The Book Corner
What You Should Know About Bible Translation. By G. Christian Weiss, Lincoln, Nebraska: Back to the Bible, 1977. 67 pp. $1.00.
Today we often hear such questions as, “Which translation should I use?” or “Why are there so many different versions of the Bible?” or “Which translation is the best?” or “What really is the difference between a translation and a paraphrase?”
Within a short compass the author in a sane, simple, and satisfactory manner has provided answers to questions like the foregoing. He begins his little treatise by providing some background material on when and how the Bible was written, and then pursues the matter of manuscripts, variations, and early translations. Following this he furnishes the reader with a chapter on the development of English translations, while in the next chapter he answers the question, “Why modern versions?” The author’s brief concluding chapter contains comments on the kinds of English versions, current difficulties, and versions which he personally recommends.
As part of the introductory word, Theodore H. Epp has said, “The purpose of this book is not to add to the present controversy over translations — or even to engage in it, for that matter — but to clarify the issues involved and to help confused Christians to gain a better understanding of the whole picture.”
Perhaps I can best express my enthusiasm for this little book by stating that if it were within my power to make every Christian read it, I would do so. Spiritual leaders, particularly working with young people, would do well to master the essence of the material provided by the author so that they would be ready at all times to give suitable answers to legitimate questions being asked about past and present translations.
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The Two Jerusalems in Prophecy. By David Clifford. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1978. 192 pp. Paper, $3.50.
While there is no lack of books on prophecy these days, this one is different and represents a commendable and edifying contribution to this popular field of Bible study. Tracing the past history of Jerusalem in the opening chapters, the author goes on to write instructively and interestingly of the city in the present and future, and of the “New Jerusalem” still to come. He seeks to delineate what the “New Jerusalem” is, where it will be, and what its functions and glories will be.
A few of the book’s unusual features are the contrasts between the two cities, preparations in Jerusalem for Christ’s return, the three positionings of the New Jerusalem, and the significance of “missing things” in the New Jerusalem.
The author identifies the coming Antichrist with the second beast of Revelation 13. It is this reviewer’s opinion that Dr. Clifford, writing of the New Jerusalem, makes a telling point on pages 133 and 135, when he states: “It was an agel who carried John away (for all angels are spirits), and he was carried, not on his wings, we take it, but only in spirit to the high mountain. Because of this fact we are forced to interpret some of these descriptions as symbolic. However, this must never be allowed to give the impression that a symbol is a suggestion of something unreal or less important than the literal thing might be. Indeed, if the symbol is seen to be so wonderful or so vast or so dazzling, then what the reality will be no tongue could ever describe.”
The book contains a “Foreword” by Dr. John Wesley White of Toronto, Canada, six sketches by artist F. Newman Timmis, and a two-page bibliography.
The Two Jerusalems in Prophecy is one of today’s choicer books of eschatology. There’s a great day, yea, a glorious day coming for the people of God, and a reading of this book will help you to understand and appreciate in a richer and fuller way the glories which await redeemed sinners.