Translating Freedom Between Cultures and Ideologies: A Comparative Analysis of the Translation of Keywords in Galatians

  • Sarah BuchananEmail author
Part of the Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics book series (YCLP, volume 2)


This paper presents a comparative analysis of Bible translations in German, French, Spanish and English targeted towards a range of cross-confessional audiences. It focuses on the key word translation of concepts such as freedom and slavery. It examines the translator’s choices and the pragmatic implications of these decisions for readers of translations of the Bible. The case study centres on the concepts of freedom and slavery in Paul’s letter to the Galatians with an intercultural corpus of 16 translations. Authorised and widely accepted translations in English, German, French and Spanish such as the Lutherbibel (1984) and Reina Valera (1989) are compared with new competing translations, such as the New Living Translation (Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, 2007), The Message (Peterson, The Message: the new testament in contemporary English. NavPress, Colorado Springs, 2005), and Die Volxbibel (2005). This study draws from the fields of Pragmatics, Translation Studies and Theology, to provide a unique cross-cultural examination of Galatians, and of sacred translation. It is found that the choices of the translator of sacred texts are not merely linguistic choices, but rather they are often rooted in various ideological and theological positions.


Bible translation Key word translation Pragmatics Galatians Cross-confessional Freedom Theological concepts Sacred translation 



La Bible en français courant (1996)


BibleWorks NT (Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 27th Edition)


Complete Jewish Bible (1998)


Einheitsübersetzung der Heiligen Schrift (1980)


English Standard Version (2007)


La bible de la liturgie (1980)


La Bible: Louis Segond (1910)


Lutherbibel (1984)


The Message (2005)


My Translation


The New International Version (2011)


New Living Translation (2007)


New Testament


La Biblia: La Palabra de Dios para Todos (2005)


La Santa Biblia Reina-Valera Actualizada (1989)


Sagrada Biblia (2011)


Die Volxbibel (2005)


The Voice New Testament (2011)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Translation and Interpreting School of Modern LanguagesQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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