Babies and Bibles

Let’s face it, babies are more interesting than Bible translation.

My colleague John Hamilton had this reality brought home to him last week, when he posted photographs of his new granddaughter on Facebook.

 My wife Ruth and I have become grandparents for the first time – our beautiful wee Ellie Rose Hamilton.

Then I thought… I have twice in the last few days posted a Facebook status about becoming a grandfather.

  • The first was simply an announcement of the fact: it got 124 likes and 39 comments.
  • The second this morning had her photo : so far today it has 89 likes and 18 comments… and counting!

In between I have posted an infographic about Bible translation needs; an encouragement to read the biography of a New Testament translation on Kindle; a link to a blog about why the Bible is different to other books; and a blog about my recent seminar at a major Christian conference in N. Ireland.

Reactions? Compared to the arrival of my grand daughter – pretty much negligible!

Of course, charities have not been slow to realise that people like babies. There are an increasing number of charity advertisements on British TV which show film of babies and small children in the most appalling situations; accompanied by mournful music and a sincere voice-over informing you that a monthly donation from you will change the lives of these children for the better.

I find these sorts of adverts difficult. For a start, I know that the causes of poverty and suffering are multi-faceted and that it will take more than money to deal with them – though money can, of course, help. I also find some of the filming of children to be exploitative, though, maybe, that is permissible in an effort to raise funds.  #

We’ve decided against using photographs of suffering children to publicise Wycliffe. Without having a doctrinaire stance on the issue, we are just uneasy with it. However, one of my colleagues recently mocked up a photograph that we could use if we were ever to change this stance. What do you think?

A boy carries a pineapple

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