Buzz Lightyear and Revelation
Regular readers here will know that translation in all its form is something which matters a lot to me. Simply put, translations can vary from formal equivalence at one end of the scale to dynamic equivalence at the other. For more on this click here. Formal equivalence leans more towards the form of the source text, and dynamic equivalence concerns itself with the dynamic impact on the target audience or culture.
Maybe it is because I have studied translation in various forms over the years, but sometimes I cannot help myself looking for a dynamically equivalent translation when I read the ancient text of the Bible. Sometimes that translation slips unbidden into my imagination, as if a door had been left ajar. That is exactly what happened this morning as I read the letter to the church in Philippi, found in Revelation 3 v.7 – 13. The faithful believers in that church are promised by Christ that ‘I will write on them my new name’. On the face of it, that seems like a rather tame promise. After all, we tend to write names on things rather than people. That is the moment when the image below popped into my mind from Toy Story:
The writing of Andy’s name on Buzz Lightyear’s boot is the moment when he wakes up to himself. It is the moment when he realises that he need not yearn to be a real action hero. His is a toy, loved by the boy who plays with him – and that is enough.
Thank you, Buzz Lightyear, for translating an ancient document for me today. armed with that insight, I can go ‘to infinity and beyond’!