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Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year's Resolution: Bible read through

I assume that many of you who visit this blog read the Bible faithfully. Perhaps many of you read it through each year. I think that one of the best New Year's resolutions one can make is to read the Bible through in a year. Several plans are available, including ones recently described on the ESV Bible blog.

Today Lingamish blogged on his adventures in reading the Bible through in a year.

I'm curious: IF you resolve to read the Bible through in 2007, which version will you mostly likely read? I'll post a new survey for you to answer that question.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Advent translation #7: flight to Egypt

There was a comment to our previous post, asking for more critique of the NKJV. So I'll evaluate a passage in the NKJV today. Here is Matt. 2:13-23, which tells how Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, to spare Jesus' life from Herod who wanted to kill him:
13 ¶ Now when they had departed, behold,
"behold" is not used in current English as the translation equivalent of the underlying Greek attention-getting form, idou. Instead, current translation equivalents could be "Pay attention!" and "Note this!" In some dialects of English, "Listen up!" could be used.
an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word;
More natural English would be "until I tell you" (NASB, NIV, TNIV, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT, NCV, GW, NET, ESV, HCSB). In current English we don't talk about "bringing" someone "word."
for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night
"during the night" (NIV, TNIV, TEV, NCV, NET, HCSB) or "that night" (CEV, NLT, GW) sound more natural to me than "by night."
and departed for Egypt,
15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry;
"exceedingly" strikes my ears as dated. Today I think we would more often simply say "very."
and he sent forth and put to death
"sent forth and ..." does not sound right to me. I have blogged on this Hebraism previously. Apparently it works for some speakers of English. The following sound like good English to me:
gave orders to kill (NIV, TNIV, TEV)
gave orders to massacre (HCSB)
gave orders for his men to kill (CEV)
gave an order to kill (NCV)
sent men to kill (NET)
sent soldiers to kill (NLT, GW)
Translating the Hebraism literally creates unnatural English.
all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."
19 ¶ But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead."
21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
What other translation issues do you spot in this passage, as worded in the NKJV?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Advent translation #6: ESV Luke 1:53

Today Rich Shields, an ESV user, blogged on how odd Luke 1:53 is worded in the ESV. The problem started with the KJV, and was retained by the ERV, ASV, RSV, and ESV translators (the NASB, NKJV, and NRSV translators, also in the KJV tradition, fixed the problem). Here is the RSV and ESV wording:
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away
Do you hear the problem? If not, read Rich's post.

I am glad that there are people who like the ESV. But I am baffled by how many say that it reads so well, when it has so much odd English, such as that found in Luke 1:53 and elsewhere, as I have partially documented. It's as if the ESV translators focused on making the RSV theologically conservative but forgot to check whether its English was grammatical, proper, or natural. I don't see how the ESV can ever become a "standard" English version until its English is upgraded to standard English. The HCSB, which is a "complementarian" (with grammatically masculine generics) Bible version, like the ESV, reads far better than the ESV.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Xmas!

After reading Wayne’s recent posts of Christmas-related topics, it occurred to me that it might be good to clarify the expression Merry Xmas. I sometimes hear people complain that the X in Xmas takes Christ out of Christmas. Actually, the X has long been an abbreviation of Christ since it represents the first Greek letter of Хριστος and resembles its form more closely than “ch” does. It might be more evident if Christ were commonly written as Xrist, or Xmas were written as Chmas.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Advent translation #5: wise men wait

As regular visitors to this blog probably remember, I consider the CEV to have the most natural English of any major English Bible translation. It resolves many translation issues which other versions do not, most in ways which I like. But the CEV, like any translation, is not perfect. Well, today is Christmas, so let's not get too analytical. I'd like to share the story of the coming of the wise men and make a few observations:
Mat 2:1 When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem
What time span is referred to? I have the idea that it was anywhere from a few months to a couple of years after the birth of Jesus that the wise men visited. Some other versions handle the time sequencing a little better, IMO.
Mat 2:2 and said, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
Mat 2:3 When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem.
I can understand why Herod would have been worried. He was paranoid of anyone who might be a potential competitor to his place on the throne. But why was everyone else worried? Wouldn't they be glad that a new king had been born? Or were they concerned at what Herod would do this time when faced with a competitor?
Mat 2:4 Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, "Where will the Messiah be born?"
Is there something significant in the restatement from "king of the Jews" to "the Christ" (or "the Messiah")?
Mat 2:5 They told him, "He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,
Mat 2:6 'Bethlehem in the land of Judea, you are very important among the towns of Judea. From your town will come a leader, who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.' "
I wonder how long people had understood that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem? I wonder how many rabbis today would give the same answer today? Views of Jesus sure changed when he did not fulfill Jewish longings for deliverance from foreign domination.
Mat 2:7 Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star.
Mat 2:8 He told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too."
What can we say to such blatant falsehood?
Mat 2:9 The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
Mat 2:10 They were thrilled and excited to see the star.
We need to check "thrilled and excited" to see how accurate this phrase is in translation. English conjoined terms imply that they are semantically different. But I don't know if "thrilled and excited" is a term frozen enough to be regarded as a single semantic unit. I suggest that Matthew's Greek here, echaresan charan megalen sfodra ('rejoiced with joy exceedingly great') is imitating a Hebrew infinitive absolute. If so, we need to be sure that, however we translate the Greek semantic unit, the English sounds intensive. Translation as "rejoiced exceedingly" is semantically better but is not natural English. NIV and TNIV "overjoyed" strikes me as both accurate and natural, as is NLT "filled with joy." There has been some discussion about a CEV revision but I don't know if it will ever take place. If I were revising this verse, I would strike "and excited". The verb "thrilled" by itself very nicely translates the meaning of the Greek form here.
Mat 2:11 When the men went into the house
The fact that they visited in a house, not in the stable, is often pointed out. Wise men wait! The shepherds probably didn't mind the smell and sounds of the stable. But I think the wise men would have.
and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him.
Mat 2:12 Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Advent translation #4: limited approval

I grew up on the KJV wording of Luke 2:14, where the angels say to the shepherds:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Christmas carols and cards continue the idea that Christ's birth brings peace to everyone.

