Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mountains flattened, elements melted, and a giveaway

Loving my new Common English Bible - I've been using the New Testament for a year or so for the lectionary readings in Sunday worship, but now this translation is out with both testaments and I use it for both personal and public reading.

I'm preparing for Sunday, December 4, and am looking at the lectionary texts in the CEB.

The Call to Worship at the beginning of Sunday's service will come from Isaiah 40:1-11, specifically verses 3 to 5:

A voice is crying out, 'Clear the Lord's way in the desert! Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God! Every valley will be raised up, and every mountain and hill will be flattened. Uneven ground will become level, and rough terrain a valley plain. The Lord's glory will appear, and all humanity will see it together; The Lord's mouth has commanded it.

I will be preaching on 2 Peter 3:10-13:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a dreadful noise, the elements will be consumed by fire, and the earth and all the works done on it will be exposed.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be? You must live holy and godly lives, waiting for and hastening the coming day of God. Because of that day, the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. But according to his promise we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

I think the CEB translators have made some good choices here in dealing with the Greek text and English equivalents: compare "the earth and all the works done on it will be exposed" with the less clear "the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed" in the New Revised Standard Version. I prefer the CEB's plain "since everything will be destroyed in this way" to the NRSV's murky "since all these things are to be dissolved in this way." The NRSV's verb "dissolved" may be closer to the original Greek luomenon, which means "loosened," but the CEB and New International Version translation of "destroyed" better expresses the ancient writer's meaning.

As a participant in the Common English Bible Blog Tour, I am able to give away copies of this new translation - a Bible which I am using every day. I'll be selecting someone who comments on this, or any, blog post here at Daniel in the Lions' Den to receive a CEB, for your Advent journey.


Phillip Blancher said...

This certainly would make my job easier when reading to my kids from the bible. I often find I have to put things in my own words and hope I am getting it right, as the language from the KJ2 version is sometimes hard to follow. Good to know this is out here.

Dan Hayward said...

I also like The Message, but I find its effort to put things into everyday, contemporary language loses the Biblical rhythm at times.