Religion: Making the Writ Simple

Cain has just committed mankind's first murder, and the Lord asks him what happened to Abel. "Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain replies, or so say most Bibles. Now, that is all changed. Says Cain: "Am I supposed to take care of my brother?" As for his parents, there are no longer any euphemisms about Adam "knowing" Eve. The new version says straightforwardly that Adam and Eve "had intercourse."

With these and similar wordings (see box), the Good News Bible, published this week by the American Bible Society, turns Holy Writ into modern, everyday English. In doing so, the new translation...

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