Friday, May 28, 2004

Bible Updating

I have several friends and acquaintences who are missionaries around the world, some of whom are involved in Bible translation, and a few of them involved in Bible updating, which, oddly, seems to be kind of new ground.

The premier Bible translation organization is Wycliffe Bible Translators, which is working hard to translate the Bible into languages that have never had it.

But where is the organization devoted to Bible updating? From what I've heard, some of the translations in use around the world now sound absurdly old-fashioned, and therefore don't communicate well with their intended audience.

A while ago I found an old Wycliffe handbook about Bible translation. To a layman's eye, it seemed like good stuff, though it was an old book, so it was a bit out of date. I'm sure Wycliffe now has more up-to-date versions.

That's great, but where is the handbook on Bible updating?

I'm not at all suggesting Wycliffe change it's approach; what it's doing is vital. What I'm thinking is that maybe there needs to be an organization with the expertise that Wycliffe has, but for updating Bibles. There needs to be an organization to set good standards for updating, and an organization that keeps electronic copies of the new translations as backups. (The first step in updating seems frequently to be keying the old translation into the computer. That's understandable, but it would be a serious mistake to have to do that twice.)

Just a thought...

No comments: