Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered. Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well (which was deep) without a bucket or something to draw with; or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, Read this, I pray thee, he was fain to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed.
If you’ve never read the full preface of the original 1611 King James Version entitled The Translators to the Reader, you would do well to. Well, if you’re a Bible geek, anyway. And wordy nerdy.
It’s a beautiful statement of every translator’s mandate: to open the door, break the shell, put aside the curtain, remove the cover. Translation is a vulgar task. I try to keep that in mind as I play in the MAV (Mike’s Authorized Version). The MAV must be vulgar indeed.
Here’s this week’s segment of Galatians in the MAV…
Dazzled by God_Galatians 1:11-24
Brothers, I’ll tell you plain – again – the truly good news conveyed by yours truly is not a human concoction or invention; I didn’t upload it from any human source, nor did I go to school for a “gospel” degree. This was a divine download, a divine revelation of and from Jesus Christ.
- I was a flaming, over-the-top, no-holds-barred persecutor/tormentor of the Jesus people – I was a man on a mission of religious rape, pillage, and plunder!
- I graduated first in the class in my brand of the Jewish religion – head and shoulders above everyone else on the roster; no one else even came close.
- I was the Zealot! No one was more passionate than I was as a defender of the old ways, the traditions of my fathers.
But God had other ideas.
God had a purpose and a call for me when I was still being shaped in my mother’s womb – a call he activated by his grace to reveal his Son in me, through me, so that I might shout his Name from the rooftops to all the Gentile outsider rejects. And once activated, I didn’t compare notes with flesh and blood seeking human input on this whole Jesus thing, neither did I make a quick pilgrimage to Jerusalem to Jesus’ personal reps there to hear their scoop on him. No way. I was off to the desert of Arabia for my own rendezvous quite by myself, and then I returned to Damascus. Then after, count them, three years, I finally made my way up to Jerusalem to catch up a bit with Peter for all of, count them again, fifteen days. But there were no other interviews, no theological bull sessions with any other of the Master’s reps. Nada. None. Just the Lord’s brother, Jacob. Look, I have my right hand raised and I’ll swear to it: when it comes to all I write here, I am not lying – God’s truth! After that ever so brief visit to Jerusalem, I was off again, back to my home turf in the climes of Syria and Cilicia – and I still hadn’t really been “friended” by anyone back there in Judea among all the various thriving communities of Jesus people. They just saw the posting that “Our persecutor – the one chomping at the bit to kill us – is now the champion preaching the faith he once tried to obliterate!”
And they were posting “LIKE” on all their pages, glorifying God for what he had done in me.