I’m Writing My Own Bible Version: My Gift To All The Churches

Just wanted to give everyone an update on a project I’m working on. I’ve started the process of creating my own Bible version of the New Testament. I’ve tentatively titled it the Dustin Germain Awesome Bible, [or DGAB] and am about halfway through writing out the book of Colossians, which will be available as a free downloadable PDF in the near future.  The purposes for writing this has been multifaceted. For one thing, I decided that the Bibles I typically use, the ESV, the NASB and the NRSV aren’t dynamic or relevant enough. The language is a bit too exact and precise for my liking.  It too accurately conveys the original authorial intent, and we need something with more punch to it. I thought of using the Message Bible, but to be honest I’m not entirely satisfied with the Message Bible. It was a good attempt, but I think my translation can serve as a better medium for finding that common ground between the two. For example, in Collosians 2:8-10, the “original Greek” says this :

βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ συλαγωγῶν διὰ τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κοσμοῦ καὶ οὐ κατὰ Χριστόν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς, καὶ ἐστὲ ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι, ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας.

The ESV, which is a formal equivalent literal translation,  renders it as:

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority”

Whereas the Message Bible, a pseudo-dynamic equivalent paraphrase reads:

“Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.”

That’s a big difference in word count alone- the Message gets 110 and the ESV gets 57. My translation is not as flamboyant or creative as the Message Bible, but I think it does a good job in offering a readable, contemporary alternative which people might appreciate. The Dustin Germain Awesome Bible reads:

“Take care to ensure that no one seizes you captive through empty deception and philosophies- which rely on human traditions and are according to the elemental spiritual forces of the world and don’t rely on Christ. For in Christ the entire fullness of deity lives bodily, and you have been filled up in Him, who is the head of all authority and rule”

My translation has only 64 words, and while similar word count alone does not mean its a good or accurate translation or Bible version, it does suggest less interpolations. Furthermore, while it may not have the addition of all the friendly little flourishes [or jots and tittles, as some might call them] that Eugene Peterson liberally peppered his text with, I think it still does a good job at conveying the thrust of the point.

For that reason I’ll also be looking for some Churches and pastors to partner with to help promote my translation. There are several major Churches within the SBC that have made it a habit to utilize the Message Bible as their main preaching Bible, and have even had services where the teachers have exegeted it. I think these regular Message-using Churches are my best bet for furthering and developing this project. I’m not sure the exact timetable for when this will be launched, or if they are willing to commit to my project, but I hope they would. In fact, I  can’t think of a single good reasons why they might be adverse to using it.

Some well meaning friends have suggested that there might be a bit of push back. They have said that when people see the Bible verse on the powerpoint slide, replete with a mountain scene in the background and a “Dustin Germain Awesome Bible” tacked on to the end, that after the congregants puzzlingly try to comprehend what a DGAB is,  they will grow upset and resentful. They believe the congregants won’t take kindly to one man’s opinion of what the scriptures say, in light of better and more exact and precise Bibles out there that reflect what the original manuscripts actually contained, and not some creative verbal wizardry that add things to the texts or leaves things out. I’ve anticipated that critique and having given it some thought, am quite frankly not concerned at all. I don’t think anyone will voice those objections or think that. No one is going to care that they are reading my translation when I laud and promote it as a fresh new way to read the scriptures. They don’t do it to the Message Bible, so why on earth would they do it to mine?

So can I count on the pastors and preachers of the SBC and general christendom to help me with this endeavor? Will you start using it from your pulpits? I will be contacting some of the major players shortly to get your support and endorsements for this project. I  hope to see the DGAB quoted in your sermons very soon, and based on your already existing usage of the Message Bible, I am confident that I will receive it your hearty endorsements of my version with a “yea” and “amen”.

[Contributed by Dustin Germain]

[Because it unfortunately needs to be said- yes, this is a work of satire]

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13 Responses

  1. rhology says:

    Because it unfortunately needs to be said- yes, this is a work of satire

    *Puts down his phone*

  2. Neptune says:

    Dustin, that’s great! 😉 Love this…….. and please indulge my silliness.

    Unfortunately, you may have some steep competition from El Presidente de la Brewton-Parker School of Revival by Doctorus Ergun Mehmet Caner (his current name as of 3/12/2014 at 11:47 a.m. EST)

    The Ergun Mehmet Caner Bible would claim in Luke that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and then in another book (of Ergun’s choosing, of course), it would claim that he was born in Rome. According to the EMCB version, Mary would be Italian and Joseph would be Asian. This would make for a really wild story because Mary’s Italian father, Guidoluci of Tuscany, would not be happy with her choice of husband because he has never liked Chinese food due to problems with heartburn.