However, more recent versions, other than the NKJV, use a different Greek textual base for the end of Luke 2:14, resulting in a translation with peace not coming to all men (people), but, rather, those who please God:
on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased (ASV, 1901)

on earth peace among men who please Him (Weymouth, 1912)

on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased (RSV, NASB)

on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased (ESV)

on earth peace among those whom he favors (NRSV)

on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased (NET)

on earth let there be peace among the people who please God (NCV)

peace on earth to people He favors (HCSB)

peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased (NLT)

peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased (TEV)

Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God (CEV)
The difference in the Greek text used by the KJV and NKJV, and these other versions is just one letter, whether or not s occurs at the end of the word eudokia 'good will.' Bruce Metzger (A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition, New York: United Bible Societies, 1994, page 111) explains:
The difference between the AV [KJV], "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men," and the RSV, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" is not merely a matter of exegesis of the meaning of the Greek, but is first of all one of text criticism. Does the Angelic Hymn close with eudokia [nominative] or eudokias [genitive]?

The genitive case, which is the more difficult reading, is supported by the oldest representatives of the Alexandrian and the Western groups of witnesses. The rise of the nominative reading can be explained either as an amelioration of the sense or as a palaeographical oversight...
I remember struggling with the translation of this verse with the Cheyenne lady with whom we were translating at the time. Her view of God did not allow God to "have favorites". She wanted the translation to indicate that God's peace and favor is upon everyone. I was able to make the change to what I consider closer to Luke's original meaning without her knowing.

The theme that certain people find favor with God is widespread throughout the Bible. Noah "found grace in the eyes of the Lord." David was a "man after God's own heart." Jesus made it clear that not everyone who called him "Lord, Lord" would enter the kingdom, but, rather, only those who has truly treated him as Lord, who have done the will of God. I want to be that kind of person.

The "message of Christmas" is universal, for all people, but it carries a kind of limited approval, where the angelic pronouncement of peace is not simply for everyone but for those who please God. Let us be those people. What a gift to give to the King!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

early Christmas present

Netavovehone Ma'heo'o! (Let's praise God!) Yesterday I completed work on the manuscript for the Cheyenne Bible translation. I submitted the files to the printer. If you would like to see what the new book looks like and even download a free electronic copy (or purchase the book if you wish), go to this Internet webpage:

Next we will check an evaluation copy which will arrive next week. Then we will order several hundred copies for the dedication on the reservation Jan. 28.

Progress on the audio packages of the Cheyenne translation is also going well. The mission that is producing them sent us an examination copy and it looks very nice. There are 11 CDs to cover all of the Cheyenne translation.

What a great Christmas present! I don't mind getting it a few days early!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Advent translation #3: Should we blame the innkeeper?

In a recent blog post Rick Mansfield argues that we've been giving the innkeeper in Bethlehem blame that he doesn't deserve. Rick says:
I can still hear Jim Blevins, one of my old NT profs from way back, lamenting the fact that the Bethlehem innkeeper has gotten a bad rap all these years for supposedly being so heartless toward Mary and Joseph--making them stay in the barn rather than finding a room at the local Motel 6! The Bethlehem innkeeper has been the villain in Christmas pageants down through the centuries--but it was all based on poor translation!

Kατάλυμα/kataluma is better understood as a family guest room rather than an inn (and the first century inn wasn't anything like we think of as an inn anyway, but that's another subject). More than likely because Joseph, as well as many of his extended family, was traveling back to his ancestral village, the extra rooms in his relatives' homes were full. He and Mary may have also arrived late because no doubt traveling during the ninth month of pregnancy would have slowed their journey. One might wonder why one of Joseph's relatives would not have given up his spot in the guest room, especially considering Mary's condition. However, one can speculate that Mary may have been shunned by Joseph's family members who would have probably heard that she was pregnant out of wedlock.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Brian Russell on Bible Translation

Brian D. Russell has just published a post simply called On Bible Translation. It is a good basic introduction to different kinds of translations and how to choose between them. It concludes with a helpful set of "Concluding Reflections", the last of which is:
Bottom-line: the best translation is the one that you will actually read regularly with the humble desire to open oneself up to its message so that God can shape and form you.
Thanks for the link to Eddie Arthur (or could it be Sue? Their new look doesn't include an author's name. I don't want to gender stereotype, but from what I remember of their old look posts were almost all written by Eddie.)

Advent translation #2: "house and lineage"

The NET Bible renders Luke 2:4 in a familiar way:
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David.
As I was reading another part of the Advent story, I realized that I did not understand the difference, if any, between "house" and "lineage." The best I can come up with is that they sound like synonyms to me, but I suspect that they are not. The underlying Greek words are oikos and patria, respectively.

Luke might intend this compound noun phrase to be a doublet, that is, a Hebraic unit which conjoins two words treated rhetorically as synonyms. But doublets typically occur in poetic passages, although they do sometimes occur in other genre.

