Quirky Bible Translations

There are many English translations of God’s Word. How many? I’m not sure, but I prefer not to spend years of my life counting.

I often read the Bible, and when I do, I prefer the 1984 New International Version.

Yes, I'm this guy.

Confession: I am a Condescending Bible Translation Guy.

In my twenty-two years, I’ve stumbled upon some Bible translations that are best described as… quirky.

Here’s part of 1 Corinthians 13 in the plain English of the New International Version.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Here’s the same passage in the HWP Bible. That’s the Hawaiian Pidgin Bible, in case you were wondering. Read this excerpt aloud. Read slowly. Savor it.

Wen you get love an aloha, dat no goin pau eva. Da guys dat talk fo God, bumbye no need fo da tings dey say. Wen peopo talk diffren kine, bumbye nobody goin talk lidat. Da stuff da smart guys know, no matta, bumbye no need. You know, we ony know litto bit. Wen we talk fo God, we get ony litto bit fo tell. Bumbye, goin come da time wen everyting stay perfeck. Dat time, no need fo da litto bit kine stuff no moa. Small kid time, I wen talk jalike one small kid. I wen tink jalike one small kid. I wen figga everyting jalike one small kid. Now, I big, dass why I no do da tings da same way da small kids do um.

Right now, us guys can see stuff, but ony jalike wit one junk mirror. Hard fo figga wat we see dea. But bumbye, goin be clear. Us guys goin see everyting jalike was right dea in front our face. Right now, I ony know litto bit. But bumbye, I goin undastan everyting, jalike God undastan everyting bout me.

So now, get three tings dat stay: we can trus God, an we can know everyting goin come out okay bumbye, an we get love an aloha. From da three tings, da love an aloha kine, dass da main ting, an da bestes way.

Then there’s my favorite offbeat translation of Scripture… the lolcat version.

Luv no haz endingz. Tellin the futurez, tungz, an alla stuffz u know wil die. We haz knowingz a bit, an we haz profacy a bit. We no haz two much tho. O, wait. Win teh perfict coemz, teh not perfict will dyez, lolol. Wen i wuz a kitten, i meweded leik a kitten, thinkded liek a kittenz, an I chazed strings liek a kittenz. Wen i wuz becomez a cat, i NO WANT kitten waiz ne moar. For nao we see in teh foggy mirorr like when teh human gets out of teh shower, but tehn we see faec tow faec. Nao i haz knowingz just a bit, tehn i will haz all teh knowingz, as i haz been knownz.

Nao faithz an hoepz an luvz r hear, theses threes, but teh bestest iz teh luv. srsly.

Yes, this is a real translation. The entire Bible has been translated into lolspeak, the Internet language of funny cat picture captions. After all, the Apostle Paul did write about becoming “all things to all people.”

 What’s your preferred version of the Bible? Are you a Condescending Bible Translation Person or do you prefer idiomatic versions like The Message? Let us know in the comments!


This post was originally published on March 22, 2013. TMTF shall return with new content on August 24, 2015!

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