Ken Taylor: God's Voice in the Vernacular
This interview was originally published in the October 5, 1979, issue of Christianity Today.
"Six years ago our only son died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. I knew I had to have God's Word to find the comfort and strength I so desperately needed. The Living Bible had just come out, and I read and reread it. At last! I had found a Bible I could understand. I've grown in my Christianity during the past six years from a lukewarm believer into an evangelical Christian, and I want to pay tribute to you for helping in my growth."
"I have been a Catholic sister for over 30 years. 1 was no stranger to the Bible, but never before have I experienced such joy and, yes, excitement in Scripture. "
Scholars continue to debate the merits of the Living Bible; but letters such as these, addressed to Kenneth N. Taylor, affirm for him its original purpose: to see lives changed through understanding Scripture. Taylor's first paraphrases appeared more than 15 years ago. Today, well over 20 million copies of the entire Living Bible, and several million more Living Letters (the New Testament epistles) and other portions have been sold.
A seminary-trained clergyman who has never had a pastorate, Taylor, 62, has been involved in publishing for most of his adult life. Using his pen as a pulpit, he has preached to millions of readers all over the world. But although his work has made him famous, he remains a retiring and modest figure, "one of the few people I know who has not allowed wealth to change him," says a colleague. "He simply has not been corrupted by money or prestige. His spiritual intensity and commitments are unquestioned."
After taking an undergraduate degree in zoology at Wheaton College (Illinois), he attended Dallas Theological Seminary ...