New Bible translation written in screenplay formatA new Bible translation tackles the challenge of turning ancient Greek and Hebrew texts into modern American English and then adds a twist: It’s written like a screenplay.
By: By Travis Loller, Associated Press, The Jamestown Sun
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new Bible translation tackles the challenge of turning ancient Greek and Hebrew texts into modern American English and then adds a twist: It’s written like a screenplay.
Take the passage from Genesis in which God gets angry at Adam for eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil:
“Adam (pointing at the woman): It was she! The woman You gave me as a companion put the fruit in my hands, and I ate it.
“God (to the woman): What have you done?
“Eve: It was the serpent! He tricked me, and I ate.”
Later, Eve bears her first son, Cain.
“Eve (excited): Look, I have created a new human, a male child, with the help of the Eternal.”
Even people who have never read the Bible could probably guess that other translations don’t say Adam pointed his finger at Eve when he blamed her for his disobedience. Neither do other Bibles describe Eve as “excited” about her newborn son.
That’s pure Hollywood, but the team behind “The Voice” says it isn’t a gimmick. They hope this new version will help readers understand the meaning behind the sometimes archaic language of the Bible and enjoy the story enough to stick with it.
The idea was a longtime dream of Chris Seay, pastor of Houston’s Ecclesia Church.
Seay had had success in helping church members relate to the Bible by dividing out the parts of the various speakers and assigning roles to church members who read them aloud.
The idea struck a nerve with Frank Couch, the vice president of translation development for Nashville-based religious publisher Thomas Nelson, who had performed Bible-inspired sketches on the streets of Berkeley, Calif., in his youth.
The result of their efforts, as well as a team of translators who worked alongside poets, writers and musicians, is “The Voice,” released in its full version earlier this year.
“The biggest thing, the unexpected plus, is that people will read an entire book of the Bible because it reads like a novel,” Couch said.
“It engages your imagination in a different way,” Seay said.