Some Bible versions do treat the noun phrase as a doublet, with a single semantic meaning, as in:
because he was a descendant of David (TEV)

because he was from David's family (CEV)

because he was from the family of David (NCV)
Most, however, retain the compound noun phrase form, as the NET Bible does:
because he was of the house and lineage of David (KJV, RSV, NKJV, ESV)

because he was of the house and family of David (NASB)

because he was a descendant of the household and family of David (ISV)

because he was descended from the house and family of David (NRSV)

because he belonged to the house and line of David (NIV, TNIV)
I am unable to determine if Luke intended the compound phrase to be understood as two semantic units or a single one.

What do you think? And if you believe they are two, what would you consider the difference betweeen "house" and "lineage/family" to be in this context?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

ESV fan on The Bible Experience

An ESV fan has listened to the powerful The Bible Experience production and, because of it, decided to take another look at the TNIV because of it. Click here to read his account.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Burer responds

Michael Burer has responded here to my comments on Adrian's blog about the article which he wrote with Dan Wallace. Wallace, Daniel B. and Michael H. Burer. Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Reexamination of Romans 16:7. Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. JBMW 6/2 (Fall 2001) 2.

Burer has responded to my original comment that the phrase from Psalm of Solomon

    ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
was provided in a truncated quote only.

    ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
Read his retraction here and his suggestion that this reference is still useful.

Here is my comment posted on Adrian's blog,

    I appreciate the fact that you have cleared up this point.

    Certainly, I felt that the original truncated quote was inappropriate, especially since this particular quote is listed as a close parallel to Romans 16:7. By truncating the quote, it was made to appear closer than it is.

    I still do not understand fully how this verse is a parallel to Romans 16:7. First, you originally wrote that it was a parallel to Romans 16:7 because 'people' are the referent of the adjective επισημος, but later you provide a translation for this phrase, εν επισημω 'in (a place) notorious/ visible'.

    If, in fact, it is επισημος, and not επισημον, then it is an adjective refering to 'place' understood, and it is not an adjective refering to 'people', and therefore it is not by your criteria, a parallel.

    I understand you to be saying here today that this verse is both a) ambiguous and b) not a "close parallel" to Romans 16:7. Perhaps I have misunderstood.

    I was very surprised to read about the translation of Romans 16:7 proposed in your article since it directly counters the understanding of the early Greek speaking church fathers, and the understanding of the modern Greek Vamva version, translated by a native speaker of Greek.

    I understand that native Greek speakers and, in fact, the entire translation tradition up until a few years ago, have understood this phrase to mean "among the apostles" but you introduce a very novel translation. When something this novel turns up, all evidence must stand up to scrutiny and it cannot be simply assumed.

    Since this verse is not the close parallel that it was claimed to be, the discussion must rest on the sum of your other quotes.

    However, I have questions of equivalent value regarding each of the quotes that you provide in your article. I do not feel that this issue is resolved.
My second comment is as follows,

    I think that it is significant that Dr. Burer has not acknowedged the NETS translation of either Psalm of Solomon 2:6 or 17:30.

    In fact, since this is a highly literal translation, I note with surprise that it is not mentioned and that Dr. Burer remarks that,"This is the way the standard translations render Ps. Sol. 17:6."

    Is Dr. Burer claiming that the recent NETS translation is not 'standard'?

    Given the NETS rendering 'with a mark among the nations' this verse can only be ambiguous at best, it cannot be used as supporting documention to disambiguate other ambiguous phrases.
Adrian himself opens the post with a comment that Romans 16:7 is used as a 'critical argument by egalitarians'. However, I would like to point out that we have not done this on our blog.

Contrary to what some people think, every post on this blog must promote accurate translation of the original text first, and let the chips fall where they may. My difficulty is that when certain scholars write a quantity of text with the express purpose of restricting women, their vision regarding the Greek text may be blurred.

On a further note, three Greek church fathers regard Andronicus and Junia as apostles, first Chrysostom,

    Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7): To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles—just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle. (In ep. ad Romanos 31.2; PG 60.669-670)
then Theodoret (ca. 393 - 458), bishop of Cyrrhus,

    Then to be called "of note" not only among the disciples but also among the teachers, and not just among the teachers but even among the apostles. (Interpretatio in quatuordecim epistolas S Pauli 82.200)
and finally, John of Damascus, (ca. 675-ca749)

    And to be called "apostles" is a great thing ... but to be even amongst these of note, just consider what a great encomium this is. (Commentary on Paul's Epistles 95.565)
There is no evidence among church fathers supporting Wallace and Burer's hypothesis.

Addendum: Dave Warnock gives a third party view of the action on Adrian's blog. He remarks,

I want to thank Dave for recording this as there is no way that I can go to Adrian's site and protest this.

Addendum #2 Since I wrote this post Adrian has posted my comments on his blog, including my protest here,

    For my part, I feel that I have stayed with telling the truth and quoting books. I feel that others who comment on this blog have said some very unpleasant things both about me and to me.

    As I said, I don't, as a women, feel very comfortable here. Complementarian men and egalitarian men may be equal, but women are not. I feel very hurt by the way I have been treated.
Thank you, Adrian.

I think, for the most part, women, myself included, either protest too angrily, or put on a brave front. It is about time somone said out loud that "permanent subordination" is a very icky thought.

Advent translation

I have been thinking that I would like to have a few posts relating to translation of Advent passages from the Bible. I am short on time these days as I rush to complete formatting the Cheyenne translation for printing. I have to get the files to the printer in time for them to be printed and the books shipped to arrive before the dedication of the Cheyenne translation on January 28.

Anyway, here is a short post, but important translation issue:

In Matthew 1:18 we are told in Greek that Mary, en gastri echousa, literally, "had in the belly." That Greek phrase referred to being pregnant. English versions have translated that Greek in a variety of ways. Some people have mocked the TNIV for revising the NIV translation of the Greek, "be with child," to "be pregnant." I don't understand why translation as "be pregnant" should be mocked and criticized so strongly since it is accurate and clear.

