Posted by: pastordarren | April 21, 2009

A New Language

I know that it is going to happen and that is ok.  I know that some of you when you continue to read this will laugh, some will say figures, others already know, but I will say it – “I am a Star Trek fan.”  I am looking forward to the new movie but really wish they would do more with the Klingon Empire.  They have always fasinated me and wish the culture, characters, and point of views were explored more in the shows.  (How about doing, Star Trek Klingons and focus on the Empire with special appearances by some of the other characters.)

Any way, that brings me to the point, I have come across a website and project entitled “Klingon Language Version of the World English Bible” (http://klv.mrklingon.org/) which has actually taken the scriptures and translated them into the Klingon language.  Someone has too much time on their hands, but I am facinated with the work and project.  It got me thinking that we translate the scriptures into other languages via missionaries and Bible translators, but do we do a complete job.

We need to share the scriptures in ways that others will understand, translate them into another language to communicate them.  We do that with other countries, they had to be translated into English, but do we translate them into languages and into cultures that are around us?  Do we take images in scriptures that were familiar and common in that time and translate them into common images today?  Part of this means that we need to look at scripture and faith through the lens of the people we are trying to reach – youth, addicts, families, retired, even Klingon.

Take the image of Jesus as a shepherd.  I don’t see many shepherds today, but in Jesus’ day they were common and everyone could see that around them.   We need to make this image and others like it accessable to our world and culture.  Shepherd cared for, protected and looked after their flock.  They knew their flock and the flock knew them and their voice.  What image could we use in our world, in your world to convey that idea of a shepherd and Jesus as the Good Shepherd?

 This goes as well for our actions and rituals in the life of the church.  What is is that we do in worship, or in classes, or in other meetings that makes sense to us and has meaning to us, but is not accessable to others because they are on the outside, even if they are sitting next to us?

Even if you or I don’t go to another country, we still have to be activily involved in translating the scriptures and our faith so that others can understand.  Scripture was written and spoken in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic but is now in Spanish, Korean, English, Klingon and a whole host of others to share what God has given to us in ways people can understand.  If I remember correctly, this was one issue of the reformation.   We have to communicate our faith, the scriptures we live by in ways and means that are appropriate for those around us.  If we don’t, then we really don’t believe we have a message worth sharing, do we?

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Responses

  1. Well said, pastor. Well said. 🙂 There are over 6,000 languages actually spoken by people on Earth as native languages (not counting Klingon, Romulan, Elvish, etc.), and the Lord and I want all of them to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ in their own language. The best translation we can make, however, is how we translate the Word of God into our lives. — Michael Johnson, Bible translation missionary living in Papua New Guinea

  2. The Klingon ‘translation’ of the Bible at Mr. Klingon’s site is not really in Klingon, despite the fact the some of the words are, in fact, Klingon. Klingon grammar is radically (and deliberately) different from English, so all that’s on that site is Klingon gibberish with lots of English thrown in when a word couldn’t be found in the dictionary.
    As a translation of the Bible it’s worthless.

  3. I agree that the Klingon grammer is very different from our own and that may be true that the ‘translation’ is not good. What ever the ‘real’ language, it is important that we need to make the scriptures and faith appropriate to who we are talking too.


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