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  • Jim Edwards

Yet another Translation

31st May 2018

Yet another translation?

As mentioned in the earlier posts, another translation really wasn't my idea!

Just how many bibles are left sitting unread on the shelf, gathering dust but never actually read? In every respect I want this to be an easy and enticing read. I wanted the language to to be our normal everyday vernacular - perhaps not that easy as many of the topics are never normally talked about! But it was this that drove William Tyndale and many of his successors to continually be offering us new translations. Unfortunately our language is changing so quickly... But it is not just the language - our revelation and understanding of our Wonderful Father God's heart of love towards us, is building a new framework through which to go back and re-translate those New Testament writings. 

There's then the factor of cultural expression. I found the writers would give the conclusion to a train of thought and then the logic steps that lead to the conclusion. This reads most illogical to us today. We build our line of thinking step by step, to finish with the conclusion. So this can now even result, on occasion, in the verse order needing to being swapped!

But I want this to be an easy read, not just in the vocabulary and way of saying things but in a large easy-reading typeface and page layout. I wanted the notes to be readily accessible to the main text, while not intruding in on it. Aligning on the opposite page has not been easy, but I hope this makes them both easy to follow, and easy to ignore for those occasions when you simply want to read the text - not study it. And on an e-reader where the hyperlinks are there to a block of end notes, I hope reading them on a second device alongside the main text on a primary reader, will enable the same kind of easy cross-correlation. 

But dare I call this a 'translation'? In any other sphere other than biblical, it is the meaning, the sense of what is being conveyed, that is required by a translation. Now there are layers and layers of meaning and revelation in the original wording and no, I'm certainly not suggesting this catches any but the most readily accessible. But unraveling the religious language and jargon, itself opens up new revelation and understanding. And our very direct way of putting things sometimes adds a simplicity and directness to their truth that can be quite disarming.

And as mentioned in the previous Blog post ‘Living and Breathing the Psalms – a Translation?’ there are major cultural differences to contend with too. There were big cultural differences between the people who the letters were sent to, and big differences between their culture and ours today. So in amplifying the Epistles I am also trying to add in explanations, where necessary, of the cultural issues being addressed.

And the letters such as Hebrews rely heavily on Old Testament writing, theology and practice, so this requires amplification for many. I hope I have amplified sufficiently. As I have mentioned elsewhere, my skill honed over nearly 20 years as an Applications Engineer is that of explaining, and Hebrews certainly gives me some explaining to do! And I love the book of Hebrews, which was exactly why I started here. 

And Yes Romans and many of Paul's letters also require much the same skill, so these are definitely in the pipeline. I have worked through Romans, which will be winging its way to Lisa for editing shortly.

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