 nd Clement's Letter, the Didache, the Barnabas Letter, the shepherd of Hermas, the Hebrew Gospel, the revelation of Peter.
This history of church history alone already points to the essential share and contribution of man. Added to this is the question of the formation of the canon, which itself
on the one hand, the selection of books (recognition and / or rejection process),
last refers to the final editing or determination of the canon and its acknowledgment (church history).
The unresolved questions associated with these processes, the canon that is still open today, can not be discussed here, but form highly explosive themes that further underpin the human influence on the formation and design of the canon.
It should be pointed out at this point that it is a temporary constriction of the communication channels, which will be extended at the latest in another personal direct revelation of Christ to all imaginable communicative forms (eg, return of the Messiah) , Also, a change in status, i. H. into a substantially physically new body, as intended in the resurrection, changing conditions. Such a state change would be z. For example, to see in the presence of the living and departed believers in the direct presence of the biblically revealed God (eg death, millennial reign, second coming). In the presence of God, direct communication takes place that is subject to new conditions and is not subordinate to the scriptural revelation. In summary, this means that the earth-time of Jesus of Nazareth (30-36 years) included the all-embracing communicative representation of God, but because of the narrowing of time and salvation in the biblical canon, he relied on a range of information for the Posterity restricted or narrowed. Helping and bridging the gap is the Spirit of God, who, however, submits to the bottleneck of written revelation.
From a communicative point of view, Holy Scripture has evolved within the context of church history and specifically for the church into a bottleneck, which not only
By narrowing the divine offer of information and communication to the touchstone of the biblical canon, Holy Scripture becomes the biblio-centric center of ecclesiastical life. It is the ultimate norm against which ideological developments, ecclesiastical life, diaconate and theology must be measured (see above).
The teaching of spiritual truths and knowledge is based on the disciplines of theology, hermeneutics, homiletics, exegesis and auxiliary disciplines, sociology, linguistics, philosophy, psychology and the sciences of communication and translation. The binding member of these disciplines is the Divine Revelation, which promotes interdisciplinary communication and research. Their communicative function, informative and ap-pelative, is transported on the one hand out of itself (self-efficacy of the revelation) and on the other hand through the church, as its tool of proclamation (preaching and interpretation).
So far it has been found that the basis of a trinitarian model of communication is based on the meaning of biblical revelation as the bearer of communication and as its mediator. The divine communication narrows in the context of self-revelation to the canon in its filter function. The change of spheres in the event of incarnation, consecration and kenosis by Jesus of Nazareth shades the missiological orientation of the kingdom of God. It reflects the Missio Dei in the Missio Christi and the Missio Spiritus. The Missio Dei describes the broader context of the self-transmission of God, as well as the worldwide mission of the Church in the context of Christian development aid and its theoretical basis of Missiology (see below). The Missio Christi describes and promotes the methodological concept of the Kingdom of God. The Missio Spiritus describes the theological framework in which the believer moves and which he puts into practice in diaconate and Christian development aid. This dynamic image of the threefold transmission represents a relation and can not be played off against one another or outweighed. This means that all three parts of the program flow into each other and complement each other and never exclude each other. The theological-missiological framework, the Missio Dei, is part and content of the methodological propulsion of the mission, represented in the concept of the Missio Christi. In the same way, both complement the practical implementation of these frameworks and methods in Christian Development Aid, that is the Missio Spiritus. In accordance with the intertwining and interwoven nature of the Trinity, this mystery can not be resolved. Incidentally, this also applies to the following communicative trinitarian interpretation as it portrays an outward-looking depiction.
The model of the triple transmission finds its communicative realization in the
- Communicatio Dei,
- Communicatio Christi and
- Revelatione Spirit.
Communicatio Christi describes the beings manifested in incarnation, the condescension of God and in the emptying of Jesus of Nazareth (Kenosis) and the self-initiative methodology of transcendence of using human communication channels (vertical). horizontal axis). This is unique in human history, since otherwise religions of human communication are only used to approach the deity (s) (horizontal-vertical axis).
Revelatione Spiritus describes the implementation of communicative means to confront the individual, the group or entire ethnic groups with the kingdom of God's thoughts. Since this extends to all imaginable communication channels (dreams, prophecies, visions, self-revelation, salutations, etc.), the Revelatione Spirit narrows and limits itself to the canon of Holy Scripture (see illustration above).
Graphic 2: Importance of the needle eye function for communication
With the narrowing of divine revelation to the Scriptures, the responsibility for administering the Church and its instruments has been transferred to man. These include the handling and dissemination of the word revealed, as well as the personal implementation of ethical and theological premises. From the previously one-sided address of man through transcendence, there has since been a double responsibility:
First, the maintenance of the vertical communicative axis through prayer, obedience, and attention to divine revelation (Christofugal).
