by Rich Brown
In Stanley Morris’ view, the Bible is not communicating with many people in church pews these days, and he wants to change that.
His method has been to translate this best-selling book of all time into the simplest possible format to accommodate as low as fourth-grade reading levels. The result is the International English™ Bible that Morris has spent half of his 74 years of life completing. He will talk about the book at First United Methodist Church’s 55+ Lunch Bunch meeting Tuesday.
Morris was invited to speak to the group by his longtime friend Gerald Jones, of Joplin, who was a classmate of his at Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City, where Morris was born and grew up.
In a telephone interview from his Branson home last week, Morris said that when he began the translating, he was greeted with a little resistance from some who considered what he was doing “tampering with God’s word.” However, he added, that has changed throughout the years.
He said that today more people realize that if you do not have a more modern style language approach to the Bible, you are really falling behind. Morris, who has both master’s and doctorate degrees in linguistics, said the new King James version of the Bible is an example of the latter.
Morris has combined his lifelong love of Greek and Hebrew with the word of God and considers the translation to be a calling from God to help people in the world who do not understand the Bible.
He added that the principal task of a translator is to accurately convey the meaning of the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts of the Bible.
Although his version has an appeal to children, it is not a children’s Bible but rather a study Bible that is readable to anyone in the family. However, he added that he is looking ahead four or five years to producing a children’s edition.
“We think somebody has been missed with Bible translations, and that is the little children,” he said. “Our new mission fields are children. Jesus spent lots of time with kids, so why shouldn’t children learn the Bible?”
In addition to large print, the IEB has 18,000 helpful footnotes throughout the Old and New testaments. There are 61 maps, charts and satellite photos of the holy land.
Morris, who spent two years recording the narration for the version’s New Testament at a Branson studio, said about 2,000 reviewers have contributed to the manuscript, including an orthodox Jewish rabbi.
Although Morris has been publishing the version himself since completing it last year, he is seeking a major publishing company to take over that responsibility.
The version, which sells for $80, can be purchased by going to www.iebible.net or contacting Jones, who is a distributor, at 417-206-2353.
Address correspondence to Rich Brown, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802, or email: email@example.com.