Saturday, June 03, 2006

Version 4.0

No, this is not an advertisement, in fact, I took the link off the picture. It is one I found for Nero, a cd writing software if you must know. It does illustrate the thought here.

One of the things about language, especially the English spoken in America is that it changes... For instance, I still have a problem understanding the stereotypical "getto" talk and it only gets worse as I age.

Today I ran across this verse in Ephesians and I thought I would tell you about my upgrades. Bible upgrades.

First off.... Why upgrade? Some time ago, I blogged about a group that things there is only one "Authentic Version" of the Bible. I have never believed this... In fact, if the meaning of the pages stays the same, the best version is the one your read and understand. Case in point. The first Bible I remember having as a kid was the King James.... It reads....
Eph 2:1
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins"
The next version I remember getting in High School was the Living Bible. The controversy around The Living Bible is that it was a paraphrases (in essence, translated twice)... I can't, however, seem to find a version on line to show you.

In College, the first bunch of people I hung around with were suggesting the New American Standard Bible would be a better choice if I wanted something more modern... It reads.
Eph 2:1
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
The next group used the Revised Standard Version so I got one of those... Again, I can't find one on line but it reads...
Eph 2:1
And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins...
While most of my friends upgraded to the New International Version, I stuck with the Revised Standard for years and years.

My latest upgrade was to The Message. This is the Bible version that has got me reading again. It reads...
Eph 2:1
It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin.
One of the things I realized about language many years ago is that it is used to paint pictures in your head... The way most of us think. Which one paints a better picture?

The sad part is, like my old software, most of my old versions sit on the shelf collecting dust.

There are some advantages to having the old ones around, however. Our language is not very precise, Hebrew and Greek are more precise in some ways. Examples of this are the word translated "Love" in the new testament has 3 different meanings but that is a different subject.

Lately, I have been using software called E-Sword, Bible study software which has indexes into the definitions of the words used. The basis for this is, of course, The King James Version.

If you want a challenge, the first edition of the Living Bible paraphrased I Sam 20:30... "You son of a bitch".... I was shocked to see they talked like that back then. See where these different translations lead you.


alpjor said...

seeing as how the bible is a collection of accounts of an event. I feel that the only way to achieve a deeper understanding of the purpose of the book is to read many versions of it. Much in the same way that you teach someone a new skill, you describe the feeling of the skill in as many ways as possible, hoping that one of your descriptions will hit home and enable the person to learn in the most natural way to them. The message is as close to perfect as possible. The language can only obscure the message.

Joel Frederick said...

Great point Jordan!!!

Dan said...

I, too, am reading The Message a lot these days, although I still read the NIV a lot. A lot of the memorizin I've done has come out of the NIV, so that's always been my "standard." But I agree with you completely on the importance of reading other translations! One guy who does a great job of this is Rick Warren.

Good thoughts, Joel! Keep writing!

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