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 to 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.
It features both Eastern and Western sectors of the church. For the East, it features the Eastern Orthodox Bible. For the West, it features the 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.
It features early English translators, beginning with Wycliffe who worked with the Latin, and moving to others who could work with the Greek text being tweaked by the textual scholars. Names, such as Tyndale, Coverdale, Martin. What were their stories, what part did they play?
It features the etiology of the King James Version (KJV). Why was it controversial? Why was it disliked? Why did it win through? Today’s arguments for it, usually combined with condemning others, are looked at. What are their strengths, their weaknesses? 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 etiology 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 inclusivisation 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 not-
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? Does the Contemporary English Version help?
It features a collation of all the grades given, thus indicating 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 narrow down the selection of versions to consider, and show strengths & weaknesses, and the value of comparing.
It features an appendix of reading levels catered for among the versions, ranging from Oxonian English to Inuit English, and an appendix of selected versions since 1653.