In my recent post entitled Translating “in Christ”, one commenter asked me to share my thoughts on how to translate “Christ”, and another asked why we go so far from the joy we are meant to know. What I share in this post will hopefully address both of these points of interest to some degree.
Most English translations simply transliterate the Greek term CHRISTOS as “Christ” wherever it occurs in the New Testament. The Greek term is a translation of the Hebrew term “Messiah”, both of which are derived from verb roots that mean “to anoint”.
Many people in my target audience (those who rarely read or have never read the Bible) don’t understand the significance of the term “Christ” in the New Testament. Even if it were translated as “the anointed one”, they would scratch their head as they wonder what that means. So I decided to clarify the meaning of the term, which I believe includes the following focal points in the New Testament:
* God promised that someone special would eventually come
* That person would help others enjoy a better life
The expression I finally settled on to translate “Christ” in The Better Life Bible (BLB), with some variation, is the following:
“the one that God promised would help people enjoy a better life”
Below are a few examples in context:
NKJV And Peter answered and said to him, “You are the Christ.”
BLB Peter said, “You’re the one God promised would help people enjoy a better
NKJV “He saved others; let Him save Himself if he is the Christ, the chosen of
BLB “He’s helped others and claims to be the one that God promised would
help us enjoy a better life, but he can’t even help himself.”
NKJV “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ).
BLB “I know God promised that someone would come to help us enjoy a