19th of May, 2013
In many places where the NIV translates “eternal life”, as in Romans 6:23, the word in the Greek is aionios zoe. Eternal zoe. (aionios is where we get the “æon” as a name for a long period of time). Now zoe on the other hand, has the meaning of “life”, but with more than just the implication found in English.
The work of many translations is to move the Scripture to English; the work of the Colloquial Translation will not be any different, except in one thing: it will also anglicise Koiné Greek words for which no precise-enough equivalent in English exists. This way, we can have the effect of introducing a word, plus its semantic range, and it would be learnt just as a new and complex English word is learnt.
In doing that, of course, there would still be the attempt to bring the Greek into colloquial English.
This has two important implications, if achieved. Just as sub-dialects of English show up among immigrants and other recluse communities (“Jewish English” and Iyaric, for example), we would have Koiné Greek constructions as a strong linguistic stratum, probably as a substratum. The second thing that would be achieved would be a truly faithful bastardisation of religious language, such that the prostitute and the tax-collector alike can understand, once again, that “repent” doesn’t mean what the Roman Catholics have taught for centuries; that making apology and repenting are two different things (and, in the Bible, almost polar opposites). When, instead of saying “repent” (for that word has been damaged) we say “metanoia”—which means “change of mind” and is closer to “convert” in English—with a colloquial translation, we get this >< close to having the same effect today, that we had with the Gospel in the beginning.