On the other hand, the horizontal communicative axis within the church and to extraterrestrial circles with regard to sibling and charity in the framework of the Diaconate and Christian Development Aid (Christopetal).
- Missio Christi
- Incarnation, conescence, kenosis
- Communicatio Christi
- human communication channels
- Communicatio Christi
- Incarnation, conescence, kenosis
- Missio Spiritus
- Pragmatic methodology of Christian development aid
- Revelatione Spirit
- Communicative resources are narrowed to the canon of the Bible
- Revelatione Spirit
- Pragmatic methodology of Christian development aid
- Missio Dei
- Missiological-theological framework
- Communicatio Dei
- Communicatio Dei
- Missiological-theological framework
The model of communication in missiology and theology presented here also has an effect on the areas of church history, the science of Bible translation, biblical studies (exegesis, hermeneutics), and homiletics. In addition, biblical translation scholarship will consult ethnology, linguistics, sociology, philosophy and psychology.
Man can control the cycle on his own responsibility (prayer, receptiveness), as well as relying on the filter function of the Revelation. In this sense, he is the equivalent of the divine communication partner (Imago Dei) and holds a special position in the context of creation.
At this point, it must be pointed out that due to the biblical account, there are also interpretations that give people an external control. Here it is argued that only the Holy Spirit motivates, directs, and executes the will and achievement of a communicative approach to God. The will of man then lies in there to come to terms with this foreign leadership and subordinate to it. At this point, this interpretation,
which raises the question of predestination, only mentioned and left open for further interpretation.
The science of Bible translation assumes the function of church history to transport the area of experience of the church in the form of translation traditions to the canon. In other words, the history of the Bible translation reflects the state of the Church. In terms of this function, it does not make sense to speak of a "higher development" or "spiritual growth" of the church (vertical axis), but rather it makes sense to speak of the church's increasing horizon of experience or communication horizon ( horizontal axis). Incidentally, this also applies to the individual in the context of the Church, who does not develop cognitively higher, but increases in his spiritual-spiritual experience. To make this concrete, it pays to browse through history:
The pre-canonical church was dependent on oral tradition and the apostolate as well as its doctrinal succession (transmission of doctrine). The experience with Marcion, Gnosticism, Arianism and other influences flowed into the further development of the Church and is reflected in the dogmas and the Creed of this time (3rd-4th century AD).
The first native-language Bible translations in Semitic languages and dialects, as well as Armenian, Gothic and Latin reflect the state of the Church, which was heavily dependent on authorities at that time. This emphasizes the clergy in these translations. For this reason, the Orthodox churches, the Roman Catholic Church, and some Middle Eastern churches also have a strong tendency toward liturgy and hierarchy.
With the Reformation, the lay priesthood comes into the consciousness of the church. The words "salvation", "salvation" and "grace" determine the church for the next centuries. Interestingly enough, the church, which hitherto had subordinated itself to the clergy, can adapt to this communicative change, which I would call dynamic contextualization.
The complex communicative connections between the nature of God as the "Sender" and "Messenger" reflect the trinitarian personality of the revealed transcendence. The Scriptures as the manifested document about the divine person and their work in church and human history narrows and reduces the channels of communication in the event of writing and fixing the canon. This reduction finds its cause in the incarnation, condescension and emptying (kenosis) of transcendence in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, who gave himself to the will of God. Descriptions about him and the impact of his relevant historical healing actions - notably his death, resurrection and ascension - are recorded in the written record. With the concretization of church-relevant writings in the biblical canon, the responsibility of translating, disseminating and implementing the Christian message is completely transferred to man. The previously orally transmitted and more comprehensive revelation is reduced to the then authoritative written format. In this function, Holy Scripture functions as a bottleneck and communicative filter:
subsequent revelation (eg, visions, dreams, prophecy), they
is source of information on theologically and missiologically relevant issues, and
Church history-relevant development (eg dogma, creed, faith orientation).
As a source of sacred and sacral content that transcends the human sphere, it suggests a transition to the Sphere, which turns out to be Christocentric and Christofugal. The former draws man to revelation in order to bring him near to God and to keep him there (eg fascination of the church). The latter drives him away from this center, out to his fellow men, to bring them closer to the sphere of Christ.
Church history, the history of Bible translation, as well as Christian development aid reflect the vertical extension of the experience of the global Corpus Christi. This extension is based on the transfer of responsibility for the establishment of a written record.
Believers are given the worldwide responsibility and opportunity to give people of all cultures and languages access to the essence and trinitarian nature of God's self-manifesting יהוה, θ