This, I think, is an important issue that we probably have not dealt with all that much on this blog, but need to. You often hear people say things like "Well, that doesn't sound like the Bible" or "That translation doesn't have the same literary quality as this or that translation." But what does that really mean?
Again, I want to thank Baronius Press for reprinting Knox's On Englishing the Bible, which has proven to be an enlightening read. Here are a couple of selections from Knox, that should serve to begin this conversation:
"Constantly, then, you have to be on the look-out for phrases which, because
you have so often met them in the Bible, read like English, and yet are not
English. Many of them, beginning life as Bible English, have even crept into the
language; “to give a person the right hand of fellowship,” for example, or “to
sleep with one’s fathers,” or “the son of perdition.” If the translator is not
careful, he will let these through the barrier by mistake, and he will be wrong.
When a public speaker urges that we should give Chiang Kai-shek the right
hand of fellowship, he means “give him the right hand of fellowship, as the dear
old Bible would say.” And when you are translating the Bible, you must not
describe the apostles as “giving Paul and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship,
as the dear old Bible would say.” Some of the phrases which we take over, as
unconscious quotations, from the Authorized Version, or more rarely from Douay,
have even become jocose. It is intolerable, in a modern translation of the New
Testament, to find St. Paul talking about “the inner man,” when “the inner man”
has been used for so many years as a facetious synonym for the human stomach. If
you are simply revising the old text of the Douay, you may, perhaps, be
justified in leaving such phrases as they stand. But if you are writing a
translation of the Bible, a translation of your own, you must find some other
way of putting it; “the inner man” is a phrase that has become desecrated (5)."