Chopped Bible Salad #8: The Klingon Bible

chopped salad

In a small meeting room on deck 5, a group of Federation officers take some time away from their important duties onboard the Starship Enterprise to reflect on something more infinite than space itself.  The group has been working through the Gospel of Mark and all the while reflecting on the sufficiency of grace and the role of Christ in his universal plan of salvation. 

Inspired by the sharp confrontation in chapter 8, Lt. Worf decides to read from the KLV (Klingon Language Version of the Bible).  “This particular version,” he explains, “gives special strength to Jesus’ rebuke of Peter because of our rich, warlike tongue:”

peghHa’ ghaH, SoQvam maqtaHvIS.
ghaH nge’pu’DI’ pe’tlhoS, ghaH qunchoH.
– Mark 8:32

So hang the hopes of members of the Klingon Bible Translation Project.  The endeavors of this group of devout Trekkers claim that their “goals do not include missionary work, but this is a project worthy of [their] efforts for purely secular reasons.”

 WWKJD: What Would Klingon Jesus Do?

Before getting into the translation of the Bible into a fictional language, it is first interesting to comment about the perception of Christ by a Klingon.  Can you imagine what a Klingon would think of a man who took punishment without uttering a word?  Amazing honor in that!

Say what you will about it, but a website, http://klingonsforjesus.50webs.com/, goes into detail about the Klingon culture and its implication in acceptance of the Christian faith.  Would it not at least be as difficult to translate the culture of the Christian faith on a planetary basis?

Even though I am addressing this tongue-in-cheek, in his book called Dying Church, Living God: A Call to Begin Again, Chuck Meyer sincerely addresses the issue of intelligent life on other planets and how Christ’s sacrifice would also be sufficient to bring those extraterrestrials to a saving faith in Jesus.  Since the entire book is not about alien life on other planets, it came as quite the surprise when later in this very short book Meyer took much pain to explain his position.

To Recommend or Not To Recommend

Oddly enough this is not an easy answer. Unlike other versions of the Bible, such as the Message, the Klingon Bible is an actual translation and from the original Greek.  Taking a step away from a committee-style translation, which is typical for modern versions, each book of the Klingon iteration is done by a single linguist.  So the reliability of this translation in regard to its general usefulness, other than the fact that only 7 people can even read it, is thus in question.

But it is a translation!

Other reasons given are that it is a good study in the formation of language, and it may be devotional for those who work on the translation itself.  And what if there is one person out there, who even believes himself to be a Klingon, who is touched by this work and hears the Gospel as a result, well?

Yet, the opportunities for pastors in “relevant” churches to further make a mockery of Sunday morning worship may just be too great.  I have resisted doing a web search to find out just how many pastors decided to preach a series from the Klingon Bible during the time that the most recent movie was released.  “Wow! Not only do we have a stack of spiritual implications from the movie, but now we can even preach from on of its languages.” Nearly too much to stomach.

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About Aaron Gardner

Aaron is a counselor and student of the Bible, passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He lives in central Indiana with his wife, one-year-old son and their two dogs. View all posts by Aaron Gardner

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