Thursday, July 22, 2010

What if Bible translations were Shakespeare movies...

Joel Watts recently put up a tongue-in-cheek post entitled What if Bible Translations were Television Shows on his blog. And while I’m not as well versed in the various versions as he is, I started to think what the versions I’m most familiar with would be if they were films. So, here’s what I came up with, using a Shakespeare theme. If we think of the original Greek and Hebrew texts as films that adapt Shakespeare’s plays in the settings, costumes and language of the original (something like Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing), then:

The Message = 10 Things I Hate About You, a delightful and clever adaptation of Taming of the Shrew that gives us deeper understandings of the original especially when viewed with the original play in mind.

NLT = ShakespeaRe-Told, a BBC film project that adapts plays to modern language. (Note: I haven’t seen any of these, so they may not be the best example but you get the idea.)

The NIV= Hamlet (2000), a film that keeps the original language of the play but sets it in the modern day.

The KJV= Romeo + Juliet, a film in which the clash of the language and modern setting and behavior leaves me distracted—or maybe Romeo Must Die, a kind of translation of a translation, heh.

There you go. And remember, it’s all tongue-in-cheek, folks.

(Image: Touchstone Pictures)

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