Bible and Mission Links 7
I apologise for the slowdown in posting on Kouya Chronicle of late. This is mainly due to the fact that life is very busy at the moment. This state of affairs is likely to continue for a while, but I’ll do my best to post whenever I have enough energy to be creative. In the meantime; lots of other people have come up with good stuff on the themes of Bible and Mission; so here goes with another list.
This week has seen the usual masses of blog posts relating to Bible translation; most of them discussing the merits (or otherwise) of the main translations into English. There has been a fair bit of handwringing in some circles in the US about Rupert Murdoch being the ultimate owner of the company who produce the NIV, though I haven’t noticed the same people complaining about Fox News which he also owns and which he influences much more than Zondervan! Meanwhile, there have been a number of interesting posts relating to translation in languages other than English.
Global Partner Link have a nice little article (he says, modestly) about the wider impact that Bible translation can have on a community. The Observer in Uganda has an interesting piece comparing the translation of the KJV with local language translations in East Africa which is well worth a read. There is a superb article on Bible translation in Mission Frontiers which gets away from the usual dynamic/literal dichotomy and looks at translations in terms of the Church audience for whom they are published. This approach has a great deal of merit and the article deserves wide circulation.
“Can God’s Word speak clearly and naturally in the languages of diverse communities—even in the languages of our enemies?” Around the world, translators, evangelists and church planters are grappling with this question, seeking to make themselves aware of the particular needs for Scripture in the communities where they work, and to smooth the way for people to access the message of God in a relevant and meaningful way. Such thoughtful research into the needs of each community reflects the message of the Apostle James when he spoke to the assembled apostles and elders in Jerusalem: “…we should not make it difficult…for those who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:19).
Ed Lauber, whose blog is becoming more interesting now that he is based in Africa, has a fascinating insight into a language community where 1 in 9 adults bought a copy of the New Testament. Read it and be inspired! On a more theoretical leve, Drew Maust questions the link between translation and incarnation – this is something which someone needs to take a step or two further – well done to Drew for opening it up. Theatrical theology makes the very radical suggestion that we should stop using the word “Christ” in English Bible translations – read the article before you throw your hands up in horror!
Science and Scripture
If you are interested in the interface between Science and Scripture, Jeremy Myers has been posting an interesting series on the issue: this is a good place to start. While a host of good scholars are included in this video which looks at the creation account in Genesis. Sadly, I can’t embed this video here, but at least the producers have provided a transcript on the site, which allows me to quote it:
Dr. John Walton: “We are well aware that people have to translate the language for us. We forget that people have to translate the culture for us, and therefore, if we want to get the best benefit from the communication, we need to try to enter their world, hear it as the audience would have heard it, as the author would have meant it, and to read it in those terms.”
Talks and Videos
Global Connections have released a whole series of talks from their Passion for Mission series. There are too many for me to list here, but you can find a comprehensive listing at the Bible and Mission blog. Elsewhere on Bible and Mission you can discover why a famous scholar chose to spend time with Isaiah rather than Bono (seems like a no-brainer to me).
To close; while I have been writing a series on the Great Commission, so has Ed Stetzer. He is writing from the point of view of a church leader and has lots of good stuff to say.
A Great Commission Ethic must be championed. The ethic is: We will, as we go, make disciples, baptize, and teach with a focus on people groups in the authority of Jesus Christ. To not do this is to ignore or marginalize the Great Commission, and that opposes biblical Christianity because it opposes the character and work of Christ. He was sent by His Father to establish the kingdom of God on the earth and redeem a people by His death for the kingdom, and He is the Sender of a sent people who are commissioned to speak and live out His message.
And last of all, James McGrath has a great little cartoon which pokes fun at the way in which we sometimes pick and choose what we will take literally from Scripture.