I shared this Scripture reading of Matthew 5:1-11 during a recent Scouting interfaith worship service. As a preface I spoke about how colonialism resulted in the decimation of indigenous traditions, languages and beliefs; and that most every major translation of the Bible is based on a Western worldview.
The “First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament” shows how a religious belief can be shared and embraced without stomping out existing traditions, languages and understanding. In the same manner we shouldn’t take Scouting into new communities to “make them like us”. Our purpose should be to use the Scouting values and programming to make people the best versions of themselves.
First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament
1-2 When Creator Sets Free (Jesus) saw this great crowd, he went back up into the mountainside and sat down to teach the people. His followers came to him there, so he took a deep breath, opened his mouth, and began to share his wisdom with them and teach them how to see Creator’s good road.
BLESSINGS OF THE GOOD ROAD
3 “Creator’s blessing rests on the poor, the ones with broken spirits. The good road from above is theirs to walk.
4 “Creator’s blessing rests on the ones who walk a trail of tears, for he will wipe the tears from their eyes and comfort them.
5 “Creator’s blessing rests on the ones who walk softly and in a humble manner. The earth, land, and sky will welcome them and always be their home.
6 “Creator’s blessing rests on the ones who hunger and thirst for wrongs to be made right again. They will eat and drink until they are full.
7 “Creator’s blessing rests on the ones who are merciful and kind to others. Their kindness will find its way back to them—full circle.
8 “Creator’s blessing rests on the pure of heart. They are the ones who will see the Great Spirit.
9 “Creator’s blessing rests on the ones who make peace. It will be said of them, ‘They are the children of the Great Spirit!’
10 “Creator’s blessing rests on the ones who are hunted down and mistreated for doing what is right, for they are walking the good road from above.
11 “Others will lie about you, speak against you, and look down on you with scorn and contempt, all because you walk the road with me. This is a sign that Creator’s blessing is resting on you.
12 So let your hearts be glad and jump for joy, for you will be honored in the spiritworld above. You are like the prophets of old, who were treated in the same way by your ancestors.