Say What?

twain“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’; but that ain’t no matter.”

~Mark Twain, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain changed the game when he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  It was one of the first major literary works to be written in the language of the people.  It has been praised by the likes of T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway, but even in its day people as famous as Louisa May Alcott dismissed it for its language.

Long before Twain, William Tyndale did the same and more with his translation of the Bible into English.  Before him scripture could only be read in Latin, Greek and Hebrew and the common man was forced to take the clergymen’s word for what it said.  Tyndale had a heart for the people and said (defying the pope) “If God spare my life, ere many yeares I wyl cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.” Tyndale was martyred for his act, but a few years later his translation was the basis of what became the King James Version of the Bible.

Have you read it lately?


Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.



4 thoughts on “Say What?

  1. I’ve read many parts of the Bible. Never cover to cover. I have also read a book that explains the Bible…can’t remember the name of it now…”The Message…?” I took notes while reading it and then had a conversation about each chapter with a pastor friend of mine back in PA. I’ve got several versions of the Bible. Also have a serviceman’s prayer book, which I look at from time to time – it helps remind me of what our servicemen are suffering and what they are carrying in their packs.


    • What a great post Karen. Yes, it’s ironic that the King James Version is hard to understand because at the time it was written in common language. The Message is terrific but it’s not a literal translation. Two of the most popular literal are The New International Version which was translated thought by thought and my favorite which is The New American Standard which was translated word for word. God bless you!


      • Is the New American Standard easier to understand? Because that’s been part of my problem with the Bible – it’s just hard to understand because of the sort of language. Probably the reason I have never been able to read it cover to cover. If I am to read it, cover to cover, which would you suggest, The New American Standard?


        • Yes – Look at this sample:

          James 3:1–12

          The Tongue Is a Fire

          1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
          2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.
          3 Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.
          4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.
          5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.
          See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
          6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.
          7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.
          8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
          9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;
          10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
          11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?
          12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

          Liked by 1 person

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