In any case, I'd like to survey visitors to this blog to find out if you feel that your own ways of referring to pregnancy would be a good translation of the Greek in Matthew 1:18.

Please think about the various ways you currently refer to pregnancy. Then answer the survey in the right margin of this blog. Please try to answer based ONLY on how you currently speak, not influenced by any Bible version. This is not a survey to find out what wordings you like in English Bible versions.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Interim Report review of TNIV passages

Today the Interim Report blog has a post reviewing how several key passages are translated in the TNIV. Here is an excerpt from the blog post:
When I look at a new translation of the Bible, there are certain verses I go to in order to see how various words and phrases are dealt with… such as Gen. 1.1-2…my favorite Psalm – 131… Matthew 5.16… Luke 17.21…1 Cor. 13.1-13… Rom. 4.1-5… Exod. 3.14… Gen. 1.26… Matt. 18.20… John 12.32… 2 Cor. 5.17-21… Phil. 2.6-7… & others. The TNIV does a great job with most of these passages. In Lk 17.21 it correctly says the kingdom of God is ‘among you.’ The usually rendering of “within you” does not fit the context nor New Testament theology. It correctly says in Jn 12.32, “I will draw all people to myself.” The usual “draw all men to myself” doesn’t convey Jesus’ meaning. However, it gets Matt. 18.20 wrong, as many translations do. The sentence is a ‘passive’ in the Greek text. The TNIV renders it as the active voice. The passive shows that it is the Spirit of God that brings people together. Gen 1.26, “Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image,” is correct because “adam” in Hebrew means “humanity.” But later, in chapter 2, it correctly says, “man,” because it is a story about individuals. I like its rendering of “kenosis” in Phil 2.7: “he made himself nothing.” That’s good. “Emptied himself” is okay too; but “nothing” is more stark. The TNIV is helpful at 1 Cor 13.10: “when completeness comes.” Most translations say, “when the perfect comes.” But ‘perfect’ here means ‘the complete.’ All in all, I think the TNIV is probably as good or better than the NRSV. There is no perfect Bible translation, and I know it gets confusing for the ordinary lay person to keep up with all the various versions today. The TNIV is certainly an improvement over the NIV.
I like these kinds of reviews. They strike me as more objective than those which paint with too broad a brush. This review, although short, directly deals with Bible translation issues in the TNIV. It does not seem to start with any ideological assumptions.

Wayne Grudem: Setting scripture against scripture

In Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, Dr. Grudem writes,

    The role of prophet is surely an honoured role, and a vitally important one, for God speaks through a prophet to his people. But prophets and teachers have different roles in the Bible. ...

    Women were able to prophesy in both the Old Testament and the New (see 1 Corinthians 11:5) They could deliver messages from God to his people. But women could not assume the role of teacher over God's people in either the Old or New Testament (see 1 Timothy 2:12, 3:2, Titus 1:6...) page 137.
But in 1 Corinthians 12:28 we read,

    27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

    And I will show you a still more excellent way. ESV
Although Paul wants to show us a more excellent way, it is nonetheless clear that a prophet is before a teacher in order and prominence, it is a higher gift - one we should desire earnestly.

To say that a prophet is a more restricted office than that of teacher counters the clear teaching of scripture. Either we believe that ALL scripture is inspired by God or we don't.

I do, however, agree wholeheartedly with this quote of Dr. Grudem's,

    Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. James 3:1-2 ESV

Saturday, December 16, 2006

ESV blog misrepresents The New Yorker

Jeremy Pierce has written an interesting piece about a post on the ESV blog. Jeremy has discovered that the ESV blog post actually misrepresents (Jeremy uses stronger words) the article in The New Yorker which it quotes. What was apparently intended as a criticism of "adding all sorts of commercialized nonsense to Bibles to attract younger readers" was turned by the ESV blogger, by a selective choice of quotation, into a criticism of communicative translations. So, as our very own Wayne writes in a comment on Jeremy's post:

Excellent post, Jeremy! I, too, was disturbed by the ESV Bible blog post, but I hadn't realized that the original quote was taken out of context. Good sleuthing to your brother and you.

It is so sad that many Bible readers have been misled in recent years about literal translation of uncommunicative biblical figurative language. There is a world of difference between what they actually do not want, I think, which is transculturation, and accurate translation of the meanings of biblical figurative language.

Friday, December 15, 2006

TNIV breaks into the top 10 for Bible sales

For the first time, the TNIV has broken into the top 10 list of Bible sales tracked by Christian retailers. It is currently at #7. Here is the list from the CBA website:

General Versions/Translations

December 2006

New International Version
various publishers
New King James Version
various publishers
King James Version
various publishers
New Living Translation
English Standard Version
Reina Valera 1960 (Spanish)
various publishers
Today's New International Version
Amplified Bible
The Message
Eugene Peterson, NavPress
New American Standard Bible update
various publishers

This list is based on actual sales in Christian retail stores in the United States and Canada during October, using STATS as the source for data collection. All rights reserved. Distribution and copyright ©2006 CBA and Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

TNIV sales may have been enhanced by sales of the wonderful The Bible Experience TNIV audio production. If so, more power to them--and The Bible Experience is powerful!

I confess to being surprised. I have been pessimistic that the crusade Dr. Grudem and his friends have been waging against the TNIV, with their request and subsequent boycott of the TNIV by many Christian booksellers, might prevent the TNIV from ever gaining the sales that it deserves. I hope that I have been wrong. My blogging friend Rick Mansfield has told me that February Bible sales rankings will be key, after Christmas sales. Perhaps more people are moving beyond the anti-TNIV crusade and uncareful lists of purported errors in the TNIV and discovering for themselves that it is an accurate translation and an improvement upon its popular NIV predecessor.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wayne Grudem: Bridgebuilder?

