Mike’s Authorized Version. Or perhaps Mike’s Amplified Version.
Sounds a bit presumptuous. The nerve!
I suppose it may sound arrogant to do your own translation of the Bible. But I’m just playing around with the Love of my Life. I have memorized, recited, regurgitated, and read, read, read, and reread again Galatians and the rest of the New Testament letters for the past thirty years. I’m no scholar. I only have BS — a bachelor of science in business administration from Cal State Northridge dating back to 1981. Three years before that I had started reading the New Testament in Greek. My holy playground. My dance partner. My desert. My En Gedi. My island paradise. My theme park. My high mountain.
Writing about Galatians this year, I’m doing my own translation as I go, as I dance with my old friend, in wondrous Greek, sucking on each verb, savoring each conjunction, each noun, each subtle verbal turn on the page, striving to hear Paul, longing to hear the Voice in the Dance of it all.
Grappling with what each agonizingly abstract English word we’ve used and read for years really mean, how they would really read for us — which is the ultimate goal of all good translation. I won’t claim that status for the MAV. But you get what you get.
Might be fun to post the results here, week by week…with a Rod Serlingesque “consider if you will…” (If you want the translation with my personal textual notes you can check here.)
Welcome to my holy playground…
Paul – personal rep with authority not derived from any man or by any human agency, but received directly (a) from Jesus Christ himself and thus (b) from God the Father who totally backed his act by raising him from the dead – and the rest of the family of faith here joins with me writing to you, the ecclesia, the thriving communities of Jesus across the region of Galatia:
Overflowing divine favor! Deep, healing wholeness!
– all of which flows to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself to fully deal with the sins of our past so he might open up the bright prospects of our future, plucking us right out of the clutches of this present, dead end evil age – a rescue in full accord with what our God and Father has planned all along. Pile on the praises to him, forever and ever and ever! Bank on it!
I. Am.GOBSMACKED! I can’t believe it! How quickly you’ve thrown everything away, turning your back on the One who invited you in, the one who lavished his amazing grace all over you – you’ve traded all of that, traded Him – for a cheap, knock-up wannabe “gospel” which, make no mistake about it, isn’t good news at all – it’s down and dirty bad news from troublemakers who have turned the good news, turned this message Christ gave us to preach – which is Christ himself, on its head.
But listen up: even if one of our own number, no, even if an angel right out of God’s sweet heaven!, presumed to share any other message of “good news” other than the “good news” of Christ – ‘anathema esto!’ a curse on him! I’ve said it once and now I’ll say it again: if anyone tries to “evangelize” you with a message other than what you’ve already received, a curse on him!
So tell me, does this sound like I’m trying to “win friends and influence people” now? – or am I playing to an audience of one – namely, God? Does this sound like I’m in the business of kissing up to mere men?
If pleasing mere men were still my game,
Christ’s devoted slave is the last thing I’d be.
Galatians 1:1-10 MAV