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Saturday, March 24, 2007

many Bible versions: a blessing or curse

Henry Neufeld has blogged another important post, this one on how we can turn confusion over the large number of different English Bible versions available from something negative into a blessing. There are some important details in the post which you will want to read. Henry concludes:

More important than any of the specifics is to constantly celebrate the availability of the scriptures in your teaching, preaching, and in your daily life. Be aware that even very good technical criticism can drive people from the Bible. My own dislike for the Living Bible had to be sidelined just a bit when I found that it was the first Bible my wife had read, and resulted in her coming to the Lord. What if someone had gotten to her first with a charge of corruption? Criticism of Bible versions is healthy, and often required. There is no Bible version that cannot be justifiably criticized. But such criticism should always be put into context.

The abundance of Bibles is a blessing–let’s strive to keep it that way!

I agree.


At Sat Mar 24, 01:58:00 PM, Blogger reGeNeRaTe said...

I absolutely agree with Henry's observation. My father, who is a pastor, chafes at the fact that I do not preach or teach from the KJV. To not use this translation in his church is like blasphemy.

Bible translation issues have become so politicized that it brings nothing but shame on the Church. Those who hide behind self-serving position papers as they throw stones at other translations clearly do not understand how far their own pet translation is from the original texts.

Thank God for mercy!


At Sat Mar 24, 02:46:00 PM, Blogger Damian said...

I say "ditto."

I can't think of how many times a comparison of versions has led me to reflect more deeply on the message. This happens not just through intentional word-study but also when I'm confronted with "readings" of familiar texts with different wording. It quite often sends me back to the greek or hebrew and on a journey through a myriad of commentaries - not as a purely academic exercise (fun in itself) but as a journey of faith.

I also liked Henry's observation on the people who are most invested in particular translations - namely, those with an investment in proof-texts. Given how radically different my approach to the scriptures is from the proof-text mentality, it makes me wonder how fruitful discussion would be.


At Sat Mar 24, 04:29:00 PM, Blogger J.A. said...

In Sweden we only have two versions that is readable and somehow accurate. And one of the two is partly (the OT) a revision of an old translation, and not very accurate.

So... you are lucky.

At Thu Mar 29, 09:44:00 AM, Blogger lu said...

My Logos Bible Software allows me to view several different bibles when doing a Bible Study. This is a very useful tool when digging into the scripture.


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