The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
13th of May, 2013

Onesimus and the Colloquial Translation

It is said that Onesimus was the one who collected the letters that Paul wrote such that he started the New Testament as we have it now. You have got to wonder how that story went. Escaped slave ends up in jail, meets random other jailbird, they talk about strange new teachings from the East, Onesimus likes this “philosophy”, and he leaves jail … back to a life of crime. Because he never reformed, when he left jail; he went back to working for an under-ground, imprisoned movement of religious teachings from the East which, as it now turned out, his former master had also accepted as the Truth.


In all this, nobody is aware that the New Testament is being collected in dark alleys and copied over carefully in clear handwriting, in a small bedroom attached to the house of some random blacksmith whose name appears somewhere in these tightly-argued letters.  Letters from Paulos, letters from some guy who calls himself “Stone“.
And yet here we are: the Word of God on the Internet. http://word.1st.ug/

Colloquial Translation is what we are doing here. By colloquial, I mean that young Onesimus there should have an experience similar to what an internaut would feel, reading a web page today of some fringe, non-mainstream cause or conspiracy theory. Everything from peak oil, HIV denialism, sedevacantists, 911-truthers, sceptics of the philosophical materialist worldview, marijuana legalisationists, whatever. The goal is to write out passages of the Bible with so much shared language with the common man that the words and phrases “nice”, “dumb”, “smart”, “OK”, “Well, …”, “… which is interesting, because …”, “basically”, “totally” get used at least once. I even dare say that it would be hard to take a contemporary version of the Bible seriously, if it doesn’t also use the f-word. But I hope it won’t get that desperate in this case.

This would start out with NIV 2010 and fork it with much more vulgarisation of what is written, so that it may sound more like a delivery than a record.



by The 27th Comrade, Internet Mystic, Scyfy Technologies www.1st.ug