Adrian suggests that Wayne Grudem is a bridge-builder. He says,

    John Piper, like you, is better known as a theological bridge-builder, rather than a theological warrior.
Let readers be the judge. Some of you know my position, that I have been told personally by translators of the TNIV of the personal pain that the following criticism has caused. I feel no reticence in saying that Dr. Grudem causes other people pain unjustly.

In this post, Dr. Grudem claims that

    evangelical feminism involves, implicitly at least, a denial of the authority of the Bible.
And here Dr. Grudem has this to say about the TNIV,
    To take one example: in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man” (italics added). If churches adopt this translation, the debate over women's roles in the church will be over, because women pastors and elders can just say, “I’m not assuming authority on my own initiative; it was given to me by the other pastors and elders.” Therefore any woman could be a pastor or elder so long as she does not take it upon herself to “assume authority.” Then in the footnotes to 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV also introduces so many alternative translations that the verse will just seem confusing and impossible to understand. So it is no surprise that egalitarian churches are eager to adopt the TNIV.
There is absolutely no indication here that Dr. Grudem is aware of the King James Version of this verse.

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
So I looked up 'assume' and 'usurp' in the OED.

    assume- 1. take or accept as being true without proof, for the purpose of argument 2 simulate or pretend 3. undertake 4. take or put on oneself or itself 5. arrogate, usurp, or seize

    usurp - 1. seize or assume 2. encroach
I now assume one of the following must be true.

a) Dr. Grudem is not aware of the meaning of assume and its similarity to usurp
b) Dr. Grudem is not familiar with the KJV of this verse
c) Dr. Grudem believes that the KJV is a 'novel and suspect' translation
d) Dr. Grudem did not think through his statement.

I find myself to be an increasingly irritable and school-marmish sort of person. I am less and less able to overlook the grammatical and lexical errors of a certain theological cohort.

I ask myself if dictionaries and the King James Version have gone completely out of style and we are now entering a new ahistoric and counterfactual age. An age in which certain writers have one goal and only one, keeping women from teaching men in church. Keeping women from doing what they were put on earth to do, be obsessed about correct usage in grammar and lexicon. (I guess some men favour this activity themselves - we are not so different after all.)

I know that Adrian thinks I don't get the point. He feels that nothing I say disproves the obvious fact that women are without authority. My point is this, regardless of what is 'obvious', people should stick to the facts -- and perhaps the King James Bible!

Note: Due to technical difficulties this post has been regenerated. Apologies for clogging your RSS feed.


One of our commenters has noted an error. I acknowledge that my dictionary references are from the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1990.

usurp: seize or assume (a a throne or power, etc.) wrongfully
assume: arrogate, usurp or seize (credit, power, etc.)

My purpose is to show that 'assume' in the TNIV is not a 'highly suspect and novel translation', but one that existed already semantically in the King James Version. My purpose is not to claim that the King James Version is correct.

My purpose is to claim that Dr. Grudem appears to be deficient in awareness of the King James Version. My purpose is to show that Dr. Grudem makes public statements without any conscience about whether they are true or not. If authority is about being male rather than about telling the truth, I am simply not interested.

Dr. Grudem is the single biggest reason in Christendom today not to believe in the authority of the male.

Translating Hebrews 11:1

I am currently keyboarding the translation of Hebrews 11 into the Cheyenne language. Typing verse 1 reminded me that I have not understood a number of English translations of this verse. Let me explain. Here is the KJV and NKJV rendering:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I memorized that wording 50 years ago. There are no obsolete words or syntax. Yet, when the words and syntax are all put together, I don't understand what they mean. For me, they lack coherence.

I know what "substance" means. I know what something "hoped for" means. But I do not know what "substance of things hoped for" means.

I know what "evidence" means. I can get meaning from "things not seen" and can imagine some things that might qualify. But when the words are put together as "the evidence of things not seen," I don't know what those words mean.

Let's see if I do any better with another translation of Heb. 11:1, found in at least four English versions:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (RSV, NRSV, ESV, NASB)
This wording doesn't make sense to me either. I don't know what "assurance of things hoped for" is. Something is missing, for me, for this to be coherent English. It would make sense to me if, for instance, we filled in some missing semantic elements, such as saying:
Now faith means that we are assured that things we hope for are going to happen
I am not suggesting that this is a better translation, only that this wording is now coherent.

Similarly, I do not know what "conviction of things hoped for" means. I know what "conviction" is, but when we combine it with "of things hoped for", the result does not make sense. Again, we can tweak it to make sense if we added some implicit semantic elements, such as saying:
the conviction that things not seen actually do exist
I do not understand the HCSB translation of Heb. 11:1:
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
As with the preceding wordings, there are semantic elements missing here required for the sentence to be coherent for me.

Surprisingly, the TEV/GNT, an idiomatic translation, has a wording which does not make sense for me, either:
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.
That sentence is almost coherent for me, but not quite. Something is still missing for it to make sense to me.

Similarly, the following translations are almost coherent for me, but not quite:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (NIV, TNIV)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. (NET)
The second clause of the God's Word translation makes sense to me, but the first clause does not:
Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see. (GW)
The first clause would make sense to me if it were worded:
Faith assures us that things we expect are going to happen
The reverse is true for the NLT:
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
I understand the first sentence following the introductory question. But I do not understand the second sentence. Something is missing.

