Why do we need ANOTHER version of the English Bible?
This is the question Dave Glasgow and his team often encounter as they work on the Plain English Version of the Bible. Dave explains:
The PEV allows Indigenous communities to read God’s Word in a format they can understand. Australian Indigenous languages have no passive voice and very few abstract nouns. They are also some of the most linguistically diverse languages in the world — especially compared to English. People may speak English as a learned language but they still think in terms of their mother tongue. There may be some features they share in common with the learned language, but those that differ can cause significant misunderstandings. We are modifying the English contained in the Scriptures to conform to their Indigenous thought, culture, grammar and semantic patterns.
The PEV is a great tool for Scripture engagement and comprehension in simple English. It is also incredibly strategic in bolstering and expediting the work of individual Indigenous translation projects. Dave says:
When I first joined AuSIL to work with the Burarra language, and later when I was a translation consultant, I learned about the structure of Indigenous languages, which helped when I came to start work on the PEV. Now I know of at least three translation projects using the PEV as the main tool to help with their own translation. It gives them a helpful starting point.
Several books have been published in printed form by the Bible League. A PEV mini-Bible with most of the New Testament and portions from Genesis and 1 & 2 Samuel will be printed in 2020. In the meantime, the team are compiling illustrations to help explain the stories.
- that the Lord will send more people to help with the project
- that English speaking churches will understand the need for the translation
- for wisdom to know how best to explain the stories and exegete the passages.
For more information on the Plain English Bible, go to https://aboriginalbibles.org.au/english-plain/.