This is the beginning of a new decade. Last Sunday I challenged my congregations to set goals or dreams for not only the year, 2020 but the whole decade until the end of 2029 or 2030. I have been thinking and praying myself. What are my goals for 2030? When I watched several of Robert Alter’s lectures and interviews, I have this dream of re-learning Hebrew and I hope to read the entire Hebrew Bible/OT in Hebrew in the next ten years. I can’t wait to have my lexicons and commentaries back with me next month. Most of my Hebrew and Greek texts are in Singapore but I am bringing them back with you in 6 weeks’ time. Then I could start my odyssey of Bible reading, going through the Hebrew text from Genesis to 2Chronicles. I will even follow the Jewish chronology of books, from beginning to end. Is it an end to itself? Yes and no. No, because in my next decade from 2030 to 2040 I will translate the whole Bible into Malay like what Alter did for the Hebrew Bible.
There is not one good enough Malay version around. I am still using the 50-year Indonesian Bible which is our Malay KJV equivalent. But Indonesian is not Malay or the language of Malaysia. The current available versions fail in many respects, not least in terms of literalness and the closeness to the original Hebrew. It will be a monumental task, as I will not only be translating the OT but also the NT from the Greek. My 10-year vision is to publish at least 5 more books. I have done two and third one is coming soon. Then I might start with the book of Genesis and then 1 Corinthians. After that, 1 Samuel for the life of David and for NT, the Acts of the Apostles. After that, Ezekiel I would have completed my anthology of the Law, Writings (SS), and the Prophets. For the NT, by 2030 I hope to accomplish one Gospel (John), Acts, 1 Corinthians and then perhaps finally the book of Revelation. “Lord, fulfill your purpose in my life. Establish the works of Your hands”