So I've decided that February 13th and 14th brings a sudden influx of guys into a Christian bookstore. Usually our customers are mostly female, except for pastors who come in to buy the ESV Study Bible (word to the wise, if you're trying to attract an Arminian girlfriend, avoid using the ESV- it practically screams Neo-Calvinist) and the complete works of Charles Spurgeon. On the eve of V-day, however, guys suddenly realize that they still haven't bought their wife/girlfriend a card and that copy of Fireproof she wanted. So what do they do? They flock to the Dayspring section of their local Christian bookstore in droves, pick out a card, and buy it using the reward points their wife has spent months accumulating. I kid you not. We actually had a couple of wives come in later that day asking what had happened to their points. Good times. But anyway a happy belated Valentine's Day to you all.
For those who follow SCL, you may have seen yesterday's post where Jon compared Bible translations to G.I. Joes. Now I have an interesting translation to add to the mix, but unfortunately my knowledge of G.I. Joes is sadly limited so I can't offer a corresponding character. If you have any ideas, bring 'em on. I would like to introduce you to...drumroll, please...the Word on the Street. Of all the Bibles in my personal collection, this is the only one I read for personal amusement. If the Message is considered a paraphrase of the Bible, this is a paraphrase of the Message. I like to call it the gangsta Bible, interspersed with British slang. It's pretty great. The only downfall is that Rob Lacey never got around to doing the whole Bible. He paraphrases some passages, but often summarizes pages and pages in one paragraph. To quote the back of the book, "Bible stories are retold as mini-blockbusters, psalms as song lyrics, epistles as emails, Revelation as virtual reality." I could describe it to you in more detail, but I may as well show you. Here are some well known verses in WOTS form (the links on the reference will bring you to the NIV translation in BibleGateway, if the verse isn't one you can quote offhand).
Genesis 1:1. "First off, nothing...but God. No light, no time, no substance, no matter. Second off, God says the word and WHAP! Stuff everywhere!"
You're my guide and my guard, my minder, my mentor.
What more do I need? What's better at the centre?
You sit me down, put my best CD on,
And my soul remembers who I am again.
(backing) You're with me, you comfort me. (x2)
(lead) And you hold my swaying heart - so soft, so strong.
(backing) You're with me, you comfort me. (x2)
(lead) You stop them tearing me apart - I fear no wrong.
You show me where to go, without telling me;
You set a value on my life, without selling me.
(backing & lead) You're with me, you comfort me. (x2)
You call me to the streets; you show me such good things,
Right things with no hidden strings -
Just your name on, and it's game on.
Your great repute, like a distant flute, it comforts me.
I crawl through the alley of the shadow of cancer;
I know you know the answer, and the battle won't rattle me
You're around, and I've found there's something about your empathy
Your symphony of sympathy, that comforts me.
You lay out a table, you set me down
My rivals arrive from the greatest to least
But my cup's kept full and my head's held high
And you boast about me, your least priest
And make them toast me right through the feast
Boy does it comfort me!
I know that your good, your best, your love and your passion
Will stalk me, steer me, stand alongside me
Outlast every fad and fashion, though all eternity
For I'm going to live with you
See heaven's great views from my own cosmic mews
No lease to renew, no terms to review, no one else to view -
Just me and you, me and you, me and you
Right through, to the end of time.
"Cos God's so passionate about the planet that he donates his one and only Son. Whoever invests their life in the Son doesn't die, but gets given this limitless life. D'you think God sends his Son to slam people down? No! He sends his Son to liberate people."
"All the credit, all the clout- give it up, full on, forever to the one who loves us and liberates us from our mess by donating his blood and making us immigrants into his New Nation of God's reps to work for God the Father. Absolutely!
Look up! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a computer game gone 3D?
No, it's HIM, surfing the clouds, full orbit so everyone gets to see.
Even the ones who cut him deep.
Everyone's gutted, 'cos of him.
Bring him on! Absolutely!"
So there you have it. The Word on the Street. I can see some of the benefits of it for looking at the Bible in a fresh way, and I realize it's not trying to pass itself off as a proper translation per se, which is good. But, I'm not gonna lie, the "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it some computer game gone 3D? No, it's HIM" line cracks me up every time. I can just see Jesus in a Superman cape... So, which G.I. Joe character would the WOTS be? Any other major passages you'd like to see paraphrased?