Word Come Alive: • is an expanded translation (paraphrase) of the New Testament of the Bible by respected editor Martin Manser • supplies linking phrases and background information in italics within the text to help make its message more immediately understandable • aims to express the sense of the original in contemporary, natural English • aims to have a powerful effect on readers, with a fresh, incisive quality that will make readers sit up and think. Who is behind ‘Word Come Alive’? Martin Manser, a professional reference-book editor. He has compiled or edited more than 200 reference books, particularly Bible-reference titles, English-language dictionaries and business-skills books. He is also a Language Trainer and Consultant with national and international companies and organisations. Who is ‘Word Come Alive’ aimed at? 1 Christians who are so familiar with the language of the Bible that it has little or no impact on them, but who want to maintain a living relationship with Jesus Christ. I want such readers of the WCA to then go back to their NIV, ESV, NLT, KJV or NKJV to see what that says. 2 Readers without a knowledge of the Bible but who want to understand its message. Features of ‘Word Come Alive’: an extended translation (paraphrase) of the New Testament 1 Additional explanatory phrases in italics Mark 1:1-3 I’m so excited to tell you the wonderful news of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It started as it’s written in the prophets Malachi and Isaiah: ‘Look! I – God – am sending my herald ahead of you. He will pave the way for you to come.’ ‘Listen to the voice in the wilderness shouting out this challenge: “Clear the way for the Lord: straighten out your lives to prepare for his coming!”' 2 Background to a passage Mark 9:35-36 Jesus knew this, and sitting down (as teachers often did in those days), he called his twelve apprentices to him. He told them, ‘If you want to become first and most important, then you must become last and everyone’s servant.’ To show what he meant, Jesus took a little child, whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, Jesus told them, 3 The rich meaning of key passages Mark 9:43-49 But all of you, be careful how you live. If there’s anything you do, anywhere you go or anything you look at that makes you sin, then cut it out. Drastic action is necessary to avoid the way of sin that leads to hell. • First, what do you do? If your hand makes you sin, then cut it off. I don’t mean that literally of course, but drastic action is necessary. It’s better for you to enter eternal life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell and its eternal fire that cannot be put out. How terrible that would be! • Secondly, where do you go? If your foot makes you sin, then cut it off. Again, I don’t mean that literally, but drastic action is necessary. It’s better for you to enter eternal life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. How terrible that would be! • Thirdly and finally, what do you look at? If your eye makes you sin, then cut it out. Once again, don’t do that literally, but drastic action is necessary. It’s better for you to enter the kingdom of God with only one eye than to have both your eyes and be thrown into hell, where “the worms that feed on their rotting bodies never die and the fire of hell is never put out.” Beware: hell is real. It will be absolutely terrible to experience the torment that will never end. ‘Be on your guard, then, because everyone will be salted with fire, refined to bring out their distinctive quality. 50Salt is useful, but if salt loses its distinctive quality, it’s completely worthless – how can you restore its effectiveness? Have salt in yourselves, that is, have peaceful relationships with one another.’ 4 Natural, contemporary informal English Mark 2:1-2 A few days later, when Jesus returned to Capernaum, he was reported to be at home. The people were packed like sardines inside the house: it was full to overflowing.