Friday, January 29, 2010

The Existential Jesus

The Existential Jesus is by John Carroll who asserts that Jesus is "is anti-church, anti-establishment, anti-family, and anti-community; a teacher, with himself his only student, he gestures enigmatically from within his own torturous experience, inviting the reader to walk in his shoes and ask the question, Who am I? (according to His work includes a new translation of the book of Mark.

Carroll, John. The Existential Jesus. Counterpoint, 2009. ISBN 978-1582434650.

Hebrew Heritage Bible Website

I couldn't find any samples of this translation. It is a translation that takes into account the Hebrew background of the Biblical writers. The work is being conducted by Dr. Brad H. Young. There is more information about Young and his work at the website.


Here's an interesting one for you. This is a translation back into English from the 1874 "Four Gospels in the Seneca Language." Only the first two chapters of Matthew are done. It appears the translation was done by Drs. Jordan Lachler and Thomas McElwain. Take a look at their work here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

James to Jude: A Lyrical Paraphrase

James to Jude: A Lyrical Paraphrase is by Jim Muffo. The ad from the publishers website states: "James to Jude is a line-by-line, verse-by-verse lyrical paraphrase of seven New Testament books: James, I & II Peter, I, II & III John and Jude. 417 of the 431 total verses of scripture found in James through Jude are represented by two lines of poetry. Intros to each book are taken from The Message//Remix: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Also included are lyrical paraphrases of Psalm 91, Matthew 5:3-16, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, and 1 Corinthians 13."

New Testament: A Poetry Version

The New Testament: A Poetry Version is by J. A. Porter. Not much information on this one either, so again here is the blurb from the publisher's website: "The New Testament: A Poetry Version is a unique rendering of the story of Jesus, his disciples and the promise he left for all mankind. The Gospels, Paul's letters and all the other books of the New Testament come alive in a new and different way."

Tyndale's Pentateuch of 1530

I've added another new facsimile to the Museum Store: It is a facsimile of Tyndale's 1530 Pentateuch. Some titles were cropped and a very few pages had some text loss in the gutter. Otherwise this is a good copy of Scriptures 480 years old! Available in a 6x9 hardback.

New Peace Treaty

I just happened upon this one today, though it appears it was published two years ago. It is called "The New Peace Treaty (Between God and Humanity)" and is a translation of the New Testament by R. Joseph Owles. I haven't found anything but adverts on book sellers' websites, so here's their blurb:

"The New Peace Treaty (Between God and Humanity) is a new translation of the New Testament. The purpose of this translation is to make the meaning of New Testament documents accessible to the average reader. The language is basic and often employs common slang. Highly theological or often misunderstood religious terms are broken down to their core meaning. Chapter and verse have been removed because they were added much later during the Middle Ages. The New Peace Treaty (Between God and Humanity) is designed for those who want the power and the clear meaning of the New Testament to come alive. It is the perfect translation for personal reflection and personal devotion. It is the first translation to look and read like what first century Christians would have heard if they lived in the twenty-first century."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Voice - updates

The Voice Psalms was released in November of 2009. According to the Voice New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs will be available in June of this year. In September of 2009 they also released "The Voice Reader's New Testament" which does not have the commentary.

The Voice

I recently received a complimentary copy of The Voice: New Testament from Thomas Nelson publishers. The project founder is Chris Seay, an active figure in the emerging church movement. Nelson's 2006 press release stated that this project would eventually cover the entire Bible. Currently, only the New Testament has been released. It is laid out in two column format with paragraphs split somewhat like a script. Speakers’ names mark the beginning of the paragraphs.

Immediately upon reading the book of John, I had many complaints. I will list just a few here.

This version adds and changes words to support the "voice" theme (“Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God” John 1:1). It isn’t clear if the theme or the translation came first. Reading more than a few chapters quickly leads one to the conclusion that the themes were in mind before the “translating” began. Translating logos as “voice” is certainly unique. I question whether it is accurate or helpful in any way.

It appears that some syncretistic theology is peeking through this version as well. Eastern mythical concepts such as the concept "inner calling" are inserted into the text. An example is found in 1 John 1:11-12 where it reads “Though the Voice utters only truth, His own people, who have heard the voice before, rebuff this inner calling and refuse to listen. But those who hear and trust the beckoning of the Divine Voice and embrace Him, they shall be reborn as Children of God; He bestows this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God's will. Because we are born of this world, we can only be reborn to God by accepting His call.

