Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ng Kam Weng's response to Dzulkifli Abdul Razak

Dave Chong highlighted Kam Weng's reply to an article published in The Sun newspaper written by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Dzulkifli sees the Malay translation of the Bible marks the "inconsistency, indifference and arrogance" of the translators, especially when it comes to translate Jesus as the "Son of God".

Kam Weng responded that Dzulkifli's lack of interpretation execises and his petty ocncern over minor issues have blinded him from discussing the core issue,
"Dzulkifli’s manifest confusion in his reading or rather misreading of the Bahasa Bible could easily be avoided if he just follows Aristotle’s dictum and attempts an internally coherent reading of the text on its own terms... Dzulkifli’s criticisms fail to carry weight because he has not undertaken both a diachronic and synchronic analysis of lexical terms used in the original texts. Without this prior exercise he has no grounds to justify why he cannot accept certain translations of Biblical terms, which are based on objective principles of linguistics."
Kam Weng is right. I was puzzled over the vice chancellor's inability to understand how the New Testament authors used the word "kurios" and "theos". It seems that Dzulkifli has no basic hermeneutical skill. And I wonder how is he the vice chancellor of a university that bears the word "science" on its name. He can't even know how to read (or interpret)!

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