Cotton Patch Gospel: Pauls Epistles (Clarence Jordans Cotton Patch Gospel Book 3)
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These editions come complete with new Forewords and a new Introduction by Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller. This award-winning, rousing musical drama takes the Gospels of Matthew and John and translates them into present-day Southern vernacular. What fun!
Free Essay: Cotton Patch Gospel
Features music by Harry Chapin. Strong in the flavor of the South, their refreshing paraphrase, analysis, and application of Jesus' parables present eternal truths as "kingdom dramas" starring farmers, merchants, and field hands. Hear the familiar stories as if for the first timeand be liberated by their message! We want to be participants in the faith, not merely spectators" More than a translation, The Cotton Patch Gospel continues to make clear the startling relevance of Scripture for today.
This volume contains the Gospels of Matthew and John. Koinonia Farm was dedicated to pacifism when World War II raged, to racial equality in the sourthern heartland, and to community living in the midst of American individualism. In this new interpretation and analysis of Clarence Jordan, Ann Louise Coble discovers a life and a community wholly connected to Jesus Christ, with a vision to create a "demonstration plot for the kingdom of God. This volume contains the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.
Whenever possible, though, I'd sail over the fence and through the woods to my Pa and Granny's back porch, where, as the sun set over the cotton fields, they'd regale me with stories that stirred my interests, stimulated my imagination, and always kept me laughing.
Following on from the first point, I add that Jordan modified NT vocabulary and used certain grammatical devices because he wanted to take advantage of shared encyclopedic knowledge with his hearers. They could relate immediately to his lexical choices and certain grammatical markers that were inherent in their daily speech. One of the points behind his work seems to be: what do my hearers already know that I can build upon? Taking advantage of shared contextual understanding was certainly a great motivator for him and is one indicator that can be used to judge successful and efficient communication.
He said that he chose them at random. For example, he used Birmingham and Atlanta, but he did not intend to indicate that one of those is larger than the other or that Birmingham is actually west of Atlanta. Thus he did not substitute these for biblical place names in light of this kind of orientation. If readers were left wondering about the significance of the place names, they would lose the author's intent to simply substitute a locally familiar name and press on with the main idea of the story.
This would tend to work against relevance. Jordan was broadly encouraged to share his translation more widely, and that display of enthusiasm led to its publication. This is one indication that it was appreciated by many, initially at least, in the circles in which Jordan traveled.
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I note that it is still for sale and thus has not gone out of publication or circulation. This kind of market appreciation is significant to note, since it speaks rather clearly that there is an ongoing interest in Jordan's work. We presume that this interest is much more than just a fascination with such a different approach and that readers are actually being helped by it. After considering Hill's comments, three questions are raised: a Are these renderings similar to what Hill intended, or are they too extreme?
I here summarize Hill's discussion with these key points: 1. Scriptural materials, which are not necessarily "accurate translations," can be useful for outreach to unbelievers and for introducing new believers to the gospel message.
Comparing the Works of Clarence Jordan and Flannery O'Connor
The products can vary in their content strategic portions, stories selections, etc. Variant forms i. Hill mentions ways in which context is built into the hearts and minds for the new readers, and asks how much liberty can we take with the text. In discussing this, he suggests a bridging strategy: "While speaking of context-building strategies to aid in understanding the translated Scriptures, we are also looking into other approaches that we are calling bridging strategies.
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Bridging strategies involve vernacular-based products and programs designed either to prepare a people group for understanding the Scriptures in the vernacular, or to prepare them to access the Scriptures in the language in wider use by the church in the area. Interested readers may well wish to investigate Hill's proposals further, but at this point I will content myself with pointing out a key difference between his original thinking and proposal related to this subject and that which I mention in this paper regarding adaptation and retelling. Namely, Hill suggests that relevant information be freely added as necessary to the biblical narrative.
This is information that the first readers certainly knew but about which the modern reader is clueless. The adaptation would in turn be more recognizable as related to the source text than the extreme example of the CPV , but would cross the line of faithfulness since so much information is in fact added.
However, this bridging strategy and cognition-building attempt would be more grounded in the biblical worldview and language as a means of context-supply than that of the CPV , which is more emphatically and unapologetically geared to the relevance of the modern hearer in his or her own time, space, and lexicon. Some Conclusions Here are a few closing comments and questions that might prove useful for further thinking on this topic.
When understood by practitioners and theorists, adaptive retelling is a useful label for identifying "translations" that "go too far. We are able to say, "it's not a translation, and should not be judged on the same criteria as those that are recognized as such. As reports have shown regarding the effectiveness and receptivity of publications similar to the CPV , an adaptation or retelling serves a useful place in introducing readers and hearers to the "broad strokes message" of the good news.
It is a bridge to further reading, learning, and growth. While probably not particularly useful for study and discipleship though this was Jordan's hope , these adaptations can set the stage for in-depth and "proper" study of a "proper" translation. Thus, these bridge-like adaptations, which can take various shapes, should not be dismissed as useless or meaningless, but acknowledged as important for an introduction to the gospel.
Perhaps it is better classified as a particular "art form" of translation rather than a more "scientific form. Perhaps it goes without saying, but I will state the obvious: I believe the adaptive retelling approach definitely qualifies as a legitimate, useful, and potentially highly successful entry point for delivering God's Word to a language group. References: Hill, Ralph. Jordan, Clarence. New York: Association Press.
Macon, Ga. Citation: Freddy Boswell, " Aw Shucks! SBL Forum Archive. Aw Shucks!
Classifying "Cotton Patch Version" and Similar Renderings as Introduction Listen to a reading from the Scripture: Now during the fifteenth year of Tiberius as President, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Georgia, and Herod was governor of Alabama, his brother Philip being governor of Mississippi, and Lysanias still holding out over Arkansas; while Annas and Caiaphas were co-presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention, the word of God came to Zack's boy, John, down on the farm. Quoting him: "Translations have left us stranded in some faraway land in the long-distant past.
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- Cotton Patch Gospel: Luke and Acts.
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We need to have it come in our tongue and our time. We want to be participants in the faith not merely spectators. In the story of the Good Samaritan, we need to participate in the story, so we change Jerusalem and Jericho to New York to Boston, or our hometown to the next. Change the setting from 1st century Palestine to 20th century America.
Cotton has figured prominently in the problems of this region—problems to which the letters eloquently and pointedly and compassionately speak. So in making the translation, I have kept in mind the little people of great faith who want to do better in their discipleship but have been hindered by big words they don't understand or by ancient concepts they don't grasp.