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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. Alternative Language Program Products Used in a Bridging Strategy I now turn to classifying the CPV and other similar renderings as adaptive retellings rather than as "translations," aligning them with the category proposed by Ralph Hill After considering Hill's comments, three questions are raised: I here summarize Hill's discussion with these key points: Scriptural materials, which are not necessarily "accurate translations," can be useful for outreach to unbelievers and for introducing new believers to the gospel message.

The products can vary in their content strategic portions, stories selections, etc. 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: 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 Cotton Patch Version

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. Jesus' Doings and Happenings.

Cotton Patch Version: Luke & Acts

Freddy Boswell, " Aw Shucks! Jordan determined to translate the events of Scripture, not the words. We need to have it come in our tongue and our time.

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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.

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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. Consider how they occur in the following subsections. Geographic place names He generally substituted biblical names for names of southern USA locations: Jordan said these were chosen at random, without reason.

The name had no significance other than stage setting. Personnel references which are not only anachronistic, but for the most part, US-culture specific Examples from the book of Happenings-Acts Another example, this one from 2 Timothy 4.

The Cotton Patch Gospel: Paul's Epistles

Hank stayed on in Atlanta. I left Troy sick in Meridian. Please try to get here before winter.

Rube and Dan and Len and Claud and all the brothers send their regards. Such shoddy thinking destroys decent conduct. It's just like the Scripture says: I will tear to bits the dissertations of the Ph.


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I will pull the rug from under those who have all the answers. Then what becomes of the 'bright' boy?