February 23, 2009

Hello, all — this is “Mom”/grandma/Ruth.

I am grateful to my son, Dan, for getting this thing started.  I will just add a bit to his introduction.  Please take us both at our word, that we really do want this to be an interactive affair.  Although I categorically reject the “lone ranger” style of “Christianity”, deeming such an attitude really unworthy of that label, in my translation work I have been essentially forced into it.  As most of those who read this must surely know, the modern institution that calls itself “the church” effectively excludes the contribution of anyone not recruited, or at least approved by its own hierarchy.   I maintain that such a policy renders it difficult, if not impossible, for any meaningful dialog to take place, and therefore for any challenge to erroneous interpretation to be considered, much less heeded.

Having been “introduced” to the Lord as a college student, more than fifty years ago, and shortly thereafter diving into the original sources to find out about the life he offers, I have been impressed — often horrified — at the distortions of the original text that are accepted without question.  In literally every case, where I have found a discrepancy between the text and what “everybody knows” it says, the Real Thing is immeasurably richer, grander, and more beautiful.  Such is the “living and active Word of God.”!

Off and on for 20 years or so, my husband and I developed and taught a class in which we took inexperienced people, ranging in age from 8 to 80, from zero to the ability, using helps, laboriously, but responsibly to do their own translating from the Greek.  It was amazing and delightful to see them liberated to discover for themselves some of those riches.  They added immeasurably to our own understanding.  Their suggestions contributed greatly to the original translation.  But they are widely scattered now.

So, having failed to find anything remotely resembling “peer review,” I very seriously seek your feedback.  Have I gone off on a tangent?  Have I missed something in the vocabulary or grammar that would make it more clear to readers?  Has some one of these ideas jogged a thought for you that may be helpful to the rest of us?

I know this should happen in an interactive brotherhood.  However, sadly, we have not succeeded in finding such a rare creature.

So please — comment, correct, and critique what you see here.  And thanks for caring!

Translation Notes with an invitation to dialogue. . .

February 17, 2009

For more than fifty years now, I have searched for people with whom to explore the Lord’s intentions for his people. Except for a scattered few brief interludes, that search has failed. I had hoped that the dissemination of my New Testament translation might provoke the discussion and contacts needed for greater faithfulness. But without any endorsement or any distributor, that also failed to produce the needed critical evaluation and interchange.

These observations, too, should have been refined by the challenge and counsel of a mutually seeking community of brethren. They have not: and consequently they are fragmentary and mostly untested.

But fifty years is a long time. Only the Lord knows how many years may be left. Certainly not fifty more! So I am beginning to record some thoughts that perhaps someone, someday, will correct, add to, and find a way to offer this message to the Body of Christ. With sadness, I no longer expect to live to see “ordinary folks” like myself privileged to contribute to that Body. Someday, though, the Lord will again make his voice heard and his people will again recognize the glorious message of Pentecost – that he intends to speak to all of us through all of us.

What a beautiful time that will be!

Meanwhile, this is intended to be sort of an explanatory supplement to my New Testament translation. In the introduction to that work, I noted that I had deliberately chosen to avoid standard “Christian vocabulary” in favor of an attempt to use words in ways that would have been familiar to the first readers of the texts. This is an attempt to explain some of those vocabulary choices; to explain grammatical structures that are unfamiliar to the reader of English; and to include miscellaneous other observations that I have found helpful over the years.

Please do not interpret this as any kind of a “doctrinal statement”, or anything but the efforts of one follower of the Lord Jesus Christ to share with other followers (or potential followers) some of the treasures of his Kingdom.

Ruth Martin

For further dialogue, please download the translation notes here. I welcome serious feedback and discussion on these issues!

Welcome to the PNT Home Page

February 17, 2009

This is a beginning. . .

I have been helping my Mom, Ruth Martin, with the technical aspects of electronically publishing her translation of the New Testament from the Greek. First self-published (by my brother Dave) in paperback in 1992, the Pioneers’ New Testament has undergone two revisions and one digital edition on CD since then. This latest revision was completed just last year. We’re using the blog format to put it “out there” for you. . .bread on the waters I guess. . .in the hopes that it can find interested parties to critique, chew on it, and perhaps be inspired to a new reading of the Scriptures through the challenges it presents.

In the next few days I’ll also post Mom’s translation notes, and with any luck get her on here to start commenting herself! In the meantime, please download a copy of the Pioneers’ New Testament (Adobe Acrobat format) and have a look for yourself!