The Gdańsk Bible Update
Principles of translation/updating summarized:
Our work when concluded should preserve the underlying text of the Gdańsk Bible. We must preserve the sense of the text where exact literalness is not possible. It’s form (translation) should be in the best possible Polish meeting the highest standards. It should be made so that the common man can read it easily – not in gutter language, nor in scholastic language – but in a language that the average Pole can understand effortlessly. Not too easy for the scholar and not too hard for the farmer. It should be clear, recognizable and read without difficulty. It should be good Polish in the form that Poles would speak using common familiar expressions while retaining the underlying text. We should not get bogged down over choices of words when several different words fit commodiously. Not every word change will carry over all the nuances of the old word, but the word choices should have the same principle meaning of the original word. Changes in tense, word order, use of plurals/singulars, punctuation changes, italics, synonyms, adding and deleting of words were all used by genuine translations and updates throughout history. Of course we should not carelessly make any of these types of changes just for change sake. At the same time we should not allow the fear of these types of changes prevent us for presenting the word of God in the best possible Polish. Doing the best we can with the abilities that God gave us at this time in history we take to heart the words of the AV translators:
“As the King’s speech, which he utters in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every Translator with the like grace, nor peradventure so fitly for phrase, nor so expressly for sense, everywhere. For it is confessed, that things are to take their denomination of the greater part; and a natural man could say, Verum ubi multa nitent in carmine, non ego paucis offendor maculis, &c. (horace.) A man may be counted a virtuous man, though he have made many slips in his life, (else, there were none virtuous, for in many things we offend all) (#Jas 3:2) also a comely man and lovely, though he have some warts upon his hand, yea, not only freckles upon his face, but also scars. No cause therefore why the word translated should be denied to be the word, or forbidden to be current, notwithstanding that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the setting forth of it.”
As way of example - We have had many brothers and sisters translate for visiting American pastors and speakers. Every translator translated the words and messages correctly – but not every translation was done “with like grace”. Obviously, some translators had a better command of the Polish and English languages than their counterparts. All the translations were genuine, valid and correct – not to be disputed against. And so it is with our update. We may not reach the beauty and grace of the German and English translations, but this work will none-the-less be the word of God. We do the best we can and commit our cause into the hands of God.