Thinking Out Loud

November 6, 2009

A Different Kind of Bible Translation

Jeff Snow is a guy we got to know shortly after moving from Toronto, Canada 20-years ago, to our current home in small town Ontario.   In a smaller town people in ministry often have to wear many hats, and we don’t know anyone who juggles them better than Jeff.   Whether working with Youth for Christ, hosting a radio show, serving on the town’s Character Committee, helping serve dinner once a week in a low-income ghetto, guest speaking at local churches, or leading worship in a variety of settings; Jeff brings with him the best of two worlds and two ministry models:  Years spent training for and serving in a local church setting and now eight years serving with Youth for Christ.

He wrote this recently for a YFC Newsletter, and we think we know Jeff well enough that we didn’t need to ask permission.   Guess we’ll find out soon enough…

I decided to back to school part-time this fall to work on my Master’s degree.  It was a bold decision.   It was an exciting decision.  Some weeks, I think it might have been a foolish decision.

The course I’m taking right now is Biblical Greek Exegesis.  Our assignments involve taking the Greek text of the New Testament and translating it into English.   Through the exercises, we hope to better understand the nuances of the language in order to better understand what scripture is saying.

As I thought about what we do at Youth For Christ, I realized that I didn’t start translating scripture a few weeks ago in this course, I’ve been doing it for years.

For example, I took a course this summer in Spiritual Formation, and the major assignment focused on the themes of Justification, Sanctification and Glorification.  For Talk-Time at drop-in, I’m going to share on these themes.   But if I used these three terms, all I would get is blank stares, and maybe a few laughs.

So I need to explain these important truths in a way that teens can understand.

Justification — When we ask Jesus to forgive us of the wrong things we’ve done that hurt ourselves, hurt others and hurt God, and rely on His death on the cross to pay the penalty of these wrongs things, then God declares us not guilty.   It’s like He looks at us through a “Jesus filter” and doesn’t see or remember our sin.

Sanctification — There’s more to knowing God than just saying “I’m sorry.”   We also need to say “Take Over,” and let His Holy Spirit guide and direct our decisions.   And the more we do that, the more we become like Jesus, and the cool parts of who He is become more and more a part of our lives, like His love, His patience, His self-control.

Glorification — When we ask Jesus into our lives and allow the Holy Spirit to live in us, it’s the beginning of life forever with God, not just here, but in heaven as well.  Jesus promises us a home forever with Him that goes beyond our wildest dreams.

We at Youth For Christ are in the translation business.   We do our best to take the timeless truths of the Gospel, and, without changing their inherent meanings, present them to a generation of young people in ways that they can understand and relate to.  We present them to a generation whose language and ways of learning are constantly changing and evolving.

Please pray for us as we translate the Gospel to youth.  And pray for our youth, that they will hear, understand, and believe.

~Jeff Snow, Northumberland Youth For Christ; Ontario, Canada.

If you are interested in supporting the work that Jeff does, use the Contact Us page on the sidebar so we can send you more information on giving by check or VISA.   Canadian tax receipts available. (Or leave a comment which we’ll delete; your e-mail will not be visible on the page.)

1 Comment »

  1. Jeff,

    Worthy goal, difficult task, ongoing mission. We’ll pray for you.

    Comment by Judith Robl — November 6, 2009 @ 8:52 pm


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