Theological changes are made to the text such as inserting "by accepting his call" in 1 John 1:13. It might be appropriate to add such things as marginal notes. But inserting them directly into the text shows a desire to change the text according to a theological bias. The more of this that occurs in a translation the worse the translation becomes. Interpretation belongs with the reader, the teacher and the preacher.

Words in italics supposedly contain information "that would have been obvious to the those originally addressed" by the Scripture and are intended "to help the reader better understand the text.” Reading only a few verses leads me to suggest that italics show areas where the “translators” want to change or at least re-interpret the meaning of the text.

Rather than titling this “The Voice: New Testament,” it should be title “The Voice: Emergent Church Theological Document.” This is not a careful translation of the New Testament, nor is it an honest attempt to render the scriptures in the language of our day. It contains too much theological bias, syncretistic inclusions and strange renderings for it to be of any practical use. It made an interesting addition to my collection of Bible versions, but I would not recommend this to anyone for any other purpose.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado

I believe there is some rule now that I have to notify you when I have received a free book before I post my review. Seems odd that an individual would have to do that in posting an opinion on a private blog, but there it is: I received a free PDF of Max Lucado's "Fearless." Now here's my review:

I read this book as one of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Bloggers. I grabbed the chance as I have read several of Max Lucado's books and expected to enjoy this book as well. I assumed this would be an easy review for me to write. I was only about half right.

One concern nagged at me while reading this book: Lucado's conversational style of writing is distracting. He darts from one example to another in almost a stream-of-consciousness manner. Some of his examples do help to explain his arguments. But many simple draw attention away, painting pictures I don't need to look at in order to understand what he is teaching. Perhaps this style is popular, but I found it to be a deterrent in reading this book.

Yet he also comes across as a normal Christian who struggles with the same things that I do. I don't wonder if he knows how it feels to be afraid - I can see that he does. It is much easier to hear from somebody who experiences the same things that some lofty theologian. Unfortunately, he may have taken that too far. Some of the chapters felt a bit shallow.

I always find his writing to be very congenial. He does not give an air of arrogance or condescension. It is more like a conversation with a pastor or a friend than a theological treatise. I often come away from Lucado’s books with the feeling that this man wants me to succeed in my Christian life. Usually, I also have the feeling that he really knows his subject.

My general summary of this book would be this: It was not as well written and properly condensed as his other works. It had a feeling about it of being rushed into print. But I felt that he accomplished his goal of helping Christians deal with fear. I didn’t find it to be his most readable work but certainly experienced encouragement from it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coverdale Bible and Great Bible

Thanks to some new software, I have been able to finish a facsimile of the Great Bible of 1540 and the Coverdale Bible of 1535. Both are now available through the Bible Reader's Museum Store. Initially, I had cut the marginal notes out of the Coverdale Bible as many of them were obscured, especially in the gutter. With this new production, I left those notes in to provide as much of the original as possible. The scans I have showed the problems of the originals so be warned - some titles are cropped, notes in the gutter are often obscured (on the Coverdale) and just a few pages had some text obscured or lost. The Great Bible New Testament was "repaired" with some pages from another copy of the same year. Those of us who bought the New Testaments of both of those will have to buy both volumes of the new edition to have a correct set. If I did not do it this way, we still would have had to buy two volumes as the Old Testaments were too long to fit in one volume with's page limits. The new software I used for processing the pages made a better product as well.

ASL John

I have seen a couple sites that have rendered the Scriptures into sign language via video. Here is one that has translated it into a printed format. This is the Gospel of John in ASL by Nancy Romero.

This may give you the blues

Here's an older post from a blog called the "Zeray Gazette." It is a humorous entry only, but is the The Wycliffe Bible Translation Project: Smurf. I certainly hope it is only a joke!

Dore Bible

Many of you have heard of the Bibles illustrated by Gustave Dore. Project Gutenberg has an online gallery of his illustrations here. The Gutenberg site has several other Bibles available for download as well (some are already linked on my site).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Twitter Bible

Fortunately, this is just a humorous article. But the scriptures are being "converted" into the many new online trends such as SMS, IM, Wiki and LOLcat so don't be surprised if it takes off into a huge project. The article, by James Watkins, can be found on his blog. File this one under humorous bits...