I can’t wait to read the new Passion Translation of the New Testament! For those of you who don’t know, Bible teacher, linguist and former missionary, Dr. Brian Simmons served as the lead translator on this new literary marvel. He’s already released the Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Songs and today (October 31, 2017) the New Testament officially releases as well. While I am looking forward to The Passion Translation hitting the shelves, I can’t help but be extremely excited about the release date. I am sure most people are aware that today is the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
It was October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the doors of Wittenberg Cathedral, an action that would soon alter the course of Western History. What initially was intended to be a list of topics for an academic debate, turned into a century of religious wars that would cause the rise of Protestantism and the separation from the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.
History was one of my majors in University, and I was particularly fascinated by the 16th century Reformation. I have always said that Martin Luther is one of my favourite historical figures of all time! His bravery and dedication to the Truth of Scripture is truly inspiring.
In Lucas’ most recent interview on “The Lucas Miles Show,” Dr. Simmons points out that Luther’s 95 Theses was simply the bonfire of the Reformation, and that a man named John Wycliffe caused the sparks in the 14th century. Wycliffe completed the translation of the Latin Bible into the English vernacular in 1382, and championed the idea that people should read the Scriptures for themselves. One of Wycliffe’s followers and fellow Reformers, John Hus, was another major catalyst of the Reformation. You may or may not know that Wycliffe and Hus were tragically burnt at the steak for their beliefs. The Roman Catholic Church at the time, threated to execute anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible. (Yikes!)
I know not everyone loves history as much as I do, but does it not add so much more value to know where our Bibles come from? To know that blood has been shed, and wars have been fought so that we have the access and privilege to read God’s word for ourselves? I’m not sure about you – but I find myself wanting to reach for my Bible right now!
Similar to how fortunate the people in Germany were when Luther translated the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts into the German vernacular, we are privileged to have The Passion Translation where Dr. Simmons used the ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts to bring to life the emotive aspects of the Bible. With Luther’s translation, the learned people of Germany were able to access Scripture for the first time. My understanding with The Passion Translation is that we will discover the weight and depth of God’s heart throughout His Word that we have not seen in any other translation.
I am sure we have all realized that we are emotional beings and that our emotions came from somewhere. Our passion, jealousy and even our heartbreaks are all emotions that God feels. (We are made in His image after all!) I love the translation example that Dr. Simmons provides, where he translates the wildly popular “Jesus wept” into “tears streamed down Jesus’ face.” Reading that, I feel the heartache that Christ felt. Right there, I feel closer to my Saviour. I don’t think I am alone when I say that I’ve experienced the heartache that accompanies those tears streaming down my face. Now I know Jesus felt the same thing.
There is so much more to be said about The Passion Translation – listen to the full interview with Dr. Simmons in this latest episode of “The Lucas Miles Show.
Eleni Schuurman is the Producer of “The Lucas Miles Show” podcast. She was formerly the Production & Guest Coordinator for “100 Huntley Street” and has a double major in History and Theatre & Film from McMaster University. She also has a filmmaking certificate from the New York Film Academy and has participated in some short independent film projects.