Redefining Biblical Translations

Redefining Biblical Translations
I must confess, when I first saw a BibleZine in a Christian bookstore, I scoffed. Why not just purchase the real thing? My daughter explained to me that they were geared toward people who don’t read the Bible so that they would think they were just reading a magazine. Ok, that might not have been the best explanation for me. I remember walking away with my nose scrunched up. In my mind, tricking someone into reading the Bible was akin to a literary vigilante bait and switch? How could anyone not know they were reading a Bible? Why not purchase a simple translation for someone so that they could have the entire Bible instead of just the New Testament?

If you are not familiar with a BibleZine, it is a compilation of articles combined with the New Testament and written in a magazine format. They are Nelson publications and use the New Century Version of the Bible. The New Century Version, while being a modern and easy to understand translation, does not seriously alter or detract from the meaning of the Bible passages by oversimplifying the verses.

There are BibleZine versions geared toward teenaged girls, teenaged boys, sports enthusiasts, baby boomers and many other groups. While poring over the latest discount catalog from an online Christian bookseller, I saw some bargain-basement editions and chose Redefine, the baby boomer edition.

To my astonishment, I actually found the articles pertinent and enjoyable. Most Bibles that I own have a very short synopsis of each book at the beginning. A few of my Bibles contain a sentence to let the reader know who wrote the book and in what time period. A few contain slightly more. The BibleZine went a step further and discussed target audiences and presented each book of the New Testament in simple, modern vernacular. The combination of contemporary topic articles, articles geared toward specific problems, and the New Century Version translation, make the BibleZine a great gift for a new or seasoned Christian. In comparison to the devotional readings that are included in some New Living Translation and in other New Century Translation Bibles, the articles in the BibleZines have more of a “hands-on” approach: if the problem is “x” then you need to do “y”.

Had I have had any foresight, I would have ordered several copies to be used for community adopt-a-block outreaches. I would recommend the BibleZine series for any bookshelf or giveaway. They would particularly benefit the teen to young adult set and would make a great addition to care packages for college students, soldiers and nursing home residents.

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