The same is true for the CEV, which, overall, is one of the most coherent English translations to me:
Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.
I do not understand what it means for something to give us "proof of what we cannot see". I would understand it if it were worded:
proof that what we cannot see exists
When I began this post, I assumed that I would find some English translations of Heb. 11:1 which made sense to me, but, so far, I have not found any which make sense for both of the clauses in the original Greek. Perhaps the REB, which takes a different tack with "substance," does:
FAITH gives substance to our hopes and convinces us of realities we do not see.
Maybe I am asking too much. Or perhaps English translators do not ask enough, such as whether or not every sentence they translate makes sense to their audiences. And how can they find out whether or not they make sense? By asking well formed field test questions of individuals in their audience.

Please remember, this post is only about coherence, that is, whether or not a wording makes sense. It is not about accuracy. That is a separate, and critically important, translation issue. And I am only speaking about what makes sense to me. Your mileage (or kilometrage!) may vary!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dr Wayne Grudem's latest errors

I regret having to make this point in its own blog post, with the potential for quite a lot of publicity through searches etc. It is never pleasant having to point the errors of my brothers in Christ. I tried to do this in a less prominent place through a comment on the post in which the error was found, but my comment there was deleted, on the basis that it was off topic although it was in direct response to a point in the post I was commenting on. But I do consider it important to correct clear errors of fact which I find in blog posts or elsewhere, especially when these are written by well-known teachers, whose words some people, sadly, are likely to take as close to gospel truth. I have written more about this on my own blog.

I am grateful to Adrian Warnock for the excellent material in his blog, including most recently his fascinating interview series with Dr Wayne Grudem. Dr Grudem is an important scholar who has written significant books on theology and on the issue of women's roles in the church; although I disagree with much of the material in these books, I cannot deny their importance. He has also worked hard on the ESV Bible translation, and, despite my well-known criticisms of this version, I respect him as my fellow Bible translator.

But it is in this interview series that I have found two errors which Dr Grudem has made.

The first of these is in fact not originally Grudem's error but that of Wallace and Burer, whose misunderstanding of the Greek grammar of Psalms of Solomon 2:6 has already been discussed in some detail on this blog. Grudem's error here is that he continues to accept what Wallace and Burer wrote, and indeed wrote on Adrian's blog in defence of his position, even when there is clear evidence that at least this one statement of Wallace and Burer's is factually incorrect:
This construction comes as close to Rom. 16:7 as any we have yet seen. The parallels include (a) people as the referent of the adjective ἐπίσημος, (b) followed by ἐν plus the dative plural, (c) the dative plural referring to people as well. All the key elements are here.
The error here, as explained in more detail in the comment thread on Adrian's blog, is that, as a matter of elementary Greek grammar, ἐπίσημος episēmos, whether a noun or an adjective (another matter of dispute) cannot refer to people as Wallace and Burer claim. It is amazing that a top level Greek expert like Wallace has not spotted such an elementary mistake. But this error in their analysis of what they claim as the best example supporting their thesis - in fact the only unambiguous example except for one from Euripides five centuries before Paul - invalidates their whole argument. Dr Grudem should accept this and abandon this line of argument, perhaps in favour of another argument which he accepts as possible, that "apostle" is used in a wider sense in Romans 16:7.

Grudem's second error is in part five of Adrian's interview series, and is apparently his own personal error rather than his uncritical acceptance of someone else's. It is this error which both Suzanne and I independently noticed and commented on (I drafted my comment before reading hers, although I saw hers before I published mine). And Adrian deleted both of our comments on this point, apparently because he considers it disrespectful to Dr Grudem to correct his factual error.

Here is the issue, slightly adapted from my comment, originally on Adrian's blog and saved in a posting on my blog: In part five of Adrian's interview,
Grudem writes: "in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation ... It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man”". But this is not a novel translation at all, for as with Matthew 5:9 Grudem seems to have ignored KJV. Look at the KJV rendering of 1 Timothy 2:12: “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man”. Of course "usurp authority" is not precisely the same wording as "assume authority", but the meaning in the context must be the same. Grudem continued: "If churches adopt this translation, the debate over women's roles in the church will be over, because women pastors and elders can just say, “I’m not assuming authority on my own initiative; it was given to me by the other pastors and elders.” Therefore any woman could be a pastor or elder so long as she does not take it upon herself to “assume authority.”" Well, for over 300 years most English speaking churches adopted KJV, but despite Grudem's argument here this did not stop the debate over women's roles in the church. So what is the real difference between TNIV and KJV here?
I did not use the language of "errors" on Adrian's blog out of deference to his request that commenters show respect to his guest. But it is in fact an error for Grudem to claim that the TNIV translation is novel when in fact it is almost identical to the KJV rendering of the same verse. This is similar to the misleading claim made on the list of "translation inaccuracies" in the TNIV New Testament, for which I believe Grudem is responsible, in which Matthew 5:9, Romans 9:26 and Galatians 3:26 are listed as a examples of
“sons” (huios, plural) changed to “children”,
although in these verses the TNIV reading "children" is the same as the KJV rendering. At least this is not technically an error of fact (so the author of this list has not made a fool of himself or herself as R.C. Sproul has done over Matthew 5:9), as the basis for comparison in this list is explicitly the NIV rather than the KJV, but it seems that all of these differences between NIV and TNIV were labelled "translation inaccuracies" without consideration of the KJV readings, or for that matter whether the change was in fact exegetically justified in the particular case.

