My preaching theory: When preaching, it is best not to disagree with the translation people have in front of them.
It cultivates the sense that people can't read the bible for themselves. I know that personally I have held many difficult passages at arm's length merely under the suspicion that the underlying greek might be ambiguous. Maybe in some cases it is. But I found that when I knew no greek my first reaction to hard verses was generally: 'I bet it's not really saying this in the original.' It was a way of sheathing the sword of the Spirit.
My preaching practice: My sermons are littered with "That's not literally what it says in the Hebrew. In the Hebrew it really says..."
Hmmm. Maybe deep down I don't really believe my theory. Maybe I want people dependent on my magisterial interpretation. Maybe my proud desire to prove special knowledge simply wins out. Maybe I want to communicate excitement at the rich layers of nuance the Scriptures possess. And maybe sometimes you just have to see your theory as a rule of thumb because the translation sucks. I think for me probably all the above factors come into play.
Case in point: my sermon on Isaiah 2:6-22.
In verse 10 it literally says (I've gotta stop saying that in sermons, it bugs even me): "Go and hide in the rock"
Go is an imperative. The rock is a singular noun with a definite article - The Rock. 'The Rock' is a title for the LORD 6 times in Isaiah - a book in which, as my previous post has said, refuge in the LORD is all important. Verse 10 is different to verse 19. Verse 19 is a future indicative. In the future day of judgement many people will hide themselves in many caves and many rocks. But in verse 10 we have a command. Go, now, and hide yourself in the Rock.
Trouble is people had NIVs in front of them which says 'Go into the rocks...' And the first three conversations I had after the service began like this, "So what translation of the bible can we trust!?"
Hmmm. What do you think, should preachers disagree with translations? When? How?