Translation woes…

A while back, hungry for some prayer and God-times the morning before I headed back to the spiritual desert that is Northern Ireland (and specifically my parents’ house), I sauntered along to the house of Peter and Rosamund, one of my favourite couples in the universe. They’re an elderly Pentecostal couple who hold the most bonkers prayer meetings in their house every morning at 7, and every time I go I feel strengthened, hopeful and loved. I got a gentle-yet-firm rebuking from them for not reading my Bible enough (as in, how do I expect to see what God’s up to, strengthen my prophetic abilities and grow in love for him if I don’t spend time learning what he’s all about?), so I bought a copy of the Good News translation at the departure lounge on the way home as it was the only one available and my NIV was too massive to bring in my suitcase from Canterbury. Now, NIV isn’t the best translation around, but it sure beats the Good News Bible; this one sucks. I’ve been working my way through 1 Corinthians today, and check this out by way of comparison:

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

That was the NIV translation of 1 Cor 13:3. Here’s the Good News version:

I may give away everything I have and even give up my body to be burnt – but I I have no love, this does me no good.