"A colloquial translation with a Southern accent"

also known as
The Cotton Patch Version of the New Testament


Translator's Notes
The Cotton Patch Version of Hebrews and the General Epistles


            The letter to the Hebrews is actually a sermon to Jewish converts to Christianity. Its purpose is to help them understand their newly found faith in Christ and his Movement, so that they might be intelligent, faithful and zealous members of the fellowship.

            Perhaps it was the convention sermon at an Annual Conference of early Christians. The delegates may have been so impressed and so inspired that they insisted it be included in the Convention minutes. Just who the learned and eloquent preacher was, we do not know. One thing is certain -- it was not Paul.  My guess is that it was Apollos, for the description of him given in Acts 18: 24-2 8 perfectly fits the requirements for the author of this lecture.

            The letter of James, a rather rambling sermon, bristles with similarities to Jesus' great Lesson on the Mount. It, too, calls for the practical application of the faith by turning belief into action.

            The so-called "general epistles" come from some of the earliest partners in the faith of Jesus Christ and sparkle with keen insight and spiritual perception. They abound in compassion, love, encouragement and hope. With fiery zeal they warn us of the perils of indifference and lukewarmness, and of the tribulations which invariably befall the faithful. And we have the feeling that these partners were speaking out of their own experiences of love, joy and suffering.

            Rock would remind us that Christians are a special breed of people, clearly distinguishable from those ruled by the world spirit. Jack pleads for that tough love which expresses itself in genuine concern for one s brother. And Joe would have us keep a sharp eye on those who would twist the faith out of shape.

Clarence Jordan
Publisher s Note: These comments were written by
Clarence Jordan for the individual booklets
in which these New Testament translations first
appeared. They have been collected and
reprinted here in slightly edited form because they
represent the best statement of the meaning
Clarence had found in this material, and the
way he understood it.


The Letter to the Hebrews      
     (A first-century manual for church renewal)
The Letter of James   (Practical religion)     
I, II Peter   (Letters from Rock)   
I, II, III John    (Letters from Jack)
Jude    (A Letter from Joe)

1973 by Florence Jordan. Used by permission of Koinonia Partners

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