Thursday, March 13, 2008

A New, Fresh, Adventurous Version of Christ

Yes, I know... here I am. Blogging twice in one month on Bible stuff. What's up with that? Well... what's up with this?!?

Another new translation of the Bible... and I thought the Poverty and Justice Bible was unique. This one is - well, you'll just have to read on...

The "version" of which I write is called "Good as New: A Radical Retelling of the scriptures." It's put out by the ONE community and it "aims at a new fresh and adventurous translation of the early Christian scriptures. It is designed both for mature Christians and for those who have limited experience of traditional Christianity or may have found it a barrier to an appreciation of Jesus." Hmmm... 

I would be one of the first people on this planet earth to tell you that "traditional" Christianity isn't maybe all it's cracked up to be. Much like the scribes and Pharisees of yesteryear, we have our own in-house issues going on. It matters not your denomination, sect, or creed - none is perfect, no not one. But I'm always wary of those who think the scriptures themselves are what needs tweaking, not the humans involved in the process of living out their lives (hopefully for Christ) as best they can (or not). 

I'll give you some examples of what I mean by "tweaking the scriptures." 

Mark 1:4, NIV: And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Good as New: John, nicknamed "The Dipper," was "The Voice." He was in the desert, inviting people to be dipped, to show they were determined to change their ways and wanted to be forgiven.

Mark 1:10-11, NIV: As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Good as New: As he was climbing up the bank again, the sun shone through a gap in the clouds. At the same time a pigeon flew down and perched on him. Jesus took this as a sign that God's spirit was with him. A voice from overhead was heard saying, "That's my boy! You're doing fine!"

Oh, and that one just deserves a comment. Seriously. No... actually, for that one somebody deserves a spanking. That's just pathetic! "That's my boy, you're doing fine?" Seriously?? And Jesus took a pigeon as a sign that God was well pleased?? A pigeon??? Where are they coming up with these ideas?

Matthew 23:25, NIV: Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self indulgence.

Good as New: "Take a running jump, Holy Joes, humbugs!"

And there's a little understated eloquence for you!

Matthew 26:69-70, NIV: Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.

Good as New: Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: "Haven't I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?" Rocky shook his head and said: "I don't know what the hell you're talking about!"

A little artistic license there...

1 Corinthians 7:1-2, NIV: Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

Good as New: Some of you think the best way to cope with sex is for men and women to keep right away from each other. That is more likely to lead to sexual offenses. My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner." 

1 Corinthians 7:8-9, NIV: Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Good as New: If you know you have strong needs, get yourself a partner. Better than being frustrated.

Well, I guess that's about all that's needed from me. What do you think? Good as New??

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