Friday, August 13, 2004

C.S. Lewis on Bible Versions

The same divine humility which decreed that God should become a baby at a peasant-woman's breast, and later an arrested field preacher in the hands of the Roman police, decreed also that He should be preached in a vulgar, prosaic and unliterary language. If you can stomach the one, you can stomach the other. The Incarnation is in that sense, an incurably irreverent doctrine: Christianity, in that sense, an incurably irreverent religion. When we expect that it should have come before the World in all the beauty that we now feel in the Authorised Version we are as wide of the mark as the jews were in expecting that the Messiah would come as a great earthly King. The real sanctity, the real beauty and sublimity of the New Testament (as of Christ's life) are of a different sort: miles deeper or further in.

I used this quote to help explain why I'm a fan of The Message.

- Peace

1 comment:

they call him Tim said...

Amen and amen. Thanks for the insightful Lewis quote. I can't believe I haven't read that one before. I too am a big fan of the Message.

Concerning your subsequent post quoting Phillips, it could be argued that the Message is guilty of his number 2 (sounding too much like Eugene Peterson.) But he hits such homeruns with Phillips' numbers 1 & 3 that I think J.B. would have been a fan too.

I sometimes think good paraphrases are closer to the original authors' intent than "translations" are, for those very reasons.