Charisma House Joins List of Bible Publishers
Yesterday at Publisher’s Weekly:
Charisma House will produce a new Bible translation that will update the King James Version. The new Modern English Version (MEV) will be a word-for-word translation. Editors will be drawn from institutions such as the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Harvard University, Oral Roberts University, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Yale University. “To Bible readers who value biblical truth, the MEV literally translates God’s Word in a way that preserves the message but remains readable for today’s world,” said Tessie DeVore, executive v-p of Charisma House in a statement. The MEV will be available in 2014.
Now, we don’t expect everyone at Publisher’s Weekly to understand the nuances of Bible translation, but there’s no escaping the cryptic phrase, “will update the King James Version.” Given the further details provided, one expects that Charisma — a division of Strang Communications — is hoping that the translation will be adopted by conservative Pentecostals who are presently devotees of the KJV. But can you have a “modern language” Bible that uses formal correspondence translation methodology? As English changes, staying “modern” increasingly involves altering the construction of sentences from their familiar forms.
With the addition of the MEV, it appears that almost every major publisher has their own Bible translation. The NLT, NKJV and HCSB are examples of publisher-driven translations, while the NASB and AMP originate with The Lockman Foundation, the NIV is a product of Biblica (formerly The International Bible Society) and CBT (The Committee on Bible Translation), and the Good News Bible is the product of the Bible Society in the US and UK. Some translations, such as the NCV have a much longer, complicated history, while The Message is the product of a single author.
Can the customer be expected to keep track of all these? This writer suspects that the MEV — with “English” as the unique word — sounds a lot like the CEV (Bible Society) and the CEB (Common English Version, Abingdon). Furthermore, fringe KJV supporters already have an alternative in the NKJV or the obscure, but still available KJ21 (21st Century King James).
From a Strang press release, the ultimate hyperbole:
While most translations are preferred for either study, reading or devotions, the MEV seeks to fulfill all of these needs in one Bible.