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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Biblically Faithful, Relevant, Communicationally-Effective: Applying Semantic and Communication Theories to the Selection of Key Biblical Terms in the Safaliba Language
by Schaefer, Jennifer Christine, D.Min., Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2020, 318; 28091291
Abstract (Summary)

Having Scripture available in the first language (mother tongue) of the local community is foundational to the communication of the gospel as well as the ongoing development and growth of the church. In vernacular Scripture translation, certain “Key Biblical Terms” in the biblical text are central to effective translation. This project focuses on the translation choice of selected Key Biblical Terms into the Safaliba language of northern Ghana.

While many aspects of Bible translation practice are founded on solid theory, some aspects continue without an explicit theoretical grounding. The processes and helps supplied by the major Bible translation organizations, which the translator must work through in order to translate the Key Biblical Terms, remain useful resources. However, given the central nature of Key Biblical Terms to the overall effectiveness of a translation, a comprehensive methodological approach based on a solid theoretical framework is necessary.

This project applies Fritz Goerling’s (1995) approach utilizing semantic and communication theories for establishing criteria for the choice of Key Biblical Terms in a vernacular language. This project uses his model for the choice and translation of the following set of terms into the Safaliba language: angel, prophet, priest, apostle, and disciple. Specifically, this includes five steps: (1) carry out linguistic and semantic research on the selected biblical terms, (2) do anthropological, linguistic (semantic) research in the local language for potential candidate terms, (3) make a comparative analysis of biblical and vernacular candidate terms (both indigenous and borrowed terms), (4) come to tentative decisions, and (5) test the choices and make final decisions based on the testing results.

Lastly, this theoretical model places the choice of Key Biblical Terms at a prominent position in the translation process, demonstrating the profound effect of the Key Biblical Terms choices on receptivity to the translation as well as its communicative effect (Goerling 1995, iii).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rance, DeLonn
Commitee: Johns, Donald, Barnwell, Katherine
School: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
Department: Intercultural Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Translation studies, Biblical studies, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Keywords: African traditional religion, Bible translation, Biblical languages, Ghana, Vernacular scripture, West African Islam, Safaliba
Publication Number: 28091291
ISBN: 9798672193700
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