This month will see the publication of yet another Bible. The “Good News Bible” is being published by the Bible Society. “Why another translation”, you may well ask.
The language Jesus spoke was Aramaic with the country accent of Galilee. The people understood his teaching perfectly and the stories he told were abundantly clear to then because He used their common everyday language. After the Resurrection, Jesus commissioned His disciples to take the Good news “to all peoples”.
During the last 10 years of Bible Society work there has been a renewed enthusiasm to translate the Scriptures from their original Hebrew and Greek into the everyday language of the peoples of the world. They are called “common language” translations. The “Good News Bible “ is one of these because it is in Today’s English.
The most important factor concerning the word of God is that it should be understood by the common people. The New Testament was not written in Hebrew because it would have been read only by the Jews. It was not written in Latin because it would have appealed only to certain people. It was not written in classical Greek, because its appeal would have been limited to educated people only. The new Testament was written in Koine Greek, which was the trade language of the market place – the language that the common people all spoke.
While we shall miss in this translation the strength and beauty of the language of the Authorised Version, we shall gain in understanding more clearly the meaning which the Scripture writers wished to convey – the message of God to our hearts and minds.