Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Best Biblical Translation

“I am a Christian” wrote Phillip Yancey, “not because Jesus’ way benefits society but because I believe it is true. If true, it should create the conditions in which human life works best, as E. Stanley Jones suggested.

Studies by Chinese sociologists reveal, according to Yancey, that, in rural areas of China where traveling evangelists introduce the Christian faith, opium addiction goes down, crime drops, and Christian families grow wealthier than their neighbors.

At the time he visited China in 2004, Yancey believed China’s leaders to be pragmatic politicians rather than believers, and in visiting there he thought he found them “looking more favorably on religion for the simple reason that it can serve their ends by improving social behavior.” (Yancey /What Good is God/60/Faith Words/NT/2010).

Mort Crim tells it this way (WITNESS/LIKE IT IS by Mort Crim, Warner Press, Inc. 1970).

Mort says one Sunday his pastor issued this challenge from the pulpit, asking, “How would you communicate the gospel to someone who was deaf, mute, and sightless?” Then he urged us to think of new and creative ways for witnessing.

Most of the people around us are, indeed, deaf to our message, unresponsive, mute to it, and blind to its significance. Somehow, we’ve got to find effective ways of translating the powerful and relevant love of Jesus into positive, contemporary terms.

Years ago, I heard about a man claiming his mother’s translation of the Scriptures was the best he knew. Since there are many different linguistic translations, the person hearing this expressed surprise on learning that his friend’s mother authored a translation. The question naturally arose, “Which translation did your mother produce?

His mother was not a scholar, nor had she produced a linguistic translation. The translation his mother wrote was the day-by-day interpretation that she wrote with her life. That was what the man remembered best, as he watched her live-out the Scriptures day after day. Thus he could say, “She wrote the best translation of the Bible that I ever read.“

It remains acutely true today that the best advertisement for Christianity is a life well-lived.
From Warner’s World,
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jani said...

Nice post.Very inspiring.We have learned to earn, grow, and live a fulfilled and happy life in the Spirit.I think interpreting our lives would mean on how we live our christian life more than any translation services could ever offer.

wayne said...

I would agree Jani; it would seem to me that the supreme translation of our lives would be how our life lines up with the life and spirit of Jesus. Philippians 2:1-8 becomes wonderfully instructive.