The Word’s Gone Global
The Word’s Gone Global has many features, not least theological insights presented alongside the task of talking text and translation. It features the Islamic witness to the tenacity of the authentic text, a witness seldom remembered in Muslim communities. This should interest those who engage in mission among Muslims, as well as Christians in general. Yes, there are many variations of text out there, but alongside them the true text survives. We have a reliable biblical text.
The book features both Eastern and Western sectors of the church. For the East, it features the modern Eastern Orthodox Bible. For the West, it features the ancient Latin Vulgate Bible. From the Vulgate, it moves swiftly to the Reformation, to Erasmus and other scholars who especially established a reliable New Testament base from which to translate. So it features early English translators, beginning with Wycliffe who worked with the Latin, and others who would work with the Greek text being established by the textual scholars. We look at the likes of Tyndale, Coverdale, and Martin. What were their stories, what part did they play?
It features the origins of the King James Version (KJV). Why was it controversial? Why was it so disliked? Why did it win through? Today’s arguments for it, usually combined with condemning others, are looked at. What are the strengths and weaknesses of such arguments? The likes of Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman, feature in the church history of pyromania.
It features the comparison of over 30 English versions, on many aspects of translation. These versions come from Eastern Orthodoxism, Roman Catholicism, Semi-
It features the origin of the New International Version, perhaps the outstanding version to attract Evangelicals, and therefore perhaps most open to flak by those who identify with Evangelicalism and with King James Onlyism. It features the attack on the inclusivism of the NIV, perhaps most notably through the Colorado Springs Guidelines. Are the alternatives, such as the English Standard Version, any better? Are the nuances of Grudem a nuisance, nonsense, or good sense? Is the current NIV a betrayal of Evangelicalism, or a blessing for those for whom Christ died? Does Holman withhold blessing? Is praying to Mary as our mother who art in heaven, sexism in the wrong direction? All questions within the search for gender accuracy.
It features a look at the two poles of translation, formal equivalence, and functional equivalence. Where is the balance? What are the trade-
It features a gentle work-
It features a contrast between philosophy and polytheism. How is it that Christians and Muslims, talking together, talk like Hindus about each other’s god, when both sides agree that there is only one god, God, so neither side can have an alternative god? Does the Contemporary English Version sort our talk?
The Word’s Gone Global features a roundup of all the grades given, thus offering a comparative chart for overall accuracy among the versions. Yet accuracy is not the end of the story, nor is having only one version recommended. But buying into high accuracy should at least narrow down the selection of versions to consider, show strengths & weaknesses, and the value of comparing.