Not THE Book, but books in general. As I consider how many Christians seem to view a Bible translation isn't useful anymore after twenty or thirty years, I consider the Yiddish language.
Why so? Well, Yiddish is effectively a Hebrew-accented Middle High German. Not modern high German dating from the 1500s and Luther (and greatly changed since then), but Middle High German--dating really from the 11th Century. Until about a century ago (when Hebrew became the "lingua Judaica"),virtually all Ashkenazi Jews from Russia to England (and even the United States and Canada) could speak with, and write to, each other in a Yiddish that could have been understood by the original Ashkanzi Jews in the 12th Century along the Rhine.
Anyone who has ever tried to read, say, Chaucer in the original knows that, linguistically speaking, this is an extraordinary accomplishment. What led to this?
Very simple; they were literate, and this literacy imposed a benchmark for the understanding of their language. We ought to consider what our "need" for a new translation every few decades really means, then; I would suggest it indicates that we are becoming a post-literate society. Given that Christians are, like the Ashkenazi, a "People of the Book," this is not good news for us.
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