Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On Writing the History of the American Bible Society--Update #72

Want to get some context for this post? Click here.

Here is today's writing lesson:  If you want to get up early to get some writing done try not to stay up too late watching your daughter play volleyball.  I did not get enough sleep last night and it affected my writing session this morning.  I only managed to string together a couple of good hours and 387 total words. 

I think my work is the strongest when I am writing about the way ideas connect with everyday life. Today I wrote a paragraph about how the ABS understood the General Supply (1829-2813) as part of the progressive advance of Christian history.

I also had a productive meeting today with Alyssa, one of my undergraduate research assistants. Alyssa is doing some preliminary research on Good News for Modern Man (New Testament)  and The Good News Bible (Old and New Testaments).  These books were published by the ABS in the 1966 and 1976 respectively as the first translations to employ "dynamic equivalence." 

Alyssa and I wondered how much space in the book we should devote to the translation theory behind this popular Bible.   Since I am writing for a popular audience I do not want to get too bogged down in theory.  I am actually more interested in the reception of these Bibles by Christian leaders, pastors,and ordinary readers.  How did these Bibles transform the way people read and thought about the Bible?  (When I look at the cover art on Good News For Modern Man I flash back to my childhood CCD classes where we used this Bible).  

We are still VERY early in the process of trying to understand the intellectual and cultural history of the Good News Bible and we COULD USE YOUR HELP.  If any of you are old enough to remember the release of Good News for Modern Man (New Testament) or the entire Good News Bible we would love to hear from you.  Did this publication, which was written in popular and accessible language, change the way you read the Bible?  Do you have any memories or stories related to the Bible?   Contact me at jfea(at)messiah(dot)edu.  I would love to hear your story and perhaps even interview you for the book.