Small changes yield fresh inspiration

My most valued print Bible is a Greek interlinear text, which has a word-for-word translation of the original Greek text. It is a treasure to me.

I also greatly value the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Many Jewish terms are not translated, giving more of a feel for the Jewish setting of the New Testament. Poems and psalms are set apart from text. Old Testament passages quoted in the New Testament are in bold. In Matthew 4, it is the “Adversary” that tempts Jesus. Genesis 2 uses “a person” in some verses instead of Adam. It makes Job so much easier to read and understand. Just now browsing through the book and looking for an example of the value of this translation, I came across John 1:5 translated: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it.” This little difference in the translation just relieved me of the depressing thought that evil is flourishing in the world. Regardless of what evil claims to be doing, good continues unsuppressed, undeterred, undiscouraged!

The Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text by George M. Lamsa is another major resource. Lamsa worked with an early version of the Bible known as the Peshitta. He translated both the Old and the New Testament of the Peshitta into English from Aramaic (Syriac). To me, much of it sounds like a modernized King James Version, but it has little touches that can make a big difference. For instance, John 6:61 in the King James reads: “Doth this offend you?” Lamsa translated it from the Peshitta as: “Does this cause you to stumble?” A familiar passage from Romans in the King James reads: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (7:24, 25). Here’s the translation from the Peshitta: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this mortal body? I thank God for deliverance through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

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Run, pray, swim
May 19, 2014

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