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 curiosity 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 😛 hahaha….


Names your grandma calls you

Over lunch one day, my colleagues and I started talking about baby names as one of them was going to be a daddy soon. We started talking about mispronounced English names, courtesy of our grandparents who speak mostly dialect or Mandarin. We had a good laugh over these endearing mispronunciations. Here are some:

– “share-ret” (Charlotte)
– “lemon” (Raymond)
– “Bon” (Yvonne)
– “air-ter” (Esther – that’s mine!)
– “seh-lah” (Sarah)
– “end-zjee” (Angie)
– “joe-sir” (Joseph)
– “sai-mio” (Samuel)
– “share-loh” (Sheryl)
– “ee-nee-sher” (Ignatius)
– “zai-zai-ear” hahaha bet you can’t guess what the actual name is!

It is the name of my colleague’s little son, Isaiah and “zai-zai-ear” is how his grandma calls him!

Does anyone else have cute grandparents mispronouncing English names? If so, how are you being called?

Imaginative (and silly) childhood activities

Over dinner last night, Sarah and I started recalling the things we did and played when we were children. We were bursting into peals of laughter as we thought about the silly, naughty and imaginative activities we were involved in, some of which really amused DR as we related these stories to him. Here are some:

1. While on supermarket trips with mom, Sarah would sometimes go and squeeze the mangoes and apples real hard. Reeeaaaalllly hard.

2. After being discovered by me for reading my diary post on my list of crushes, Sarah who was then 9 years old tore out that page from my diary and swallowed it in panic.

3. We once twirled around in circles until we had the vertigo effect. We immediately collapsed on our beds and suffered a fever for the next couple of days.

4. We played “masak masak” (make-believe family) where Sarah was the mom and I was the daughter. Problem was she was the younger sister.

5. We used to pretend to burn paper money – by throwing pieces of toilet paper while kneeling at the toilet bowl in mock grief. Watched one too many Channel 8 dramas. Sigh.

6. Joe joe recently reminded me that I invented a bicycle game called “Adventure Ride” where somebody would lead a few of us on bikes by cycling really quickly with no prior plans about where we would go. There could be sudden swerves midway!

7. “Water babies” – a game Angie, Sarah and I used to play when in the bathroom in primary school when we had stayovers. We basically just soaped up the entire bathroom floor and ourselves to make everything slippery -.-

Killing the cockroach with God

You may be laughing at the title of this blog post but yes, I did kill the cockroach(es) with God.

One morning, DR told me he saw a baby cockroach scurrying across our table but he couldn’t it crush it in time. We were all rushing for work so there was no way to hunt this baby roach. I was scared as the existence of a baby roach meant that there could be roaches elsewhere. That morning, I prayed hard to God, asking Him to kill it… Though the fear of that roach crawling on my bed crossed my mind (URRRGGGGHHH), I quickly submitted these fears to God and continued to ask of the Lord to kill it.

That same evening, as I stepped into my dad’s room, I saw a teeny weeny, roach-like creature… And that moment, I knew God had answered my prayer as I went forward to crush and flush it down the toilet bowl. From then, I had a peace of mind.

That was one week ago.

Today, a small roach appeared as I was clearing the dustbin in our room. I managed to kill it and instinctively, I had that feeling this roach was the one that DR saw last week. I noticed that this roach had some sort of colour at its back so I texted DR to confirm. It was confirmed – the one I killed today was the roach DR saw last week. I thank the Lord for allowing me to see it and then kill it. So yes, two cockroaches killed; the first one to calm my imaginative, fearful mind and the second, to confirm that the actual cockroach had been killed.

I learnt two lessons:

1) When God wants to accomplish something, in this case killing the cockroach, He does it through human hands so that He can receive the glory.

2) I need to clean our room properly :S



She elbowed him

I am terribly tickled by a little sleeping incident. I don’t know what was going through my mind last night while sleeping but I remembered pushing my way through. Then, I got a firm nudge from the other side of the bed with a faint plea/retort – “what are you doing….?”

Just this evening, the Husband told me I was elbowing him on his forehead in my sleep! It was apparently not a slight push but a forceful one.

Wow. I am so scary. *evil laughter*

Mummy for the win

Sarah decided to play a word game with Mum and me one night. She got us to think of 3 words that start with the letter “K” to describe God.

