A man by the name of Kel Richards has “translated” parts of the Bible into Australian slang.
The Virgin Mary is a “pretty special sheila” who wraps her nipper in a bunny rug and tucks him up in a cattle feed trough
The Three Wise Men are “eggheads from out east”…The Good Samaritan is a “grubby old street sweeper” who patches up the victim of a highway robbery with his first aid kit, then drops him off at the nearest pub.
The book has headings such as “Jesus is born”, “The Wise Guys” and “The Story of the Good Bloke”.
Even worse, this is being endorsed by significant voices within Christendom.
It has been backed by the Bible Society of New South Wales, with forewords by Peter Jensen, Sydney’s Anglican archbishop, and John Anderson, the deputy prime minister.
At first I was going to say that this was unbelievable, but it’s not. It’s indicative of the carelessness with which Christians treat God’s word today.
The difference between the “Aussie Bible” and most modern versions of the Bible is only one of degree, not of kind. If this statement surprises you, read on and I’ll explain why.
Many of the older Bible translations, such as the KJV and NASB, primarily use what’s known as “formal equivalency” (although I believe there are a handful of exceptions). The scholars sat down with what they believed to be the best set of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and did a word-for-word translation, as closely as possible. If they read a Greek word, they wrote an English word corresponding to it, with the necessary modifications for English grammar (for example, a literal translation of the Spanish phrase “la chica bonita” is “the girl pretty”, but writing “the pretty girl” is still a formal equivalency). Sometimes they had to add a few significant words to make sense of the grammar. In most KJV Bibles, these added words are in italics to show the reader that they were added. I’m not sure if the NASB follows this convention or not. The translators of these Bibles were deeply concerned about conveying the actual words of God.
This is entirely different from the approach used by many more recent translations. A more popular approach now is to use “dynamic equivalency”. Rather than a word-for-word translation, they attempt to translate thoughts.
As David Cloud explains, “The focus of dynamic equivalency is not faithfulness to the original text but the supposed “impact” of the translation upon the reader.”
An example will probably be helpful here.
Luke 9:44 (NIV) …”Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
Luke 9:44 (NAS) “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.”
Luke 9:44 (Young’s Literal Translation) `Lay ye to your ears these words, for the Son of Man is about to be delivered up to the hands of men.’
I will pre-emptively agree with anyone who wants to argue that there’s no difference in meaning between the way the NIV and the NAS renders this verse. None whatsoever. But there’s also no difference between “Let these words sink into your ears” and “Listen up, y’all, I got something important to say.”
William Tyndale said “I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, to give a reckoning of our doings, that I never altered one syllable of God’s Word against my conscience.” When Bible “translators” move away from this sentiment and freely rewrite God’s word in a misguided effort to somehow make it more relevant to people, they cease being translators and become paraphrasers. The “Aussie Bible” is just another step on the same path that begins with works such as the NIV and CEV, and continues on through the Living Bible and Amplified Bible, and has also produced such aberrations as gender inclusive Bibles (Father/Mother God), “jive” Bibles, rap Bibles, and now the Aussie Bible.
I wonder how the “Aussie Bible” translates this?
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.