Why do Bible translation committees continue to meet?

This is a question I often get from people interested in the Bible and its translation. The flip side of this question is: If you get Bible translation right the first time, why should you have to continue to translate? At the center is the issue of the necessity for ongoing Bible translation. A great answer is provided by the staff at Biblica, the organization that sponsors the work of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT)–the NIV translation team. (I am honored to be a part of this team and that work.) They have drawn examples from our NIV work to answer this important question.




The Satisfying Feeling of Completing Writing Projects

I’ve recently completed two writing projects: a commentary of Matthew (with Kyle Roberts) and a book on relational integration between psychology and theology (with Steve Sandage). Being a high-J on the Myers-Briggs, there’s nothing quite like finishing a major writing project (or two!), even if I know it will come back to me (us) for a final review. Being a high-J, it is also interesting to me that both of these have been interdisciplinary, collaborative projects. My personal-type tends to like the expected and longs for control, so co-writing is not the most obvious choice for me. Yet I’ve learned along the way that co-writing helps that curious side of me reach into areas in which I’m not particularly expert (theology and psychology, respectively). And co-writing offers a relational challenge and reward that is difficult to attain with solitary writing projects.

In the end, I think I like both challenges–writing on my own and writing with others. But when I think about what might last the test of time and be the most helpful contribution to the present academic context, I wonder if collaborative, interdisciplinary writing (with friends who are trustworthy) might be the offering that endures.

Preaching Helps for Upcoming Lectionary Texts

My commentary on upcoming 1 Peter lectionary texts is now available at WorkingPreacher.org. I’ve appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to this valuable project and have provided commentary on Matthew, Luke, and 1 Peter. If you’re preaching through the lectionary or are wanting to hear what biblical scholars might offering into any passage you are preaching on in coming weeks, I’d encourage you to access this website resource.

“The Least of These”-In the News Again

The “Least of These” is in the news again–and specifically the contested question of their identity in Matthew (Matt 25:31-46). I was tapped to weigh in on this question a couple of years ago. In that blog post for Biola’s Center for Christian Thought, I pressed against a reading that downplayed “the least” as physically impoverished: “Where Did the Poor Go?”

This week, I was asked for comment by Jerry Adler for a Yahoo news post, “‘The least of these’: Meals on Wheels, the Trump budget and the struggle over Matthew 25:40.” As I noted in my conversation with Adler, “There’s a tug of war over this text, who gets to own it.” I hope that this contest over “the least” might push us back to the text itself, to read it and to listen again for its messages for us today.

Renewal of Creation and the Value of Human Work

I had the opportunity recently to prepare and present a “Ted-talk-like” session (read, memorized) at Bethel San Diego. The topic was Work with Purpose and my angle into that topic was the New Testament eschatological theme of the renewal of creation. My presentation, along with the rest of the presentations (by Justin Irving, Paul Ferris, and Glen Scorgie), are playlisted and provided on the Bethel Work with Purpose Initiative YouTube page.