In my mind, “K”… wow, not easy.

Mum (almost immediately): Kind

Me: Wah not bad..

Mum: Hmm.. Keen.

Sarah: Okay..

Me (still wracking my brain): Uhhh… “Koncerned”?

Sarah: …. -.-” Come on, just a last word!

After a few seconds…

Mum: Hmm.. Knowledgeable.

Me and Sarah: Wow! Mummy 你好厉害 (Mummy, you are brilliant)!

So, here you see, a graduate got trumped by her primary-school educated mother. So proud of my mummy! It has got to be the Holy Spirit within her!

Today’s her birthday – so here’s wishing her many more great and Spirit-filled years to come!

Been thinking about faith, hope, love and other things

On Faith, Hope and Love

As it is famously declared in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” , I’ve been reflecting why love is the greatest, the most important. A few nights ago, it dawned on me that this verse talks about God, rather than what one should do. 

I have always took it that the verse talks about how one should put love before anything else spiritual. One of the prior verses leading to this famous verse explained that if one can speak in tongues (the possession of spiritual gifts), yet, does not have love, the spiritual gift is useless. Therefore, our actions and faith must be motivated by love.

But last night, the Lord opened my eyes. The focus was no longer on ranking what is the most important quality I should practise. Instead, it was revealed how much God treasures relationships and people; how big a heart He has for people. ‘Faith’ and ‘Hope’ are qualities that focus merely on the individual’s life. It can be manifested even if Man is alone. However, ‘Love’ is a quality that can only be exemplified with the presence of another person. Love is relational. Through ‘Love’, blessings are passed on to others, rather than kept for oneself. It demonstrates God’s generosity and capacity for relationships. And guess what, God finds ‘Love’ the most important, all because He is a very intimate and relational God, and we, being created in His image, are meant to be relational so that we can bless one another.

God’s Word – It’s for understanding and discovering God Himself, not a manual of what-to-do/what-not-to-do. Only when we discover God, do we discover ourselves and our roles. Having it work another way round is making life hard for ourselves.

The Old Testament God I seldom see

Many people have said that in the Old Testament (OT) of the Bible, God was often seen as an angrier, more jealous and punishing God, as compared to the New Testament. However, having read so many verses and stories in the OT has revealed that God has always been the same – righteous, loving and always looking out for people who truly seek them with their hearts.

The verses last night strengthened the above perspective and who knew that the following actually happened in the OT! It was most pleasantly surprising 🙂

Most of those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. For Hezekiah said, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon those who decide to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” And the Lord listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people. – 2 Chronicles 30:18-20

In the OT, I always thought, sorry but pardon my language, that God was a sucker for the law, purity and cannot stand a single filth in His presence. In the OT, only the High Priest could enter in the Holy of the Holies – God’s dwelling place and even still, the High Priest must make sure he has to be thoroughly cleansed before entering into God’s presence. People who have been against the law have actually DIED!

So here in the above verses, we saw the opposite. Many Israelites were not following the law because they didn’t have time after travelling from the North to South, from Israel to Judah to visit the restored temple. But their heart was right – they were sincere to “follow God” (2 Chron 30:19). That was what made the difference. Here we see, how much God treasures the heart and the attitude of his people in seeking Him, rather than the method in which we use to seek Him.

Make me laugh… Heartily and Loudly!

Nowadays, comedies are getting worse and more predictable. Everyone who watched the recent movie, “Johnny English Reborn” told me how they laughed really hard from the beginning till the end. DR and I decided that we need a laughter fest, so we booked tickets and went to catch the movie, anticipating to laugh, as what other said, “from beginning till the end”.

Oh how disappointing. The scenes were mostly predictable and oh-so-familiar that DR and I could manage, at most, 10 grunts of laughter throughout the whole movie. Mind you. It is grunting, not the LOL-kind. So yea, it is difficult to make me laugh.

However, I discovered the best show to really make one laugh heartily! It is Korean variety show “Running Man”! The first episode was so hilarious and entertaining that I had to stifle my loud laughters from distracting my mom from her TV show. The people featured in this variety show never fail to crack me up with their dead-pan quips and daring stunts during the competition.

Please dub more episodes of “Running Man” in ENGLISH! I don’t mind paying for it!

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