Have you ever been confused by a particular passage of the Bible? Or wondered if the “obvious” interpretation is the correct one? Have you ever had your individuality, your style, your way of life, your something-else-that-is-really-important-to-you-but-probably-not-that-important-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things, criticized by someone who “just” “doesn’t” “get” “it” – and by an author or a pastor who is just out of touch?
No? Do criticisms bounce off your self-assurance, your knowledge barrier, your superior intelligence, intellect, and ego?
Than (sic) have we got the Bible for you!
EarnestWords is proud to announce a new project product: the Bible, New Heresy Edition.
Of course, “heresy” is just a churchy word for “thinking “differently.” But guess who else thought differently? Well, yeah, Nahab and Abihu. But, also: Yeah. Jesus.
The New “Heresy” Study Edition of the New International Version cuts through the blather of centuries to deliver an alternative reading (or multiple alternative readings) of the Grand Old Book – with cutting commentary to allow you to challenge your secular friends and your church friends with time-ish truths. Here’s just a sampling of the great ‘retranslations’ you can hope to read in the NHE:
New Heresy Edition Retranslations
|16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.||16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, the first created being, that whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life.|
|17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.||17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.|
|18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.||18Whoever does not believe in him is okay, as long as they believe in something – and nihilism counts as belief. God’s one and only son – the first creation.|
Commentary on John 3:16-18:
These verses are now more palatable to a modern, pluralistic society; we’ve also thrown a bone to our apologetically-inclined friends. We also tried to make Jesus Christ’s relationship to the Father much clearer than the metaphorical ambiguity of “begotten” and “one and only” used in “the Original Greek.”
I have tried to read “the Original Greek.” I have no idea what it means, but it looks like this:
οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.
What does that even mean? I will try to steer clear of “the Original Greek” as much as possible. Also, I don’t even know Greek – and have no intention of learning Greek. Why would I need to learn it, anyway? Jesus spoke English.
|2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,||2Consider it joy, people, whenever you face any trials at all|
|3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.||3because trials are always good and they show that you have faith.|
|4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.||4And it’s really important to have faith –|
|5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.||5AND HAVE IT ALL THE TIME.|
|6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.||6IF YOU DOUBT AT ALL, YOU NEED TO GO PRAY AND IF YOU PRAY POORLY:|
|7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.||7 “NO WISDOM FOR YOU! THREE DAYS! ”|
Commentary on James 1:2-7
As Jesus said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” James was also, apparently, a Seinfeld fan!
James added in tons of unnecessary words to this last set of verses, when the obvious message is that you are never to ever doubt anything at all. And if you doubt, you need to pray. If you keep on doubting, pray better.
All that stuff about “letting perseverance finish its work” and God giving wisdom to those who are suffering trials doubting, if they ask for it — that’s kind of complicated and a little difficult. I mean, am I supposed to believe that the people who follow every passing fad can expect to receive anything from the Lord? Of course they can expect to receive anything they want – as long as they believe it hard enough!
(That’s a cross-reference to 4 John 526:4328, a bonus book included in this version of the NHE for only $1,000,000).