Vulnerability Inherent in Bible Translation

Jim Harries has just posted a paper of mine on the Vulnerable Mission discussion site on the subject of vulnerability in Bible translation.

God the Son took on human flesh in God’s supreme missional act of self-revelation. Through the process of the incarnation, death and resurrection, God not only revealed his nature to his creation, but his self sacrifice made a way for the humanity, creation and God to be reconciled. We know from the Scriptures that the Incarnation was an act of supreme humility: typified by a baby in a stable, a triumphant entry on a lowly donkey and ultimately a criminals death on the cross. God the Son demonstrated his greatness through humility, self-sacrifice and suffering rather than ostentatious demonstrations of authority. When he did work miracles, they were to help others – not to save himself.

…A number of writers have compared Bible translation to the Incarnation, seeing a parallel between the  ‘translation’ of God into human form and the linguistic transformation which happens when the Scriptures are translated into a new language. As with the Incarnation, Bible translation carries with it a whole series of vulnerabilities. (read on…)

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