Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 5:40 PM
The second half of the 20th century saw a dramatic proliferation of Bible translations, especially in English. It may not be much of an exaggeration to observe that one man fuelled this growth: Eugene Nida, Who Revolutionized Bible Translations, Dead at 96. The Good News Bible and its successors were obvious examples of his influence, but even the New International Version bore his imprint. I am of two minds concerning Nida’s legacy. On the one hand, there is no doubt that easier-to-read Bible translations have brought to life God’s word for the last two generations of Christians and seekers alike. At the same time, some translations have effectively obscured the peculiarities of the ancient cultures, discarding some metaphors (e.g., “to know” as a synonym for sexual relations) that perhaps ought to have been explained in footnotes rather than replaced by contemporary idioms in the text itself. I am somewhat sympathetic with the views expressed here by Raymond Van Leeuwen a decade ago: We Really Do Need Another Bible Translation.
Writing for The New York Times, Ross Douthat has poked holes in a recent New Yorker piece by Ryan Lizza connecting a well-known evangelist and “dominionism”: The New Yorker and Francis Schaeffer. I am not one of those who was influenced by Schaeffer, but I personally know many people who were and who found direction for their lives through his ministry at the l’Abri communities. And not one of them, as far as I know, has tried to overthrow the US government.
This is from the National Geographic Society: 18th-Century Ship Found Under 9/11 Site. “Others have also suggested that the ship—which was likely deliberately sunk—may have done duty as a British troop carrier during the Revolutionary War.” Contemporary New Yorkers may have forgotten that their city was a bastion of loyalty to the Crown during what is probably better called the war for American independence.
Over at my Genevan Psalter blog, I have now reached the halfway point in my thus far 25-year effort to set to verse the biblical Psalms, with fresh metrical versifications of Psalms 127 and 122. I also call attention to two compelling renditions of the Psalms by a group styling themselves Brother Down: Psalm 13 and Psalm 75. Yes, these are the Genevan tunes! Here is more from Douglas Wilson: Psalm Off Results. “Canon Press is now negotiating with the band Brother Down in Santa Cruz in hopes of releasing an album of Reformation-era psalms, all done in their distinctive style.” It seems we have something to look forward to.
Who was H. Evan Runner? A Calvin College philosopher who had considerably more impact on the North American Christian university scene than the relative paucity of his academic writings might otherwise indicate. Read about him here: The Importance of H. Evan Runner. Although I did not know him well, Runner was nevertheless something of a spiritual and intellectual grandfather to me, as I was taught by a number of his students at a crucial stage in my own pilgrimage.