Thursday, March 20, 2008

Timothy: underrated New Testament character?

I've been musing about Timothy. He wrote more New Testament letters than anyone except Paul, co-writing 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Two New Testament letters were written to him, and he is referred to in at least 12 New Testament books, if you count the ones already mentioned.

He is surely worthy of some study.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If the world's population were reduced to a hundred ...

I see that Miniature Earth is doing the rounds on Youtube, with or without music. You can view it with Yann Tiersen's music, Mad World [disturbing suicidal lyrics, but a great version of Tears For Fears song, by Gary Jules] or with John Lennon's hymn to atheism and pacifism, Imagine.

This If the world's population were reduced to a hundred people was one of the first things I saw on the internet when I logged on in 1996. I hope those who view this video do more than appreciate what they've got and really do their part to make a better world. Though I guess we all have our ideas on how best this can be achieved.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Good News Translation, Australian Edition

The Good News Translation, Australian edition is not overtly Aussie. The disciples are not all called Bruce, and as I read through I very rarely notice anything glaring.

But this morning, in beginning to read through Judges, I noticed that Caleb's daughter Achsah asked her father for
some waterholes. The land you have given me is in the dry country.
Judges 1:15

I looked this verse up online, but have discovered that the British edition has pools of water, but the American edition also has waterholes. The New Shorter Oxford Dictionary says waterhole is a late 17th century term, and does not cite it as being especially Australian. But it still sounds Aussie to me. Wikipedia agrees, but you know what they say about the Wiki!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I've enjoyed Psalm 116 many times, but reading it in the Good News Translation has made verse 16 stand out for me. It is translated in various ways including:

King James Version O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. [The ASV, RSV, NIV, NKJV and ESV are very similar.]
New Revised Standard Version Psalm 116:16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.
New Living Translation, 2nd edition O LORD, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains.
Today's New International Version Truly I am your servant, LORD; I am your servant, as was my mother before me; you have loosed my bonds of affliction.
Contemporary English Version I worship you, LORD, just as my mother did, and you have rescued me from the chains of death.
Good News Translation I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did. You have saved me from death.
New Jerusalem Bible I beg you, Yahweh! I am your servant, I am your servant and my mother was your servant; you have undone my fetters.
Reading the verse in several versions of different styles helps to bring out the meaning, I think. I am taking it that the psalmist is emphasising that he was born into a family which serves God, as Timothy was. [See 2 Timothy 1:5.]

But I like the way the freer translations bring out the thought that he is serving God, as his mother served him. Not everyone can say this, but if we can't, we can aspire to our own children one day saying it of us, as we faithfully, though imperfectly seek to serve our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.