02 May 2012

Must the New Testament Be "Reworked"?

The Christian Post has reported that the Bible Society UK has released a version of the New Testament aimed at people who do not "ordinarily read the Bible." It may very well just be the opinion of this writer, but it seems that in all of the attempts to make the Bible more appealing to those who aren't reading it (presumably unbelievers), these "translators" are entirely missing the point. Why is the Bible the problem? Why are we seeking to transform God's Word? Are we really that uncertain about the power which God has told us His Word contains?

There are some interesting comments made in this CP article, and I'd like to examine some of them individually. First, a little background. 
Despite being the world's best-selling book, fewer and fewer people in the U.K. are reading the Bible today. Bible Society is now trying to counter this trend by reworking the New Testament to help provide an answer to the question "who is Jesus?"


The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) are run together into one story and John's gospel is put at the end of the book to give the full sweep of the story.
(Source
Keeping in mind that the order of the New Testament is not inspired, this particular aspect of the "reworking" is not technically an issue. It does seem that the "running together" of the synoptics is not clearly defined. Will this be presented as a harmony of the three? Will there be any sort of indication as to which book the text is from? The article does not say.

Of particular interest in these two paragraphs, however, is the idea that Bible Society is "reworking" the New Testament in order to answer the question "who is Jesus?" Is this really necessary, or is this precisely why the Scriptures were written in the first place? John's gospel alone declared such a purpose, and it may be effectively argued that this is indeed the purpose of the whole of Scripture. All of God's Word points to and reveals Jesus Christ.
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)
 Continuing on with this particular Christian Post article:
Author Paul Langham, vicar of Christ Church Clifton in Bristol, England has said: "This book is for people who don't read the Bible. I have tried to imagine how the New Testament authors might have written had they been alive today."
(Source
Have we forgotten that the New Testament authors were inspired in their composition of Scripture? God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, used the personalities and writing styles of each author in order to write what we now know as the Bible. Are we so presumptuous in the 21st century to think that we can usurp that inspiration and creation?
Commissioning Editor Carolyn Armitage has said: "It's one thing to have a Bible, but quite another to read it and get the picture. This project is about why people might not find it straightforward to read the Bible and what might nudge them to give it a first – or another – try.
(Source
Yes, it is indeed one thing to own a Bible and another to comprehend it. Oddly enough, Scripture tells us why that is.
So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:11-14)
As the seeker-sensitive movement sought to "do church for the unchurched" it seems that the same mindset is now determined to recreate the Bible so that it may appeal to unregenerate minds. Yet, if an unregenerate soul is drawn to the Word of God, it is by the Holy Spirit, and He will enable that person to see the truth contained within its pages. We can reformat and rewrite all we like, but we cannot overpower the work of the Holy Spirit. And He is indeed working, whether we think we see it or not.

SEE ALSO:
'The Voice' Bible Translation Causes a Stir

3 comments:

  1. "Author Paul Langham, vicar of Christ Church Clifton in Bristol, England has said: "This book is for people who don't read the Bible. I have tried to imagine how the New Testament authors might have written had they been alive today."--

    NO excuse whatsoever to change God's word. I used to not read my bible before I was saved. In fact I used to hate reading altogether UNTIL I was saved and then I fell in love with reading God's word.

    If a person is not motivated by a changed heart by the Holy Spirit regenerating them then no amount of accommodation by man will save men but deprive them of the Only way which has always been the simple GOSPEL-which is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe"

    Here's a bit of satire that this post relates to in many ways. Hope you don't mind. If you do just don't post this--thanks

    http://tominthebox.blogspot.com/search?q=Zondervan+Launches+the+%22Whatever+Bible%22

    ReplyDelete
  2. The NT reworking goes along with the pastors in the UK who are "re-writing" the Ten Commandments:

    "He said: "It's basically a way of presenting the Ten Commandments to help people connect with them in a positive way. "Rather than just seeing them as a list of things you shouldn't do, it is meant to help people live as God intended for our good. "Unlike the dos and don'ts most people imagine when quizzed about the maker's instructions, the message is meant to be both a challenge and an encouragement.""

    In both cases, man thinks God needs an editor. Man is wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As with all the liars and perverters of God's Word down through the ages, from the Garden of Eden to today, these reprobates do not seek to enlighten their readers as to the true nature of God. Their real agenda is to "supress the truth in unrighteousness" and add one more diluted concept of the Holy God. They would do well to take heed to the principle found throughout the Bible to not change the Word (Deut. 4:2, 12:32; Prov. 30:5&6; Rev. 22:18&19). One cannot change the Word of God by adding to it or deleting from it and expect that the outcome will result in a greater understanding and a greater glorification of the one True God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Impossible! He never changes, nor does His Word no matter how man may wish to remake God into one who will accomodate their sin (Heb. 13:8, 1:12; Psa. 118:89).

    Darrel

    ReplyDelete

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