Good News for Everyone IV: Annie Cressman
- A further stimulus for doing something similar in English came from the creative work of a missionary in Liberia, Miss Annie Cressman, whose translation of the New Testament into the form of English used in West Africa showed how significant and important it would be to have a translation in a more broadly based form of common English. (page 46)
As a missionary of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, she devoted her life to Liberia studying the Tchien dialect, translating scripture, and teaching the Bible. While teaching in an English language Bible School in Liberia in the 1950's, she realized that she was having to spend too much time explaining the basic meaning of the text.
Cressman then started preparing passages in an easier form of English. The gospel of Mark was first published by Full Gospel Publishing in Toronto, Canada in 1959 and the whole New Testament was published in 1969 as the New Testment in Worldwide English.
Amazingly the vocabulary is made up of only 1,500 words plus names - much fewer than any other simple English edition. "Each word and phrase has been carefully checked to give true understanding in different countries and regions." The Worldwide English New Testament is now available as a Palm Bible or Pocket PC
Cressman is also the author of The Pastor, "meant to help pastors understand their calling and responsibility in a better way."
While Cressman's Bible in Worldwide English BWE, is not a translation but a paraphrase, it represents a paradigm shift in Bible versions. I will write more about this Bible version next.