Relevant Communication

An exciting story of communication in a book entitled God's Word in Man's Language tells of the joys and struggles in translating the Bible into many languages used in remote parts of the world. The translators realized that the language of the gospel as we know it was not understandable enough to simple tribesmen. They were in need of more relevant communication. The author, Eugene A. Nida, states, "Putting eternal truths into the speech of everyday life reflects exactly the style of the Greek New Testament . . . they were couched in the words of the common people, who were seeking the truth about the living, risen Christ." He writes of the Uduks along the Ethiopian border, who speak of "worrying" and "being troubled" as "shivering in one's liver." John 14: 1 ("Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me) is thus translated: "Do not shiver in your livers; you believe in God, believe also in me."  God's Word in Man's Language, p. 23;

Individuals who have been spiritually awakened and healed though the scientific teachings of Christian Science, the reinstatement of early Christianity, naturally want to share its truths with their fellowmen of every level of culture and education. Often one is rebuffed because he has not used the appropriate language to convey his meaning properly, and his loving motive may be lost in words. This came to my attention sharply when I realized that in a discussion of Christian Science with young people who called themselves hippies I wasn't getting through—as evidenced by blank stares and polite faces.

In working this out through prayer I started by pondering the word "communicate," which comes from the Latin communicate, meaning "to share," and communis, meaning "common." The essential sharing we have with mankind is described poignantly in the book of Malachi: "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?"  Mal. 2:10;

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March 14, 1970

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