You may know about the New Common English Bible (its publication this year sparked the “Know Your Bible Translations” quiz mentioned here last July). It’s an effort to make the Bible easier to read for contemporary English speakers.
According to Audra Jennings of the BBC Media Group, it’s also the result of some very modern technologies allowing for speedy collaboration around the world:
Electricity, the Internet, and instant global communication have allowed immense strides in communicating across languages, including new Bible translations like the Common English Bible, (CommonEnglishBible.com), in which 120 academic scholars and editors, 77 reading group leaders, and more than 500 average readers from around the world joined together to clearly translate, in record time, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages from thousands of centuries ago into the English of today. See an interactive Google Map showing the locations of the translators (http://j.mp/p5aiO0).
“Even the usual Bible translation schedule is not for the timid,” says Paul Franklyn, PhD, associate publisher for the Common English Bible. “Accomplishing it in less than four years requires extra stamina — and modern technology.” Less than four years is phenomenal when compared with other recent modern English Bible translations that took 10-17 years to complete.
I missed it, but apparently the International Federation of Translators has named September 30th, the Feast of St. Jerome, who translated the Greek and Hebrew texts into the Latin version known as the Vulgate, as International Translation Day.
You can read more about the Common English Bible and the technological tools used in its development in Jenning’s article: The New Common English Bible Happened Only Because of 21st Century Technology.
Not to be overly skeptical, I suspect similar catchy titles could be written for other translations, and prove just as true:
- Authorized Version of the Bible Happened Only Because of 17th Century Technology
- Revised Standard Version of the Bible Happened Only Because of 20th Century Technology
In every generation, people employ the best techniques they have at hand to translate, produce, and distribute the Bible, do they not?