In the same comment I raised another significant issue which I noted in the same interview part. This may allow for an alternative understanding of 1 Timothy 2:12 as not binding on the church today, but certainly needs careful consideration. I am not saying that this is an error by Grudem, but am mentioning it here simply because this is an important point which, having been deleted for no good reason from Adrian's blog might otherwise get lost:
Grudem also writes: "I don’t think a pastor can give a woman “permission” to do Bible teaching before the church, because the Bible says not to do that." But actually what the Bible passage in question says is that Paul himself does not give women this kind of permission, in the churches over which he had authority. So this seems to leave open the possibility that other church leaders could and did give this permission. There is a long and complex hermeneutical procedure which needs to be followed, including such issues as how far our churches today are under Paul's apostolic authority and whether individual examples should ever be taken to be normative, before we can translate Paul's example into a command for churches today. This process seems to have been ignored in this whole discussion, at least on the blogs I have been reading. I hope Grudem has addressed this issue in his book.
Indeed, I hope that Dr Grudem will be able to read these points and answer them, despite Adrian's over-zealous exercise of "respect" for him by deleting these comments from his blog. I will attempt to bring this post to Dr Grudem's attention.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rehashing generic 'he'

I continue to attempt to engage Dr. Grudem on Adrian's blog. While Adrian himself is always good-humoured and gracious, Dr. Grudem feels that it is prudent not to respond to my continued questions.

Here is one of my most recent comments on Wayne Grudem: Part Five, Must a Woman Always Remain Silent in Church. (Let me add that this woman always does.)

I have less feeling for women in leadership (although I support that) and less interest in worrying about how to exegete this scripture and that, than I do about simple basic facts about Bible translation. I wish to see facts dealt with on an equal basis, regardless of whether they are presented by a woman or a man.

Here is one of my comments,


    I need to address your misunderstanding regarding the generic 'he'.

    Dr. Grudem claims,

      "Thus, in Hebrew and in Greek as well as in English, the usage “suggests a particular pattern of thought,” namely a picture using a male representative"


      "But in typical contexts, singular masculine gender pronouns encourage a starting picture of a male, not just a totally faceless entity"

    This implies to me that Dr. Grudem thinks that the pronoun creates male semantic meaning - a male image in the mind. Does it do this in Greek? In Greek, the pronoun is αυτος meaning 'the same one as has been mentioned'. And the grammatical ending is masculine.

    In fact, no one has ever suggested that masculine grammatical endings create male semantic content, or a starting picture of a male in the the mind. So I cannot understand this argument of Dr. Grudem's. He may feel that this is true in English, but the Bible was not written in English. We have to deal with this.

    Let me be clear - the Greek pronoun αυτος does not create a male image in the mind that encourages us to receive Christ in our hearts. Let's look at this verse.

      Rev. 3:2020Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

    Why should we need the pronoun 'him' to create a starting picture of a male in a woman's head. May not woman come to Christ untrammeled by the thought of a human male, not Christ himself, but the male who represents her in her relationship to Christ, as a picture in her head?

    Indeed, if someone came to my door I would say, "Please let whoever is knocking come in and I will give them tea." I would not say "Please let whoever is knocking come in and I will give him tea." I think not. I will welcome a woman as easily as a man.

    I discussed this with Dr. Packer and he agrees on this - the generic 'they' is perfectly standard.
But Adrian feels that I present nothing new.

Update: The discussion continues here where some old friends and new are reunited. Ruud, J. Mel, Peter, and others.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The best English Bible version

My co-worker Eddie Arthur has blogged on "Which Bible should I use?" If you want to read Eddie's answer, along with his PowerPoint presentation, click here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Suzanne is Elsewhere

I got to thinking that I should write up the Junia posts and I have been procrastinating - I have not done it. I confess. So I wanted to fly below the radar for a while.

However, I drifted over to check out Adrian's blog. Oh dear. I remember that I never did get an answer to some of my questions from last year so I decided to have another go.

I read this post here and commented. Well, I really overcommented, I admit. However, Dr. Grudem responded very kindly and this gave me the opportunity to get my breath and assemble some facts instead of just sounding off (fun though that was).

In Wayne Grudem replies to a critic, Dr. Grudem presents his position and in the comments I present a more factual and, I hope, less personal critique of many points in Dr. Grudem's older books. I am not yet prepared to read his current book when he has not defended certain positions in his earlier books.

Here is the text of one of my comments about Junia. I include some additional information from Junia, the First Woman Apostle by Jay Eldon Epp.

    In Ev. Fem. & Biblical Truth, page 227 Dr. Grudem writes,
      "In conclusion, the feminist claim that there was an apostle named Junia is built upon one uncertainty (the gender of the name) on top of another uncertaintly (the meaning of apostle" in this verse) on top of an improbable meaning of a phrase ("well known among" rather than "well known to").

      This is a highly speculative and flimsy foundation upon which to base any argument. It carries little weight against the clear teaching of exclusive male eldership and male apostleship in the rest of the New Testament."
      Let's break this down.
      1. Chrysostom claimed that Junia was an apostle. Was he a feminist?
        "Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7): To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles—just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.John Chrysostom (344/54-407)(2)"
        2. There is actually no solid evidence for a masculine gender name Junias. According to J. E. Epp,
            "The clear result of this lengthy discussion of "Junias" (masculine) is that, at least to date, this presumably male name is nowhere attested in the Greco-Roman world." page 43

