Thursday, August 30, 2018

Amen, I say to you

Svenska Folkbibeln (SFB) is the theologically conservative Swedish Bible translation, published in 1998 by a private foundation. It's a reaction against the government-sponsored, "liberal" translation project Bibel 2000. SFB's website shows a portrait of and a recommendation by Stanley Sjöberg, the grand old man of Swedish Pentecostalism. It's also used by the Word of Faith movement, and, I presume, by most conservative Protestants. Old line Lutherans might be somewhat disappointed, though, since SFB doesn't contain the Apocrypha. Ironically, Bibel 2000 does.

While the SFB does give a good overview of what traditional Christians believe the Bible actually says ("virgin" rather than "young woman", to take an obvious example), it nevertheless feels strange in other ways. It's an entirely new translation, and therefore looks unfamiliar to those used to the good ol' 1917 translation. For instance, it has Jesus say (in Swedish, of course) "Amen, I say to you" rather than "Verily, I say to you". This and similar examples has probably stumped more than one preacher in the pulpit! Being theologically conservative, and being traditional, are apparently two different things...

Still, I suppose even a translation of this kind fills a role, so I will give the People's Bible three stars (the OK rating).

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