The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Committee translations

All of the principle translations of the Bible into English are done by translation committees. There are some notable exceptions, of course, including the Message, the Living Bible, Weymouth, Philips, etc. However, these are considered secondary due to their being completed by an individual. Moreover, I have sensed a general sentiment that such translations by individuals are not considered as trustworthy as committee translations because it is thought that personal bias would be allowed to shine through in an individual's work. A committee is also useful for imposing a standard style on a work which is actually composed by many different scholars. I am sure there are more reasons for the committee trend. What I began noticing in college is that committee translations are pretty rare outside of the Bible (I cannot think of one off the top of my head). Instead, translations are typically done by an individual or small team. This is the case for works of antiquity, textbooks, novels, etc. Why is it that committees are so common for biblical translation but so uncommon for everything else? Is the quality of the end product affected by the decision to use a committee or not?