Saturday Morning Thoughts

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.


9 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Thoughts

  1. This is just my own opinion but, I have always thought the closer to the original – the better. It is not that I have instant recognition from arcane syntax… I think that having to contemplate the words, to find meaning based on personal revelation would be best… for me, anyway.


  2. My wife and I tussle over the KJV all the time. We attend a church whose standard text is the KJV but liberally uses the NKJV, too, but she just can’t seem to understand the need to put effort into the reading of the text (as pointed out by John, above). She’s just happy to read something more along the lines of The Living Bible or such things. I simply can’t understand her (and many others’) need for inaccurate simplicity.

    I love the poetry and flowing of the language of the KJV, but that’s probably because I’m a former English teacher and was raised in a church where the use of anything else was heresy (talk about pedantic!).

    As for the new interpretation, I’ll wait to read it and compare the texts to what is known to be true. I won’t throw it out because of minor mistakes, but my personal opinion without reading it is that if they have altered the meanings of such things as “angel,” “Christ” and “apostle” then I will have a major, MAJOR problem with it.

    And an excellent final sentence, B.I.C.


  3. Carlos, my daily reader is a NKJV, which I returned to after years of using a NIV. My head pastor often does a greek study in the sermon which illuminates enough to make me consider learning greek myself…until I remember that it is more than I have time for right now.


  4. I have a Hebrew to English translation (no Septuagint in between). It is beautiful reading, especially the Psalms. It gives more insight into what an amazing work of literature the Bible is. It isn’t my study Bible, but it is a great addition.


  5. Pingback: New Modern Translation Bible Omits the Term “Christ” | YOU DECIDE

  6. So Mr. Victoria is it now your position that the majroity of Americans are just stupid, or is it that the media got him elected, or is it that the Teflon Obama team is .a muslim plot to take over the US and turn its citizens into Allah-fearing rightwing facists? The sky is falling theme is getting a little tiresome, don’t you think? one can only cry wolf so many times. I remember your blog last week where you claimed that the majroity of voters do not agree with Obama’s policies wrong again it appears Frank. But there’s always your teflon defence lol.


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