(Photo: The Christian Post)
A Dallas Theological Seminary Web director who likes to "tinker with the Bible," has developed a plugin that allows readers to draw out the plural "you" in Scripture by rendering the pronoun as "y'all," "youse guys" or "you lot."
"Here in Texas (and in the Southern U.S. more generally), I tell my audience that we have a perfect equivalent to the original Greek/Hebrew second person plural: 'y'all' the contraction of 'you all.' This of course always gets me a good laugh. And this is not unique to the Southern U.S. – many other areas of the English speaking world also have spoken forms of you plural such as 'you guys,' 'yinz,' and 'you lot,'" explains John Dyer.
Dyer, the executive director of communications and educational technology for DTS, found that there are at least 2,698 Hebrew verses in the Old Testament and 2,022 Greek verses in the New Testament in which the second person plural appears as "you" in English translations – "which could lead a reader to think it is directed at him or her personally rather than the Church as a community."
In an effort to help readers be mindful of these points in the Bible, Dyer developed a plugin or extension that can only be used in Google Chrome, for popular Bible reading websites like youversion.com, biblegateway.com and his own website, www.biblewebapp.com (where the plugin can be used on any browser without downloading). In addition to choosing in which vernacular they would like "you all" displayed in the text, Bible readers can opt to have verses that include the name of God, commonly appearing as "LORD" in English translations, to instead appear as "Yahweh."
Among the various reasons Dyer gives for creating the Bible plugin was a desire to comment on the individual versus the community. He explains that "since the Protestant Reformation, we've tended to emphasize the salvation of the individual and, with inverse proportion, downplayed God's work in the Church as a community of people."
He hopes passages rendered like "… Work out your guys' salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you guys, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:12-14, usESV)" will serve as a reminder that every Christian is actually a member of a greater community, the body of Christ.
More details about the plugin can be found on Dyer's website: http://donteatthefruit.com.