Monday, June 04, 2012

New Bible strips 'God,' 'Jesus,' 'angels'

Believers warned: 'attuned to the times' is just 'watered down'
Michael Carl
June 3, 2012

Wells continued, “That’s OK if you read it as a paraphrase. But if you read it as a translation, it is not OK because there is always commentary in the paraphrase. Commentary is OK if it is read as commentary, but it should not be read as the text itself.”

Thomas Nelson gives its reason for the new translation on its website.
One of the byproducts of the information age in the church has been its focus on biblical knowledge. Many Bibles reflect this, packed with informative notes, charts, and graphs. While there’s nothing wrong with having a deep knowledge, a personal connection and deep relationship are far better. This is exemplified by Jesus’ comment to Martha, “Oh Martha, Martha, you are so … concerned about a million details, but really, only one thing matters. Mary has chosen that one thing, and I won’t take it away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 The Voice).
A theologian and biblical scholar, who asked to remain nameless, said the Nelson comment reveals a major social trend.

“The statement is right in line with a trend in current evangelicalism – [a] trend that says experience with the Scripture is more important than actual knowledge of the Scripture,” the theologian said.

An example of what Wells calls the “Sense for Sense” translation in the Voice is God’s statement to the prophet, Zechariah, in Zechariah 4:6. The English Standard Version (the translation Wells cited) reads as follows:
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”
The same verse in The Voice reads as follows:
“Your strength and prowess will not be enough to finish My temple, but My Spirit will be.”
An example of the change in the names used for God and the emphasis placed on God’s law is seen in Matthew 22:37-40, where Jesus is answering a question about the most important commandment:
And he (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The Voice version of the same set of verses is as follows:
Jesus (quoting Scripture): “Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.” 
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