With Deb away, I guess its up to Geoff and I to make sure that there is something for Deb’s readers to consider on this day, and since Geoff doesn’t really post anything, it appears that it falls to me.
So this morning, I read about a new translation of the Bible, that is “easier to comprehend”.
Professor David Capes says the Bible “is probably the most owned and least read book out there. That’s because, for many, it’s too difficult to understand.”
The “own it but haven’t read it” demographic is his target market, says Capes, who teaches the New Testament at Houston Baptist University and was part of a team that compiled “The Voice,” a new translation of the King James Bible. Capes told CNN that the motivation behind the translation, seven years in the making, was to emphasize the meaning behind the words.
“‘The Voice’ considers the narrative links that help us to understand the drama and passion of story that is present in the original languages,” according to the website for the book. “The tone of the writing, the format of the page, and the directness of the dialog allows the tradition of passing down the biblical narrative to come through in ‘The Voice.’”
I really have mixed feelings about this. While there are several translations of the Bible that are the result of years of translation from original greek texts, that have allowed for a deeper, richer understanding. This still requires an effort from the reader, and it is precisely the difficulty in understanding certain portions that causes me to read from these translations in the first place.
But what makes this different is the fact that it is someone re-writing a King James Version because it is too difficult to understand. This smacks of the same thinking in which people denigrate the Constitution, because it is too hard to understand, or refuse to read the Federalist Papers because they are difficult, or CS Lewis’ apologetics, or…well, you get the point. It isn’t the average person who benefits when such books are “dumbed down”, and it empowers the ones doing the dumbing down. You don’t value what you don’t pay for, and when this version has abandoned the use of “angel”, “Christ”, and “apostle”, I don’t get a sense that it ends well. It smacks a little too much of the continual “redefinition” of all things being forced upon us in other parts of culture and society.