Thursday, January 18, 2007


Go Church! Beat Marcion!

Interesting article in Christianity Today about the dearth of translations of the whole bible available to many language groups. Understandably many translation efforts begin with translations of the New Testament, which is much smaller than the Old Testament, and in which "God has spoken to us by His Son" (Heb 1). But, as well, too many translation projects have stalled out there, either failing to see the importance of the Old Testament or simply being intimidated by the sheer size of the task. Again, epsecially in regard to the latter, understandable.

However, I'm encouraged to see that translation societies like Wycliffe are seeing the importance of translating the whole bible and are committed to seeing these full translation projects through to completion. It's also encouraging to see that increasingly the translations are being done by nationals, who know the language and culture from the inside out. The time, effort, and expense necessary for nationals to acquire biblical Hebrew and Greek, though costly on the front end, increase the chances of better quality translations, both in understanding the original text and then in translating that into native languages.

Not surprisingly, missionaries are experiencing breakthroughs where they are bringing all of the scriptures to a people in their native languages. Why would we expect a full-bodied faith from those who have only about one quarter of the sacred scriptures available to them? And to bring it close to home, how can we in the United States expect full-bodied faith and mature churches when we often survive on one quarter of the bible, not because of a lack of access, but because of a lack of interest.

Another question to ask is, "How significant is Jesus Christ without the Old Testament?" The story of salvation history seen through the Old Testament aches and yearns for Jesus Christ. One passion that I have is to see not only people in Asia and Africa be able to read and understand the Old Testament, but for myself and those around me in America to be able to ache and yearn for Jesus Christ through the pages of the Old Testament.
minimally they should always do genesis, exodus, Isaiah and the psalms.

I'd prioritize Psalms before I did Revelation, frankly
i am always learning...
full bodied faith.
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Many thanks for making the truthful effort to explain this. I feel very strong about it and would like to read more. If you
can, as you find out more in depth knowledge, would you mind posting more posts similar to this one with more information.
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