I must say I am somewhat confused about what Karen Jobes has been writing and saying.
A few days ago I reported on a paper “Bible Translation as Bilingual Quotation” which, according to the Zondervan blog, she presented “at the Fall 2007 Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting”. I wrote about this paper that I expected it to interact with Relevance Theory as presented by Ernst-August Gutt, but it did not.
Just now I have received a link to a blog post by “Chaka”, a 26-year-old man who is apparently linked with one of Zondervan’s rivals as a Bible publisher, Tyndale. In this post “Chaka” writes a review of an article by the same Karen Jobes, published in the same quarter of the same year in the journal of the same Evangelical Theological Society (in fact Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 50.4 (December 2007) 773-797). But it turns out that this is a different article with a different title, “Relevance Theory and the Translation of Scripture”. And, although there is some overlap in the subject matter in that both papers address the issue of verbosity in Bible translations, the paper “Chaka” refers to does in fact interact with Relevance Theory as presented by Ernst-August Gutt. (In fact “Chaka” also links to the Zondervan blog post referring to the first paper.)
But there is a further puzzle in that the verbosity statistics in the two papers, or two versions of the same paper, are inconsistent. For example, according to the paper linked to by Zondervan, NIV is 18.56% more verbose than the original Hebrew and Greek, NRSV is 21.72% more verbose, and ESV is 23.67% more verbose. But according to the figures Chaka quotes from the other paper, NIV is 33.18% more verbose than the original, ESV is 38.93% more verbose, and NRSV is an astonishing 64.43% more verbose.
So what is happening here? What is the relationship between these two papers? It is hard for me to tell without seeing the latter. But perhaps there is a need here to exercise the scholarly disciplines of source and redaction criticism.