Odd Translation

There’s been much discussion lately on translations, so I don’t feel the need to contribute. I do want to point out, however, an odd translation of 1 Corinthians 4:11 in the ESV.

The verb is κολαφιζόμεθα from κολαφίζω, which basically means “I treat poorly” or “roughly.” Yet, the ESV renders the verb “buffeted.” Buffeted? Really? I am all for literal translations when that literal translation is the best way to communicate the thought/point/truth intended by the writer. But this is a good example of why there needs to be a varied approach to translation philosophy. If translators are seeking to make God’s word known to people who live and speak English now, then “buffeted” seems a very odd choice. A bit archaic for modern English (at least in America!).

Consider other modern translations:

NET – brutally treated

HCSB – roughly treated

NASB95 – roughly treated

NIV – we are brutally treated

TNIV – we are brutally treated

NLT – We are often beaten

NRSV – beaten

Αυτω η δοξα,



6 thoughts on “Odd Translation”

  1. ‘Yet, the ESV renders the verb “buffeted.” Buffeted?’

    Your problem is that you are mispronouncing the word. It refers to a previously unknown “torture” method of forcing the victim to make repeated passes through the food lines at an “All You Can Eat” buffet and stuffing their mouths to the point of discomfort!

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