When to translate or transliterate

Over at New Leaven, TC Robinson posted on a subject that he and Will Lee had a conversation about.  The gist of it goes like this.  In the Bible, there are certain words that are not translated, but transliterated.  Deacon is a good example.  In the original language it means something like servant.  But the translators tried to keep diakonos as a distinct word rather than translate it.

The word which was brought up for debate is the Greek word Christos.  The word is the Hebrew equivalent of Messiah and both words mean anointed, or anointed one.  So here is the question, why don’t we translate the word as Anointed One or even Messiah throughout the New Testament?  Why do we transliterate rather than translate?

You can check out the banter at this link here.  I had some comments which were well received.  Will is not being dogmatic about wanting to change our translations, he is simply asking the question.  And I think it’s a good question.  Feel free to chime in over there or here.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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