Who reads the translations?

The following is meant for humor and is based on the “Who reads the papers?” routine from the show Yes, Prime Minister (source; warning, some profane language at the end). Keep in mind this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek and not literal.

[The pastor of a small church sits at his desk, the church secretary nearby]

Secretary: “I assume your demeanor is about the upcoming decision by the committee to pick which translation we’ll use for the new Bibles.”

Pastor: “How did you guess?”

[The church deacon enters]

Pastor: “Ah, deacon! Glad you’re here. I’ve decided to make a decision about which translation we’re going to use for the new Bibles.”

Deacon: “What do you propose to do?”

Pastor: “Uh…think about it!”

Deacon: “When did you come to this momentous decision?”

Pastor: “Just now.”

Deacon: “When did you first think of it?”

Pastor: “Er…just now.”

Deacon: “I wouldn’t worry about it until it becomes a greater issue. Now, I have the church financial report here…”

Pastor: “Now wait a minute, our theology is at stake here. This is more important!”

Deacon: “With all due respect, sir, it is not. No translation is perfect, and you have to read each while remembering that they pander to their readers’ prejudices.”

Pastor: “Don’t tell me about the translations, I know exactly who reads the translations: the NRSV is read by people who think they know God; the KJV is read by people who think they ought to be God; the ESV is read by people who do know God; the NIV is read by the children of the people who know God; the NLT is read by people who think they own God; the TNIV is read by people who think God should be another god…and the Message is read by people who think He is.”

Deacon: “And pastor, what about people who read the NAB?”

Secretary: “NAB readers don’t care who God is as long as He goes good with wine.”

[The deacon and pastor both glare at the secretary, who shyly covers her face with her clipboard]

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