            "It is therefore appropriate and prudent, I think, no longer to place Iounian (Masculine accent) in any New Testament critical edition, either in the text or in the apparatus unless it is marked "cj" (for conjecture)..." page 44.
          3. Whatever apostle means, it should not be denied. This point seems irrelevant.
            4. With reference to the fourth point, Dr. Grudem's choice, "well-known to" is by far the more unusual interpretation, only appearing in a few translations, and is much more improbable, given the Greek.
              In fact, I would say, very remote, going against the Greek church fathers, about whom Wallace has this to say.
                "That they seem to assume a particular view, without interacting over the force of the Greek, is hardly a sufficient reason to adopt their view,..." page 9 JBWM
              So Wallace is actually saying that the church fathers, native speakers of Greek, did not interact over the force of the Greek, so they should not be credited with having anything to say on this. That is very odd. Is native speaker understanding irrelevant? I simply don't understand this.
              A modern Greek translation also supports the understanding "among" replacing εν with μεταξυ among. So Wallace goes up against native Greek speakers, both ancient and modern. Dr. Grudem calls the standard understanding of the Greek church fathers and modern Greek scholars, "improbable"!
              In fact, I find that speculative and flimsy is a very accurate way to describe one side of this argument - the side with less scholarly support.
              In fact, I don't like the expressions that Dr. Grudem uses about egalitarians calling them unattractive wimps, with flimsy, improbable, and speculative ideas. I don't see why some of us egalitarians are being labeled as snarky when the fact is that we read these books by Dr. Grudem with his own language and terminology. I believe that Dr. Grudem himself sets the tone for how these discussions evolve.

            Oh well, there you have it, some of us don't like being labeled. I should add that Peter and I were the egalitarians under discussion here. Somehow we got labeled. I can't imagine how that happened. ;-)

            Saturday, December 09, 2006

            Should we quit like men?

            I have often heard people telling males to "be a man" or "act like a man." This is meant to tell someone to act like we culturally believe men act, or at least should act, courageously. I have never heard anyone say "Quit like a man," but I suppose it could be said. I don't know how men are perceived to quit, but I know that I hate to give up. I am persistent (often stubborn!) and do not like to quit any job until it has been completed.

            There is, however, an obsolete meaning of the English word "quit" which has a meaning, known by probably fewer than 1% of English speakers today. Here is that meaning, the last meaning sense found in my American Heritage Dictionary:
            7. To conduct (oneself) in a specified way: Quit yourselves like adults.
            It is this, now obsolete, meaning which was used by the KJV translators in 1 Cor. 16:13:
            Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong. (italics added)
            The original Greek teaches nothing about quitting, in our usual understanding of giving up on a job. Instead the meaning of the Greek command, ανδριζεσθε, is more accurately translated in all recent English translations of which I am aware, including these (with my italics added):
            Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. (NKJV)

            Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (NASB)

            Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (NIV)

            Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. (NRSV)

            Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (ESV)

            Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong. (GNT/TEV)

            Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong. (CEV)

            Be alert. Be firm in the Christian faith. Be courageous and strong. (GW)

            Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong. (HCSB)
            I am thankful for Bible translations that use currently understood meanings of words. Such Bible translations more accurately communicate God's Word than those which use obsolete meanings unknown to many in their target audience.

            Tuesday, December 05, 2006

            Target audience of the BLB

            In a Gallup Poll dated October, 2000, the percentage of people who read the Bible has declined from 73% in the 1980’s to 59%, broken down into the following categories:

            16% read it every day
            21% read it weekly

            12% read it monthly
            10% read it less than monthly
            41% rarely or never read it
            Since The Better Life Bible is geared to people who read the Bible less than an hour per week, it has the potential to be useful to at least 63% of the population of American English speakers, including:

            ~ people who rarely or never attend church
            ~ busy professionals who work a lot of hours
            ~ people who rarely read books, magazines or newspapers
            ~ people who don’t take the time to read footnotes or endnotes
            ~ multilingual speakers who’ve learned English as their second language
            ~ people who are embarrassed to ask others about terms they don’t understand
            ~ readers who don’t have Bible study resources, such as a Bible dictionary or commentaries
            If your family, friends and coworkers are similar to mine, you can probably name many who fall into at least one of these categories and could benefit from The Better Life Bible.

            Categories: , ,

            Monday, December 04, 2006


            Justin Taylor is a prolific blogger, and for me often a provocative one. But I am happy to pass on without qualification the following, which is most of one of his recent postings - which he apparently took from Doug Wilson:
            "I am thinking of what I call Style-mongers. On taking up a book, these people concentrate on what they call its ‘style’ or its ‘English’. They judge this neither by its sound nor by its power to communicate but by its conformity to certain arbitrary rules. Their reading is a perpetual witch hunt for Americanisms, Gallicisms, split infinitives, and sentences that end with a preposition. They do not inquire whether the Americanism or Gallicism in question increases or impoverishes the expressiveness of our language. It is nothing to them that the best English speakers and writers have been ending sentences with prepositions for over a thousand years" (C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism, p. 35).
            It seems to me that C.S. Lewis' point here applies well to many critics of modern Bible translations. Their arbitrary rules may be rather different: not just grammatical ones like objections to singular "they", but translational ones like objections to changes to traditional literal renderings of certain original language words. But Lewis' general point clearly applies: such people judge what they read "neither by its sound nor by its power to communicate but by its conformity to certain arbitrary rules." But Better Bibles are not bound by these kinds of rules, but have been set free to communicate with power, God's power to demolish spiritual strongholds.

            Friday, December 01, 2006

            Ryan Ferguson presents Hebrews 9 and 10

            Ryan Ferguson has memorized the entire book of Hebrews in the ESV. At a recent conference he dramatically recited Hebrews 9 and 10. He has an excellent delivery. It really is quite moving. In our post-literate society, dramatic presentations of scripture like this can communicate in ways that many people will not get otherwise.

            Click here to see and hear this presentation for yourself. You will need to have the freeware program, Adobe Flash Player, installed on your computer to view the video.

            HT: ESV Bible blog