Eddie and Sue Arthur

No Sacred Language: No Sacred Culture.

Jesus lived in a world where the public reading of the Bible was only in Hebrew and prayers had to be offered in that language. When Jesus took the giant step of endorsing Aramaic as an acceptable language for prayer and worship, he opened the door for the New Testament to be written inGreek (not Hebrew) and then translated into other languages.

It follows that if there is no sacred language there is no sacred culture. All of this is a natural outgrowth of the incarnation. If the Word is translated from the divine to human and becomes flesh, then the door is opened for that Word to again be translated into other languages and cultures… The long term result is a global church of more than two billion people almost all of whom have a Bible in their own language. Believers are thereby able to break into God’s presence using the language of the heart. We are so accustomed to this heritage that we scarcely notice its beginning, which was Jesus’ choice of Aramaic as the language of theLord’s prayer. Jesus affirmed the translatability of the message when he began this prayer with the great word Abba.

From Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey.

Of course, we shouldn’t be complacent that most of the world has a Bible, their are still millions who don’t have a single word of Scripture in their heart language. If you would like to know how you can be involved in rectifying this, take a look here.

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