Wednesday, 9 July 2008

"Heart Talk"

"Why waste $60 million dollars to translate the Bible into Jamaican?" some have asked. Patricia Napier reminds us of a few reasons why it is good to do so.

Firstly, mother-tongue Bible translatons seek to speak to our hearts. Bible translators are not just seeking to communicate information; they are interested in the affective dimension of language. "The Gospel's about heart issues."

Secondly, mother-tongue Bible translation initiatives can aid people groups to overcome negative past experiences. It can help us to avoid the not-so-uncomon belief that the Bible was written by whites to fool blacks.

Thirdly, mother-tongue Bible translations seek to identifying with culture - the joys and griefs of a people's history, their art, their 'world view.' It's about contextualisation.

"Historians tell us that those who gathered in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost - Parthians, Medes and many other ethnic groups - probably all understood Greek, which was spoken throughout the Roman Empire. Yet to declare the wonders of God, the Holy Spirit communicated personally and intimately with each one - in their own 'heart language'."

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