Reading the Singlish Bible – right or wrong?

I recently read a “translated” version of the Bible verse, Psalm 23. Not in Mandarin, not the Revised Standard Version, but the Singlish version! Had such a good laugh over it! I tried reading the Singlish version to my mom but she refused to listen because she thought it was blasphemous to translate the Bible in such an irreverent way.

I doubt the Singlish version was done to make fun of God’s name. However, just in case, I went to read Matthew 26, both the Singlish and the New King James Version (NKJV) in parallel to ensure that there were no misleading translations or areas that misrepresented God. The translated Matthew 26 was hilarious (e.g. “elders of the church” = “lau uncle”, Judas “the betrayer” = “the sabo king”)… But I did not find any additional verses nor any mistranslated verses in the Singlish version of Matthew 26 when comparing it to the NKJV. I can’t say for other verses in the Singlish version, but Matthew 26 and Psalms 23 stayed close to the original meaning. In fact, the Singlish version reminded me of The Message version which translated the Bible in an easy-to-understand, modern-speak English, making some verses more animated and somewhat informal.

Having said that, I don’t see the Singlish version being the authority in God’s word. It definitely is not a substitute for versions such as NKJV, NIV or NRSV which have been thoroughly researched on and nuanced based on the original language (e.g. Greek, Hebrew). I also noticed that the Singlish version tends to simplify certain emotions described in the common versions like NIV, probably because of the lack of vocabulary in Singlish. Thus, the full impact of what the Bible is trying to bring out may not be accurately captured.

In sum, I think there is no harm for Christians to read the Singlish Bible, provided that it is not treated as your bible study material or the authority. Just read it for laughs… One good thing that came out of reading the Singlish version? My┬ácuriosity was piqued to also know what was actually said in the original version cos there was this Singlish verse where Peter (Jesus’ disciple) spouted expletives! I thought it was mistranslated… but turned out that it was recorded in the NKJV that Peter indeed cursed and swore ­čśŤ hahaha….

It has been a while

Hello everyone, it has been a while since I last blogged. ┬áSo many things have come to past… Christmas, New Year, Sarah’s photoshoot in Bali, Chinese New Year. Amidst all the festivities, I had time to take stock and reflect on the past year as well as seek God for the upcoming year.

First of all, I am excited that DR and I will be heading to Korea this July together with the church! It will be our first trip there as a married couple. I hope it will be a time set apart to really pray and seek the Lord for our next steps together.

The second awesome thing that happened was the short trip to Bali on 16 Jan. A few of us went over together to help Sarah and ZH with their wedding photoshoot. I have plenty of photos to show of the nice food places we visited over there. I enjoyed Bali, partly also because the people there seem to speak better English and the tourists seem to be classier (compared to say, Phuket). Of course, the easy-going company helped made the trip fun.

I have so many thanksgivings for the last year and especially from the reflections I had earlier this year, and I don’t think I can cover everything in this blog post!

So just to share one of the more important thanksgivings – I managed to find my theme verse for 2014. I was praying hard for it so that I can be guided by it for this year. Having theme verses every year (I started doing this in 2010, I think?) has really helped me to take stock to see how I have grown spiritually and mentally over that year, so I was actually quite desperate to ask the Lord for it when the year came to an end and I had no clue what the verse(es) would be for 2014. Haha.. Thank God, by His grace, He revealed that it would be the same as last year’s as I have yet to complete the task he has given me this season, which is to deepen my understanding and love for His word, so as to build up my faith.

Alrights, that’s about it for an update. I hope to update my blog more often, if possible. I’ll leave you, my readers with my theme verse for 2014.

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)