Sunday Terminology: Literalism

Literalism: It is understood, most often, in terms of literal translation or interpretation of the biblical words or meanings. In other words, it is “a commitment to strict exactness of words or meanings”[1] while translating any text. It seeks to interpret the word meaning from one language to another as accurately as possible. However doing so, the intention of the original text might sometimes become obscure and hard to understand for readers. In contrast to literalism, a paraphrase translation commits itself to translate any given original text into an understandable ideas or meanings from translator’s point of view. In this case, paraphrasing can take away the richness of the text-meaning from the original.


[1] Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical dictionary of theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1984), 643. Print.


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