Monday, August 04, 2008

Annie Cressman

A couple of years ago I blogged about Annie Cressman on the BBB. Here is another post about her.

I had not heard of Annie Cressman before so it was with delight that I discovered that she was a Mennonite farm girl, born in Elmira, Ontario, Canada. In 1935 she was reading a copy of The Pentcostal Testimony when she noticed a report by Sophie Nygaard, a Liberian missionary. Annie realized that this was God calling her to Liberia, West Africa.

As a missionary of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, she devoted her life to Liberia, studying the Tchien dialect, translating scripture and teaching the Bible. While teaching in an English language Bible School in Liberia in the 1950's, she realized that she was having to spend too much time explaining the basic meaning of the text.

Cressman then started preparing passages in an easier form of English. The gospel of Mark was first published by Full Gospel Publishing in Toronto, Canada in 1959 and the whole New Testament was published in 1969 as the New Testment in Worldwide English.

Amazingly the vocabulary is made up of only 1,500 words plus names - much fewer than any other simple English edition. "Each word and phrase has been carefully checked to give true understanding in different countries and regions." The Worldwide English New Testament is now available as a Palm Bible or Pocket PC

Cressman is also the author of The Pastor, "meant to help pastors understand their calling and responsibility in a better way."

While Cressman's Bible in Worldwide English BWE, is not a translation but a paraphrase, it represents a paradigm shift in Bible versions. I will write more about this Bible version next.

3 comments:

Jane said...

Thanks so much for these inspiring posts about women Bible translators. IF I had time it makes me think that I should look into women and Bible translation in French and German - a project for when I have a little less work maybe! Anyway these posts are inpirational and educational.

Sue said...

Thanks. There are many women yet to go.

pbeeli said...

The Worldwide English does not use the word "sin." Did Annie justify this nuance on the grounds of anything other than simplicity? Did she have a theological motivation for this nuance? Was Annie's views on eternal security akin to those of the Pentacostals? Where can I get a copy of her book, "The pastor: A servant of God and man"?