How Does it Sound?
All this week, we have some guest reviewers in the office helping us clean up our drafts of several books of the NT.
The main thing that we do is read the books out loud, one paragraph at a time, and listen. How does this Nsenga sound?
Is the meaning clear to the ear, not just the eye?
Would reversing two clauses help the listener understand the flow of thought?
Would repeating a key word a few more times help carry the main idea? Conversely, would using a synonym instead of repeating the same word make the verse more interesting and help keep the listener focused?
Would tweaking the punctuation (a comma, a semi-colon, a dash, or a full stop and a new sentence) help the person reading out loud to better phrase the verse to make things easier in a public-reading situation?
Is there another rhetorical device or a special conjunction we can use to make things sound more clear, natural and beautiful to the ear?
Even in America, it has been estimated that church members hear the Scriptures more than the see/read them from a printed page.
That is all the more true in rural Africa, where literacy levels are lower and fewer people have the resources to purchase their own printed Bibles. Therefore, how the verse sounds is of primary importance.
Please remember to pray for us this week and next as we do our “style checking” on Colossians, Philemon, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Peter, Jude, and Hebrews. Pray that the Word of God is heard “loud and clear” – and beautifully – in Nsenga.
After all, as Paul reminds us, “faith comes by hearing.”