    Instead of being born in a manger, according to Ergun, Jesus would be born in a rustic log cabin with a bearskin rug and deer antler chandelier (oops……was Brother Thomas of Edison born yet?). Instead of being wrapped in swaddling clothes, according to Ergun, he would be wrapped in a Ralphinus Laurenus 100% supima cotton blanket.

    Anyway……….The Ergun Mehmet Caner Bible would also re-translate the English word “lying” from his pre-destined original Greek word baloneyopolous. Baloneyopolous translates as “one who changes their birth name on a regular basis in order to make their story more exciting and hilarious for the churches at Corinth, Vidalia (pronounced Vee-doll-ya, courtesy of Bobby Flay with the Food Network) and in the uttermost parts of North and South Georgia.

    However, Dustin, if you can work in an extra prayer cloth or some holy water from the Oconee River (not the Altamaha River because Plant Hatch allows certain toxic/radioactive materials to flow into the river), I will seriously consider buying your latest and greatest version.

  3. JD Hall says:

    I talked about this article on Thursday’s program, which will be uploaded (as always) a day early for Pulpiteers. If you’re a Pulpiteer, please email us at pulpitandpen@gmail.com to receive a password. Good article, Dustin. I can’t wait for the DGAB to come out 🙂

  4. Kara says:

    Oh my, you had me worried for a minute! I’m sure you’ll have LOTS of success with the new translation.

  5. Cherie Barth says:

    LOLOL! Thanks, I needed that!

  6. Your version will go perfect with my Authentic Canerized Translation Obliterating Reformers (ACTOR). This version will serve as the official version for the Connect 316 ministry as well as churches who have signed the SBC TRADS. I’ve conveniently removed Rom 9, Eph 1, Jn 6, Rom 5… just to mention a few… in order to eliminate any trace of Sovereignty in salvation or Adamic guilt in original sin. It should be a short read, too, when done. I keep finding stuff I had forgotten was there (kind of like all those videos that keep popping up in the attempt to Canerize the internet).

  7. SLIMJIM says:

    I’m glad I read this to the end because I was wondering if you were pulling our leg!

  8. Neptune says:

    JD, do you know why you had some angry comments on Facebook?

    Because modern Christianity…….today’s modern church member refuses to think. To think or to raise a question will quickly label someone a “troublemaker”. People refuse to use their God-created brains and God-given ability to discern, rationalize and understand. That is why people like Ergun Caner are appointed into high-level positions.

    That is why Benny Hinn can beg for and receive money while driving a Mercedez-Benz and living in a multi-million dollar estate. That is why most TV evangelists are filthy rich, with an emphasis on filthy. Gullibility has become an art form in the American church. People enjoy being deceived. I’m 100% convinced of it.

    If someone is gullible enough to give a pass to obvious “wolves in sheep’s clothing” or obvious false doctrine, then they are most definitely gullible enough to NOT understand obvious SATIRE. The modern church member has chosen ignorance, stupidity, foolishness and lust as their guiding forces. They are not guided by genuine faith in a holy God, they are guided by “how it makes them feel”. They are guided by excitement and the promise of prosperity, not the fear of displeasing God.

    2 Timothy 4: 3 – 4

    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    My husband and I discuss it constantly. It is absolutely nauseating that supposedly educated and even successful people are so willing to support foolishness, materialism and ungodliness. The sheeple will follow if the “pastah” has introduced a cool marketing ploy to reach the “unchurched” and the “XYZ generation”. The sheeple may not have enough money to pay the electric bill, but they’ll applaud and support the “pastah” when he builds a million-dollar home or writes a book based upon completely heretical teachings.

    This is where we are today. Unfortunately, there will be some who won’t even understand this You Tube video as satire:

  9. Susan Smith says:

    Hi J.D., Just thought I’d tell you why we don’t use the Message. It has a lot of New Age words and ideas in it and Eugene Peterson wanted to spice up the Bible so his congregation wouldn’t be bored by the standard version. I would be very disturbed by someone who paraphrases the Bible to make it sound exciting. Thanks, Susan

    On Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 5:04 AM, Pulpit & Pen

  10. Daniel P says:

    2 suggestions:
    1. Probably change the name of the version from Dustin Germain Awesome Bible (DGAB) from Germain Concise Version (GSV) or something similar. The word “awesome” places too much emphasis on you rather than the word of God.
    2. You need to update the certificate on this page.

  1. April 9, 2014

    […] last month I told you about why I’m writing my own Bible Translation [The Dustin Germain Awesome Bible, or DGAB, but I've decided to take a quick break from that […]

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