First Nations Version

An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament

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Pub Date 31 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2021

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Description

"The Great Spirit loves this world of human beings so deeply he gave us his Son—the only Son who fully represents him. All who trust in him and his way will not come to a bad end, but will have the life of the world to come that never fades—full of beauty and harmony. Creator did not send his Son to decide against the people of this world, but to set them free from the worthless ways of the world." John 3:16-17 "Love is patient and kind. Love is never jealous. It does not brag or boast. It is not puffed up or big-headed. Love does not act in shameful ways, nor does it care only about itself. It is not hot-headed, nor does it keep track of wrongs done to it. Love is not happy with lies and injustice, but truth makes its heart glad. Love keeps walking even when carrying a heavy load. Love keeps trusting, never loses hope, and stands firm in hard times. The road of love has no end." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Many First Nations tribes communicate with the cultural and linguistic thought patterns found in their original tongues. The First Nations Version (FNV) recounts the Creator's Story—the Christian Scriptures—following the tradition of Native storytellers' oral cultures. This way of speaking, with its simple yet profound beauty and rich cultural idioms, still resonates in the hearts of First Nations people. The FNV is a dynamic equivalence translation that captures the simplicity, clarity, and beauty of Native storytellers in English, while remaining faithful to the original language of the New Testament. Whether you are Native or not, you will experience the Scriptures in a fresh and new way.

"The Great Spirit loves this world of human beings so deeply he gave us his Son—the only Son who fully represents him. All who trust in him and his way will not come to a bad end, but will have the...


A Note From the Publisher

The translation council was selected from a cross section of Native North Americans—elders, pastors, young adults, and men and women from differing tribes and diverse geographic locations. This council also represents a diversity of church and denominational traditions to minimize bias. Our initial group, forming our translation council, consists of twelve First Nations individuals representing tribes from these diverse geographical regions. This council determined the style and method of translation to be used, and some continued to be involved in the review process and cultural consultation. From this group, a smaller council was chosen that determined the key translation terms.

The translation council was selected from a cross section of Native North Americans—elders, pastors, young adults, and men and women from differing tribes and diverse geographic locations. This...


Advance Praise

"Reading the First Nations Version of the New Testament is like listening to a wise elder pass down ancient teachings. Its oral cadences give the Scriptures new room to breathe. While contemporary translations focus on updating language in a modern mode, the FNV recaptures the sense of tradition that binds faithful readers to our past and to the story that tells us who we are. It is a good gift to everyone who walks the Jesus Way."

-L. Daniel Hawk, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Ashland Theological Seminary

"I've often wondered what it might look like if Jesus incarnated within another culture. Jesus, a first-century Jewish teacher in a corner of Rome's empire, lived, died, and rose as a human being within a specific time and place. What I love about the First Nations Version is how it translates this gospel story into a language of another context: First Nations! So get swept away into the story of the Great Spirit as he invites us to the blessing way of the good road. Read this beautiful retelling of the Scriptures that is not only beneficial for First Nations communities but for all who desire to allow the Great Spirit to transform their imaginations!"

-Kurt Willems, pastor and author of Echoing Hope: How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems our Pain

"From the beginning, the story of Jesus has been a translated story. Jesus spoke in Aramaic, but Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote their Gospels in Greek. The story of Jesus is intended to be translated to every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. That translation is intended, not just permitted, serves to show how we must resist any cultural domination of the gospel. Terry Wildman has done a masterful job of rendering the New Testament into the storytelling motif characteristic of Native Americans. It should tell us something important when we realize how beautifully the story of Jesus can be adapted to the style and vocabulary of indigenous people. I deeply appreciate Terry Wildman's retelling of the story of Jesus for First Nations people. I believe the Great Spirit is pleased."

-Brian Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and author of Beauty Will Save the World

"The First Nations Version (FNV) has quickly become a go-to resource for Native InterVarsity across the nation. We are using it in our small group Bible studies, and it is influencing the words we choose when we invite students to the full life that Creator Sets Free (Jesus) offers. The word choices of the FNV not only resonate with Native students but are also offering a fresh hearing of Scripture for non-Natives. For example, when we talk about sin, defenses and blinders go up immediately. But when the FNV talks about 'bad hearts' and 'broken ways,' people can see that in themselves and others. I would recommend the FNV to any Native person who wants to learn more about Jesus and any non-Native person who longs to be able to read Scripture with new eyes."

-Megan Murdock Krischke, national director, Native InterVarsity

"Reading the First Nations Version of the New Testament is like listening to a wise elder pass down ancient teachings. Its oral cadences give the Scriptures new room to breathe. While contemporary...


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Featured Reviews

The "First Nations Version" of the New Testament is an exquisite, sacred and inspiring literary masterpiece. This fresh translation has brought me to tears and opened up a beautiful space within my heart to see the Bible afresh. I highly recommend this work!

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This book made reading the New Testament again very doable project for me. I have been turned away from religion for many years of my life . Having been raised very monotheistic and traditional in scope I have looked at other religions all my life and tried to find one that I resonated with. First Nation traditions and rituals are very important for many people. Including me. When I saw this being offered I could not wait to read it. To finally understand the religion I grew up in , in a way that makes more sense to my mind. I truly love this story. The descriptions of the Apostles and Jesus, his Mother and the other people who were part of the New Testament were so obvious that I never thought of them that way. If you are religious and trying to understand Christianity in a way that is profound please read this book . I felt a great peace again after reading the many parts I remembered from my youth but now written so they really speak to me, Excellent.

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You don't really noticed how much your idea of Scripture has been influenced by your particular culture (written vs oral, Western vs Eastern, etc.) until you read a Bible translation from another culture. I quite enjoyed the interesting experience of reading this, seeing how the language shifts and how I noticed subtleties I hadn't picked up on before.

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First Nations Version bridges a huge gap between European Christianity and Indigenous theology, and in a palatable manner at that. The text is in a digestible format without becoming too convoluted, staying true to the roots of blended cultures and not shying away from the richness of the history within.

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