Tag Archives: The Shack Bible Project

What Your Bible Translation Tells Me about You

Some Random Thoughts On How I Judge People

Being that I was raised in a more traditional black Baptist church, but not really fundamentalist where we got obsessed with what version of the Bible we carried or what, I enjoy poking fun at those certain persons who seem to have more than just a small attachment to their preferred translation of the Bible. Inspired by this twitter conversation, here are my working conclusions so far.

New Living Translation: Indicates that you have been a part of the Bible Wars for years and you are looking for a way to escape the King James Version only crowd. It means you still hold on to your embedded conservative theology but are desiring to engage other Christians outside of the KJVO faith.

English Standard Version: If you love the ole ESV, that may mean you are either Reformed theologically or you are a moderate who is curious what an updated version of the RSV would look like.

Revised Standard Version: Still stuck in the 1950s, you believe that the RSV is all that is left between the world and knowing God’s will. The National Council of Churches was not as liberal back then, so it cannot be that bad.

New American Standard Version: You care more about accuracy, which makes you better than people attached to the NLT.  Theologically, you consider yourself a moderate, which usually means you are a progressive suffering from denial.

New Revised Standard Version: Usually over-educated and indoctrinated in a mainline church, the NRSV-onlyist crowd was once adverse to reading anything outside of the New International Version.  NRSV-onlyists are too smart for their own good and look down upon every other translation; that is why they are often mistaken for the KJVO.

The Message: This pretty much means you are changing religions. Seriously.

New International Version/Today’s NIV: Brought up in an evangelical church that holds firm to inerrancy and the Purpose Driven Life like the plague, the NIV came as a surprise to those who grew up familiar with the KJV. So God did not speak Shakespearean English? The NIV is more accessible to children but not really good for memorizing. Perhaps that is why the NIV reader becomes a lover of reading the Bible as story, like the……

The Voice: Defenders of the Voice are oh so obsessed with the narrative interpretation of Scripture.  The translators decide what the meta-narrative is and even get to add words to the Gospel to make it more relevant. Sort of like some other religions I know of.

King James Version: Either you are a sentimental progressive who doesn’t want to rock the boat at your church or you have made the KJV the 4th person of the Trinity, right behind God, Jesus, and John Calvin.

A New Translation Worse than the NLT!

The Shack Bible Project?

For those of you unfamiliar with William P Young’s The Shack, it is a novel about a man who goes through tragedy only to meet God as a black Aunt Jemima (without the pancakes though), a self-deprecating Jew, and a quiet Asian woman. No, seriously it is. While there have been plenty of posts via the Internets about the heresy of God as a woman, blah blah, blah, the most disturbing thing about the book is its representation of racial minorities as well as Young’s unwillingness to acknowledge racial blindspots throughout the book. I’ll hesitate to say more given that I am currently finishing up an article based on the research and joint presentation with a colleague of mine.

But now comes word that there is a Shack Bible paraphrase in the works. That’s right, the Bible is being re-paraphrased for fans of the Shack by someone who sees similarities between the Shack’s theology and patristic thought. Personally I do not see it. I am afraid that Young’s deity is right in line with the god of Marcionism, where YHWH’s just and righteous nature is replaced with the liberal Eurocentric god of mainline Protestantism, since laws and regulations should no longer be found in Scripture according to Saraya (the Asian lady/Holy Spirit figure).  That, and the notion that Jesus somehow refudiates the notion that he is from the Ancient Near East, dismissing his Jewishness in The Shack leads me to become more suspect of The Shack’s cultural imperialism as well as any Bible translation or work giving it an uncritical glance.