Dear Bible Society
Brown, Andrew, The Independent (London, England)
Ican think of 125,000,000 reasons to launch a new Bible translation: that is the number of copies the Good News Bible has sold around the world in the past 20 years. The Contemporary English version, which you are launching this week, is only the latest in a long line of attempts to make the language of the Bible comprehensible to modern Americans, and it is much less awful than some. At least it does not have King Saul entering a cave "to go to the bathroom", as one recent American translation did.
Your new translation has been nicknamed, in America, "the graceless version", because it omits the word "grace" as being too difficult for the modern mind. I'm not sure that this need be a sin: words do change their meanings, and it may be that that "grace" means nothing to modern Americans except as a cow's name, unlikely though this seems. No, if anything deserves the title of "graceless" in your new translation, it is the dialogue, which gets more bizarre the more I read it. Here, for instance, King David gets into a spot of bother over ethnic cleansing:
"After he returned from a raid, David always went to see Achish, who would ask 'Where did you attack today?'
"David would answer, 'Oh, we attacked some desert town that belonged to the Judah tribe.' Sometimes David would say 'Oh, we attacked a town in the desert where the Jerahmeel clan lives,' or 'We attacked a town in the desert where the Kenites live.' That's why David killed everyone in the towns he …
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Publication information: Article title: Dear Bible Society. Contributors: Brown, Andrew - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: January 16, 1996. Page number: 3. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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