First Nations Version of the Bible: Check this out!

First Nations Version of the Bible: Check this out! September 16, 2013

Check out this new translation that is being put together to reach out to native american peoples. Terry M. Wildman is putting together a paraphrase that seeks to: “…retell, in the tradition of the oral cultures, the story of the Bible. In doing so, I draw on the 15 years of experience I share in relationship with many Native Americans, and also from the 30 years of ministry experience which has included in depth bible study and theological reflection.”

Here’s a sample from John 3:

From John 3:16-17

“Because he loves all people so deeply the Great Spirit gifted us with his Only-born-son. All who trust in him, will not die and fade away, but will find the life that never fades away. Creator did not send his son into this world to punish people and tell them how bad they are, but to rescue them and set them free. The ones who trust him are found “not guilty”, but those who turn away from trusting him have already chosen their fate. They have not believed in the name of Creator’s own son.

“Light has shined into this dark world, but because of their evil ways people loved the dark path more than the light. When they do bad things they don’t want others to find out, so they hide in the darkness and hate the light. But those who are true and do what is right are walking in the daylight so others can clearly see they are following Creator’s Good Road.”

All Scripture Quotations from the FNV © 2013 Terry M. Wildman, Permission to share is granted when authorship and copyright are retained.

Recently, my friend Jason Hess, interviewed Wildman about this project. Below is part of that interview. I hope you will read it in full.

For the average American who may not know the current state of the First Nations people, can you give us a thumbnail sketch of the conditions?

I will share the words of Lakota/Odawa friend Warren Petoskey:

We, Indian people—those of us alive today—have survived five centuries of near-constant assassination and extermination attempts. We have survived genocide, chemical and germ warfare, terrorism, sterilization, relocation, reservations, urbanization, boarding schools, orphanages and the foster care system, all of which were designed to erase the consciousness of what it means to be an Indian in North America. Our hearts have been on the ground because of all these things.

Statistically Indians are the poorest among us. Third world conditions still abound on many reservations. The suicide rate among teenagers is six times higher that the national average. The effects of the past are still with us.

Today there are reservation Indians, Urban Indians, Fullbloods and Mix-bloods, encompassing a wide variety of cultures and languages. Websites and periodicals such as Native Peoples Today magazine and Indian Country Today newspaper and network—all point to the durability and resiliency of America’s First Nations Peoples. Native Americans are making movies, writing books and continue to influence the majority culture in unique and thoughtful ways.

Would you mind sharing a sample of the work you’ve already completed?

From Luke 3:4-6:

A voice is howling in the desert. Clear the pathways! Make a straight path for the coming of the Grand-chief! The low places will be lifted up. The hills and mountains will be brought down low. The crooked places will be made straight and the rough road smooth. Then all people will clearly see the Creator’s Good Road. (FNV)

From Hebrews 1:1-3:

Long ago, in many ways and at many times, the Great Spirit spoke to our ancestors through holymen and prophets. But now, in these last days when everything is to come full circle, he has spoken to all people through his Son—the one he has chosen to give all things to. It is through his Son that the Great Spirit made the world that is, the world that was, and the one that is coming.

He is the light that shines from the Great Spirit’s face and represents him in every way.
It is his powerful Word that holds the stars above, the earth below, and all things seen and unseen, in their place.

He came into this world to perform a once for all ceremony that only he could perform, to purify us from our bad hearts and wrongdoings. When he was finished he returned to the One-above-us-all to sit at the right hand of the Great Mystery. (FNV)

© 2013 Terry M. Wildman, Sharing permitted when authorship and copyright are included.


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